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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Coaches vote UH No. 1 in volleyball

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Add this to the University of Hawai'i men's volleyball team's mandatory weightlifting session yesterday: Hoisting a No. 1 ranking.

Tony Ching said there's now pressure to stay on top.

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"It feels good, but at the same time, it's kind of scary," outside hitter Tony Ching said. "Now that we're on top, the only place to go is down. Hopefully, we can maintain it."

Yesterday, the Warriors received the top ranking in this week's USA Today/AVCA Top 15 Poll, which is voted on by 16 Division I coaches. This is the first time the Warriors topped this chart since 1996. (On Monday, UH also was picked No. 1 in the weekly Volleyball Magazine rankings.)

"It's great and it's kind of overwhelming," middle blocker Brenton Davis said. "I've never been part of a No. 1-ranked team."

Outside hitter Costas Theocharidis, who was raised in Greece, downplayed the ranking, saying, "That's American stuff, writers' stuff."

Said outside hitter Eyal Zimet: "The ranking, right now, doesn't mean much other than a tap on the shoulder. What is going to mean something is the last poll."

The Warriors surpassed last week's No. 1 team, Brigham Young, after winning three of four on the road.

The Warriors received nine first-place votes and 233 points. BYU is second, followed by UCLA, Long Beach State and Stanford. The top nine teams belong to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

The Warriors (17-4) are atop the Pacific Division with a 12-3 conference record. The Warriors have already clinched the homecourt advantage for the opening round of the conference playoffs on April 21.