BYU volleyball holds tight to number one

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    By Jonathan Andrus

    The BYU men”s volleyball team remained the No.1 team in the nation, despite splitting a pair of matches last weekend against No. 5 Long Beach State.

    “To be honest, it”s kind of a distraction,” BYU head coach Carl McGown said of the No. 1 ranking. “Right now, we just want to be a good volleyball team and be the No. 1 team when the season is over.

    “We have a tough road trip ahead of us and we can”t be worried about who”s No. 1, or No. 2. We have to concentrate our next matches.”

    Only one game separates the top three teams in country. No.”s 5-7 all have 6 losses a piece.

    McGown believes that the new rules implemented this year to speed up the game have a lot to do with the close rankings.

    “A lot of what you are seeing is due to the new scoring rules,” McGown said. “It is easier for a team that normally wouldn”t lose to be upset by a lesser opponent.”

    BYU (15-2, 9-2) will try to avoid any upsets this week as it travels to California and will play a brutal four matches in five nights.

    The Cougars will face No. 12 Pacific on Friday and Saturday. They will take Sunday off before playing No. 4 Stanford on Monday and Tuesday.

    “The fact of the matter is that besides us and Hawaii, no one has to make road trips like this,” McGown said. “Most of the teams are from California so they don”t have to travel very far.”

    McGown says that these types of road trips can be very trying for a team.

    “Traveling takes its toll on you,” McGown said. “To bring emotion and to play with energy for that many games is really hard.”

    Currently, BYU owns a one-game lead over third-ranked UCLA (17-5, 9-3) in the MPSF Mountain-Division standings. No. 2 Hawaii leads the MPSF Pacific Division with a 9-2 league record. BYU will face Hawaii on April 13 and 14 for its final matches of the regular season.

    USA Today / AVCA Coaches Top-15 Poll

    (Jan. 27, 2001)

    1. BYU (15-2)

    2. Hawai”i (14-3)

    3. UCLA (17-5)

    4. Stanford (10-4)

    5. Long Beach State (13-6)

    6. Pepperdine (13-6)

    7. USC (10-6)

    8. UC Santa Barbara (10-8)

    9. UC Irvine (9-10)

    10. Penn State (17-5)

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