Coaches Pick Cougars Sixth

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

LEXINGTON -- With the 2010 season almost underway, the BYU men's volleyball team has been voted sixth in the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches Top 15 Poll released Tuesday.

Since finishing the 2009 season with a 17-13 record and No. 7 national ranking, the Cougars return all their starters, including six seniors. The preseason went well for BYU, as it posted wins over Long Beach State, Grand Canyon, Long Beach City College, Arizona and Utah Valley.

One year removed from a 21-11 record and loss in the national championship match, USC debuts the 2010 season as the No. 1 team in the nation with 237 poll votes, including 13 first-place votes. The defending NCAA champion, UC Irvine, landed three first-place votes in the poll to earn the No. 2 ranking.

Stanford, Pepperdine and Penn State claim the third, fourth and fifth spots, followed by sixth-place BYU. Long Beach State, UCLA, Cal State Northridge and Ohio State round out the top 10.

The AVCA releases a weekly national poll throughout the regular season.

The Cougars open the 2010 season at the UC Santa Barbara Elephant Bar Tournament on Jan. 8-9 and will face UC Irvine in the first round. This will mark the second consecutive year the Cougars begin their season at the tournament.

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AVCA Division I-II Men’s Coaches Top 15 Poll

Preseason Poll: December 29, 2009

Rank School (1st Place Votes) Total Points 2009 Record 2009 Final Rank

1 Southern California (13) 237 21-11 2

2 UC Irvine (3) 218 28-5 1

3 Stanford 202 21-11 6

4 Pepperdine 186 22-5 3

5 Penn State 175 27-4 5

6 BYU 160 17-13 7

7 Long Beach State 150 14-14 8

8 UCLA 136 14-16 9

9 Cal State Northridge 112 24-7 4

10 Ohio State 101 16-12 10

11 Ball State 73 18-10 13

12 Hawai’i 59 9-18 15

13 UC San Diego 57 13-15 11

T-14 Lewis 29 21-8 12

T-14 UC Santa Barbara 29 8-19 NR

Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots: Loyola-Chicago 7; Saint Francis 7.