- What: The 2022 NCAA Men’s National Collegiate Volleyball Tournament
- Who: The top contenders for the 2022 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship
- Where: Los Angeles, California – Pauley Pavilion (12,829 seats)
- When: May 5-7, 2022
Held every season around the end of the spring semester, the 2022 Men’s NCAA Volleyball Tournament will feature the best in collegiate volleyball. In last season’s tournament at Ohio State, seven teams battled for supremacy at the Covelli Center. In the 2021 NCAA Championship, Hawaiʻi locked down the title for their first official championship, second unofficial overall.
For this year’s tournament, the MTS breaks down who some of the top contenders are for 2022 and how they might stack up at the Championship in Los Angeles.
|Odds to Win 2022 NCAA Men's National Championship|
|Long Beach State||TBA|
The Number One Contender: Hawaii (Odds: TBA)
The winners of the 2021 NCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship, the Rainbow Warriors have one of the best rosters in collegiate volleyball. Head coach Charlie Wade returns for his sixteenth season at the helm and as the head man of the national champions. Hawaii has made four NCAA Tournament trips in the past seven years under Wade and he has helped guide the team to a Big West Tournament title in 2019 as well. Though the Warriors did lose 2021 NCAA Tournament MVP Rado Parapunov to graduation, they still have a cast of veterans to lead the way.
Number Two: BYU (Odds: TBA)
Runner-ups at the 2021 NCAA Championship, BYU is a strong historic contender at the NCAA Tournament. The Cougars last won the NCAA Tournament in 2004, but have finished as runner-ups four times in the last decade. Under head coach Shawn Olmstead, the Cougars have only missed the NCAA tournament once, and during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, BYU was 17-1. Could this be the year they finally breakthrough? They will be led by first-team All-American Davide Gardini and 6’7” middle blocker Branden Oberender.
Number three: The Lewis Flyers (Odds: TBA)
Though normally a member of the NCAA Division II, the Lewis men’s volleyball team is a member of the D-I Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. One of the most consistent squads in men’s volleyball, Lewis has made the past two NCAA tournaments and dominated the MIVA conference. In the playoff push for the last two seasons, Lewis made the NCAA Final Four in both tournaments. Head coach Dan Friend is in his eighteenth season as the leader for the Flyers and has won almost 70% of his games (.685). In the 2021 NCAA Tournament, Lewis was able to score one victory in their semi-final matchup with BYU but was unable to get past the firepower of the Cougars.
Final contender: Long Beach State 49ers (Odds: TBA)
The only team on this list to not make the 2021 Tournament, Long Beach State won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2018 and 2019. Led by head coach Alan Knipe, who was also head man of the United States men’s volleyball team at the 2012 Summer Olympics, the 49ers can never be counted out at the NCAA Championship level. In fact, the 49ers have made four of the last five NCAA tournaments. One thing to look out for though is that the 2021 season was not the best performance for Long Beach State.
Prediction: A steady hand is what you want for a championship team and BYU has shown a propensity to make the NCAA tournament consistently. The Cougars still have some All-American firepower leftover from their runner-up performance and should be able to lock down their first NCAA title since 2004.
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