BYU tops MPSF Coaches’ Poll for third-straight season
PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s volleyball has been selected as the preseason 2018 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation favorite. The poll, released Friday, is voted on by the conference’s head coaches.
BYU collected 33 points and four first-place votes to finish at the top of the poll for the third-consecutive season. The Cougars return three starters plus its libero from last season’s MPSF Champion and NCAA Runner-Up team, including All-Americans Brenden Sander, Price Jarman and Leo Durkin. Erik Sikes returns as the team’s libero.
UCLA finished second in the poll, totaling 32 points and two first-place votes. The Bruins return several starters from 2017, including all-conference outsides Jake Arnitz and JT Hatch. Setter and hitter Micah Ma’a is also back, along with middle Daenan Gyimah, each 2017 All-MPSF honorees.
Pepperdine and Stanford ended up tying for third in the poll with 22 points. The Waves and the Cardinal finished in a three-way tie with USC in the final 2017 standings. The Trojans, who picked up the remaining first-place vote and 18 points, return senior setter Gert Lisha to guide the offense.
New to the MPSF in 2018 will be Grand Canyon and Concordia. The Antelopes, who collected 14 points, join the MPSF on the heels of reaching the MIVA Finals last year. Cullen Mosher returns as an All-MIVA hitter. The Eagles rounded out the poll having won 18 matches last year, which included a win at then-MPSF member UCSB.
Each MPSF team has 12 conference matches on its schedule this year, which features a home and away against each opponent. The 2018 MPSF Championship Tournament begins with seeds two, three, and four hosting a quarterfinal match on April 14. The conference semifinals are on April 19, on the home floor of the No. 1 seed. The top seed will host the lowest available seed that night in the second match. Semifinal winners will battle on April 21 for the MPSF Championship, contested at the semifinal site, with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on the line (May 3-5 at UCLA).