The AVCA Pre-season Polls: A Look Back
By Lionsfan, August 27, 2014
As the 2014 NCAA women’s volleyball season gets underway this week, it’s the perfect time to look back at past AVCA Pre-season Polls to see if we can spot any trends, or derive any insight. OK, insight may be a tall order, but it’s fun to try, right?
The table below lists the AVCA pre-season No. 1 team for every season since 1982, along with the team that ended up winning the NCAA Division I title that year, and the pre-season AVCA ranking of the championship team. We also have a column indicating the seven years in which the AVCA pre-season #1 didn’t make the Final Four.
[Note: in a few years, the records appear to indicate that there was no AVCA pre-season poll. In those years, we used the first available poll. Also, to err is human, to send us corrections for our errors is . . . welcome. Thanks!]
AVCA Pre-Season #1 Teams -- 1982 to 2014 (Click on Images for more Team Information)
|1981||No Poll||No Poll||No Poll|
|1999||Penn State||--||Penn State||1|
|2008||Penn State||--||Penn State||1|
|2009||Penn State||--||Penn State||1|
|2010||Penn State||--||Penn State||1|
- 23 times – the reigning NCAA champion has been ranked #1 the following season.
- 12 times the pre-season #1 has won the national title.
- 7 times the pre-season #1 did not make the Final Four: 1987 Pacific (lost to Hawaii in Regional Final); 1989 Hawaii (lost to Long Beach in Regional Final); 1993 Stanford (lost to UCLA in Regional Semi); 2000 UCLA (lost to Wisconsin in Regional Final); 2007 Nebraska (Lost to Cal in Regional Final); 2011 Penn State (lost to UCLA in Regional Semi); 2012 UCLA (lost to Michigan State in Second Round).
- 1 time UCLA was not ranked in the pre-season poll (2014).
Pre-season Rankings of NCAA Championship Teams
- Pre-season #1: 12 titles
- Pre-season #2: 10 titles
- Pre-season #3: 2 titles
- Pre-season #4: 3 titles
- Pre-season #6: 2 titles
- Pre-season #7: 1 title
- Pre-season #10: 1 title
- Pre-season #11: 1 title
- No team ranked pre-season #5 (for 2014, that’s you, Southern Cal), #8 (2014 – Purdue), #9 (2014 – BYU) or #12 or lower has ever won a national title.
Teams with Most Preseason #1 Rankings
- 7: Penn State
- 6: UCLA
- 5: Stanford
- 4: Nebraska, Hawaii
- 3: Southern Cal, Pacific
- 1: Texas
- Long Beach is the only program with a national title (it has won three times) to never be
ranked #1 in in the AVCA pre-season poll.
Which red will rise to the occasion, cardinal or scarlet? The season opens with a bang in the first weekend as two of the most storied programs in the sport’s history — Stanford and Nebraska – meet in Lincoln. These two teams are tied for No. 1 for the most weeks (462!!!) ranked in the AVCA poll, and we imagine they will stay tied for infinity. As of the end of 2013, Nebraska has been ranked in the Top 10 a total of 418 times—the most of any program—with Stanford coming in second with 412. Those two teams are followed by Hawaii (354), UCLA (326), Penn State (296), and USC and Texas (291 each).
Stanford holds a 7-6 series edge over Nebraska, although the Huskers hold a 6-5 edge in the NCAA era—and have won four of the last five meetings. The two squads last met in the opening match of the 2008 season, when No. 7 Nebraska upset No. 2 Stanford with a sweep in Omaha—a near identical set-up
to this year’s contest.
The two squads have met four times in the NCAA tournament: They were the top two seeds in the 2006 NCAA title match in Omaha, when the Huskers won their third title; and Nebraska notched a 3-1 win in the 1986 semis. The Cardinal returned the favor twice in the semis en route to national titles: a sweep in 2001 and a 3-1 win in 1996. The two squads have never met in both the regular and post-seasons in the same
Note: This match can be seen on the Big Ten Network live on Sunday afternoon.
This Week’s AVCA Top Ten Action
- Penn State vs. Texas Christian, Iona, William & Mary
- Texas vs. UTEP (N), @ New Mexico, vs. Seattle (N)
- Stanford @ Iowa State, @ #7 Nebraska
- Washington vs. Portland State (N), vs. Gonzaga (N), @ Boise State
- Southern Cal vs. Rider (N), vs. Arkansas-Little Rock (N), @Pacific
- Wisconsin vs. Louisville (N), vs. Notre Dame (N)
- Nebraska vs. #13 Florida State, vs. #3 Stanford
- Purdue vs. USF, #14 San Diego, LSU
- BYU @ West Virginia, vs. IUPUI (N), vs. Toledo (N)
- Florida vs. Georgia Southern, Idaho, Oklahoma
Other Key Clashes this Week
- #11 Illinois vs. Long Beach State
- #11 Illinois vs. #20 North Carolina
- #13 Florida State @ Iowa State
- #17 Hawaii vs. #25 Arizona State
- #18 Colorado State vs. UC Santa Barbara
- #18 Colorado State vs. Marquette
- #20 North Carolina vs. Long Beach State
- #22 Kansas vs. #23 Creighton (on ESPN3)
- Oregon vs. Ohio State
- Colorado vs. Northwestern
- New Mexico over #2 Texas
- #13 Florida State over #7 Nebraska
- Oklahoma over #10 Florida
- #14 San Diego over #8 Purdue
- LSU over #8 Purdue
- Louisville over #12 Minnesota
- Iowa State over #13 Florida State
- LSU over #14 San Diego
- #25 Arizona State over #17 Hawaii
- UC Santa Barbara over #18 Colorado State
- Marquette over #18 Colorado State
- Wichita State over #19 Kentucky
- Long Beach State over #20 North Carolina
Lionsfan’s Completely Uninformed Picks for the Big Matches
- Stanford over Nebraska
- Nebraska over Florida State
- Purdue over San Diego
- Illinois over North Carolina
- Arizona State over Hawaii
- Creighton over Kansas
Lionsfan’s Preseason Top 25
3. Southern Cal
4. Penn State
11. Florida State, 12. Illinois, 13. Minnesota, 14. Michigan State, 15.
Kansas, 16. San Diego, 17. Hawaii, 18. American, 19. Creighton, 20.
Kentucky, 21. Arizona State, 22. Duke, 23. North Carolina, 24. Colorado,