Final AVCA Poll: Do the Schools Care?


Final AVCA 2010 Poll: December 21, 2010

1Penn State
3Southern California

Yesterday, the American Volleyball  Coaches Association released its final poll for the 2010 Season.  To the surprise of noone, Penn State, the NCAA Champion, and California, the NCAA Runner-up, were ranked #1 and #2, respectively.  Southern California, which lost to Cal, and Texas, which lost to Penn State in the Semi-Final matches, were ranked #3 and #4, respectively, leading some to argue that the positions should have been reversed, given that Texas lost to the Champion, and Southern California lost to the runnerup. 

The rest of the rankings are open to debate, and certainly will generate plenty of discussion.  But we were mostly curious about whether the schools themselves take note of the final poll. 

We only checked the Top 11 (we included 11 because Purdue, a Big 10 team, came in 11th, and the Big Ten is, after all, actually the Big 11 and soon to be the Big 10 +2), so our sample is truncated, but in retrospect, the results are pretty much what one would expect. 

There were no press releases from any of the Final Four teams.  Which makes sense — they had their time in the spotlight.  We thought #5 Stanford might issue one, but we suspect Stanford had its sights set a bit higher, and was in no mood to crow about missing the Final Four.

It was a different story for #6 through #11, as four out of these six teams issued press releases noting their final rankings.  Again, this makes sense to us.  A Top 11 ranking signifies a terrific body of work during the season, even if the team fell a bit short in the tournament.  Teams should be proud of that accomplishment, and four of them were.   The two that didn’t — Nebraska and Illinois — probably fall into the same category as Stanford.  They started the season with legitimate Final Four aspirations, and didn’t meet them.   

So, it’s clear that the Final AVCA Poll is important to many teams, but not the ones at the top, or who had high hopes of making the Finals.  So if anyone says “Why bother,” our answer is “Because alot of people care.”

Below are excerpts from the four releases, with links to the full posts: 

#1 Penn State: No press release on Final AVCA Poll. 

#2 California: No press release on Final AVCA Poll. 

#3 Southern California: No press release on Final AVCA Poll. 

#4 Texas: No press release on Final AVCA Poll. 

#5 Stanford: No press release on Final AVCA Poll. 

#6 Washington – from December 21, 2010

LEXINGTON, Kent. – Husky volleyball head coach Jim McLaughlin has led Washington to yet another Top-10 finish, as the Dawgs came in sixth in the final American Volleyball Coaches Assocation poll, released today. This is the seventh Top-10 finish for the Huskies in the past eight years. (for complete post, Click Here

Washington capped its season with a 24-9 record, making a dramatic NCAA tournament run to the Elite Eight, where it fell to eventual NCAA runner-up California. The Huskies defeated three Top-25 teams on their home court, sweeping 23rd-ranked Michigan and 7th-ranked Hawaii, and then knocking off third-ranked and second-seeded Nebraska, 3-1, to reach the Regional final. 

#7 Nebraska –  No press release on Final AVCA Poll. 

#8 Florida – from December 22, 2010

The Florida volleyball team, coming off one of its finest seasons in program history with a 29-2 overall record and its 19th Southeastern Conference Championship, finished its 2010 campaign ranked No. 8 in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, marking the 20th consecutive season that the Gators are among the nation’s top-15 in the final poll.  

It is the 15th top-10 final placing in the last 20 years for the Gators, who have been ranked in the AVCA poll for 306 consecutive polls dating back to Sept. 17, 1991. That marks the nation’s fifth-longest streak of consecutive weeks ranked. (for complete post, Click Here

#9 Illinois – No press release on Final AVCA Poll.

#10 Minnesota –  from December 21, 2010

The Minnesota volleyball team was ranked No. 10 in the final top 25 poll according to an announcement by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) on Tuesday, Dec. 21. The Gophers received 916 points in the final poll, which was their most since Aug. 30 when they had 1,123 points.  (for complete post, Click Here)

Minnesota’s No. 10 ranking was its highest since Aug. 30 when it was No. 8 in the nation. The Gophers were also No. 6 in this year’s AVCA preseason poll.

#11 Purdue – from December 22, 2010

Purdue also ended 2010 11th in the RPI listings. The Boilermakers played 14 teams among the RPI Top 50, accounting for 22 matches.

The Boilermaker volleyball team ended a breakout 2010 season with a No. 11 ranking in the final AVCA Coaches Poll. The listing is the team’s highest ranking since Oct. 9, 2006 when the team was listed ninth, and was up 13 spots from the No. 24 ranking the team received in the Nov. 29 poll.  (for complete post, Click Here)