Week 2 College Beach Volleyball Power Rankings: LSU making moves
The first week of the mad dash that is the college beach volleyball season has come to a close, with tournaments put on by Florida State, Hawai’i, Stetson, Florida Atlantic and a host of others. No huge upsets just yet, but enough for some teams to make some moves up and down the rankings, and others to make their first appearance.
1. UCLA (5-0, previously #1)
The Bruins began their first season as National Champs with a severe test, loading up the schedule with Cal Poly, Hawai’i, Pepperdine, St. Mary’s and Stanford, all programs ranked in the top 11, right off the bat. All they did was win all five while dropping just a single court, to Pepperdine’s court four of Alexis Filippone and Maddie Dilfer. While most teams put forth lineups consisting of talent relative to the courts on which they are playing, the Bruins really could have two or three teams capable of court one and another three or four capable of court two. They’re just that deep this season.
2. Pepperdine (3-1, previously #2)
No program has endured more turmoil over the off- and pre-season than Pepperdine, which has gone through a shooting near campus, a fire, one of its best players — Maddy Roh — tearing her ACL, and its first-year coach, Marcio Sicoli, being home during the opening weekend to take care of his newborn son. And yet, through all of that, Pepperdine prevailed, beating Hawai’i, Stanford, and St. Mary’s before dropping to UCLA, the best team in the country.
Who knows what the Waves will be capable of when things begin to settle down a bit.
3. USC (0-0, previously #3)
USC’s season is off to a later start than most, as the Trojans open up their year on Wednesday with home duals against LMU and UCLA. It will be a good measuring stick to see how USC performs against a program it is expected to beat in LMU and a program it is expected to challenge for a national title in UCLA.
4. LSU (4-0; previously #6)
No Fab 50 in the recruiting class? No high school All-Americans coming in? No problem for Russell Brock and the LSU Tigers, who opened their year up in Florida State in convincing fashion, beating Florida State, Cal Poly, Tulane and South Carolina — all contenders to make the NCAA Tournament — this past weekend. On top of that, LSU’s court one pair of Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss, who are 4-0 on the year and have only lost one set, took home the first AVCA Pair of the Week.
5. Florida State (4-1, previously #4)
The Seminoles are down one spot from the Week 1 Power Rankings, but it’s certainly no cause for alarm. Florida State’s only loss is to the aforementioned Tigers, while its four wins — over Tulane, Cal Poly, South Carolina and Tampa — are all of high quality. The Noles will get a rematch with LSU on Friday at FAU’s Beach Burrow Bash.
6. Hawai’i (2-2, previously #5)
Yes, Hawai’i has two losses, and there are a number of teams — Florida International, LMU, Florida Atlantic, to name a few) not on this list with no losses. But the quality of one’s loss does matter, and Hawai’i has only been beat by #1 UCLA and #2 Pepperdine, both of which were close matches. Had the Bows closed out the three matches that went to three sets against the Bruins, this could be an entirely different story. The fact that they took care of business against Stanford and St. Mary’s and challenged two national championship contenders is enough to keep Hawai’i safely in the top 8.
7. Long Beach State (0-0, previously #7)
This Saturday will be the first legitimate look at what The Beach is capable of this year, when it travels to Zuma Beach for a date with Pepperdine, Northridge and Bakersfield. After that will be test after test, with upcoming matches against LMU, Stetson and Florida State, an excellent opportunity for The Beach to stake its claim as one of the top programs on the West Coast.
8. Cal (2-0)
Two matches, two sweeps for the Bears to begin the season without so much as a single set dropped. It was a relatively soft opening, however, against San Francisco and Santa Clara. Cal’s first true test will come at this weekend’s Pac-12 South Invitational, when it will travel to Tucson, Arizona for matches against UCLA, Arizona State and Washington.
First Four Out
Florida International (4-0)
Cal Poly (3-3)
Florida Atlantic (4-0)
Previous Power Rankings
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