The top 3 spots in the poll are identical from November. Army which has never left the first spot in the history of the poll picked up 2 victories in Northeast Team Handball League (NTHL) action over the Army’s 2nd Team, and NYC2, but suffered their first lost of the season to one of the top at-large clubs in the U.S.,NYC, 37-28. North Carolina and West Virginia played no matches since the last poll, but held on to their 2nd and 3rd place poll rankings.
Spots 4 and 5, however, have changed with Air Force and Ohio St dropping out of the top 5. Air Force picked up their first win of the season, a 23-21 win over Texas A&M at the Texas Cup, but their overall 1-0-8 record must look bad in the eyes of voters. Ohio St played only one match since the last poll, a 36-36 draw vs the Columbus Armada, but also slipped in the polls.
Joining the top 5 for the first time are Pittsburgh and Penn St. Pittsburgh’s 3-0-0 record has them sitting atop the NTHL D2 South. Pittsburgh has gotten good leadership from seniors Michael Lane and Brian Hoover and has benefited from a newcomer to the team, Pau Balcells Sanchez. Balcells Sanchez is just a Freshman, but is an international student from Spain and brings some European experience to the the team. The NTHL D2 South is the only de facto collegiate club conference (Pittsburgh, James Madison, Virginia, Johns Hopkins) and their next matches will be February 1st.
Rounding out the top 5 is Penn St with a 3-0-0 collegiate record and and a 6-0-1 overall record. Penn St competes in the NTHL D2 North where they currently have the 2nd best win pct in the league. These records may, however, look a little bit better than reality. In particular, the 3 collegiate wins are all over the Penn St B team, so it will be interesting to see how well the Nittany Lions fare at College Nationals later this year.
2019-20 College Records: Link
2019-20 Game Results: Link