BYU is ranked No. 22 according to the latest CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll after defeating No. 14 Ohio State to move to 7-0 on the season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- After a three-year absence, the BYU women's volleyball team is back in the national rankings, coming in at the No. 22 spot with 279 votes in this week's CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Cougars are now 7-0 in 2005, with their latest victory coming over No. 14 Ohio State.
"Being ranked is a nice acknowledgement of the work our athletes have done and their commitment to BYU and our volleyball program," said BYU head coach Jason Watson. "We have some areas to upgrade and there will always be work to do, but I feel we have made some very significant gains to date. We are all looking forward to the start of the Mountain West Conference."
The five-game win over the Buckeyes focused the nation's attention on a team that has been steadily gaining votes over the first four weeks of the season. Listed No. 36 to start the year, BYU has moved up in the polls with each successive win, including victories over then-No. 35 Nevada and then-No. 34 Kansas.
BYU is the only Mountain West Conference team ranked in this week's poll. Utah is listed No. 32. Colorado State began the season ranked No. 22 but has since fallen out of the rankings. Nebraska has been No. 1 in every poll this year.
While the Cougars have not been ranked since the 2002 preseason poll, in which BYU was No. 23, they are certainly not strangers to the national spotlight in the 36-year recorded history of the program. Since 1982, when weekly polls were first conducted, BYU has been ranked in every season except the last three, finishing No. 1 in 1986.
Among NCAA Division I programs, the Cougars are 10th all-time in total number of weeks ranked (252) and 11th for weeks ranked No. 1 (4) and weeks ranked in the top 10 (122). BYU has traditionally finished strong, coming in ninth all-time in weeks ranked in the final poll (19), sixth in weeks ranked No. 1 in the final poll (1) and 10th in weeks ranked in the top 5 to end the year (3).