The top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

Rematch is the theme of tonight

All of the top five nationally ranked men’s volleyball teams are in action tonight, with three of them playing teams who they have previously defeated this season. However, as this season has already proved sometimes the most difficult thing to do is defeat a team multiple times in the same year.

Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.

1. No. 1 USC (9-1, 9-1 MPSF) vs. No. 6 Long Beach State (8-5, 7-3 MPSF)
Match vitals:
10 p.m. at Long Beach, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker
What to know: In what Long Beach State coach Andy Read described as one of his team’s worst matches of season, the Trojans swept the 49ers in January. However, that match was in Los Angeles and not at Walter Pyramid. Long Beach State is undefeated at home this season, including a sweep against Pepperdine on Wednesday. Trojan outside attackers Murphy Troy and Tony Ciarelli are among the conference leaders each averaging more than 3.50 kills per game. The 49ers’ 1991 national championship team will also be honored at the match.

2. No. 5 Stanford (10-4, 7-4 MPSF) vs. No. 8 UCLA (8-8, 3-7 MPSF)
Match vitals:
10 p.m. at Stanford, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker
What to know: Stanford outside attacker Brad Lawson is in the conference’s top five with a 4.15 kills per game average — almost two kills per game more than any UCLA outside attacker. After starting the season 7-2, the Bruins have lost six of their last seven conference matches and are in a three-way tie for eighth place in the MPSF. Stanford is 3-3 in its last six conference matches and has failed to win back-to-back MPSF matches in about a month.


3. No. 2 BYU (12-4, 8-3 MPSF) vs. UC San Diego (6-11, 3-8 MPSF)
Match vitals:
9 p.m. at Provo, Utah
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video
What to know: The two teams will conclude their two-match series after BYU in the first match almost blew a two-game lead but defeated the UC San Diego in five games Thursday. In the victory middle attacker Futi Tavana recorded his 100th block of the season and continues to lead the nation averaging more than three blocks per game. The Tritons have never defeated the Cougars in their program history but have already upset UC Irvine and Stanford earlier this season.

4. No. 4 Ohio State (10-2, 4-0 MIVA) vs. IPFW (6-6, 4-4 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. at Columbus, Ohio
Follow live: Live stats
What to know: The last time IPFW defeated Ohio State was in the 2007 MIVA Tournament championship match — what a difference four years can make. Ohio State since that match has won three straight conference matches and earlier this week became the highest ranked MIVA team almost three years. IPFW has failed to win a postseason match since advancing the 2007 NCAA championship and is winless in conference play this season. The player match-up to watch tonight is Ohio State outside attacker Shawn Sangrey and IPFW outside attack Darryl Shank. Both are in the nation’s top 10 in kills per game with Shank averaging 4.26 and Sangrey averaging 4.19.

5. No. 3 UC Santa Barbara (9-6, 7-5 MPSF) vs. Pacific (6-9, 2-7 MPSF)
Match vitals:
10 p.m. Stockton, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker
What to know: Two teams at different stages of long rebuilding processes will play each other. UC Santa Barbara moved into the top five of the national rankings this week for the first in more than five years and is on pace to make its first appearance in the MPSF Tournament since 2006. After two seasons of winning a combined one conference match, Pacific has already doubled that win total this season and has moved back into the national rankings for the first time since 2008.

Best of the rest
George Mason (10-3, 5-0 EIVA) vs. Rutgers-Newark (10-2, 3-2 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. at Fairfax, Va.
Follow live: Live stats
What to know: One day before its plays No. 9 Penn State, George Mason will attempt to keep its undefeated EIVA record with a match against Rutgers-Newark. The Scarlet Raiders dropped to third place in the EIVA following a four-game home loss to the Patriots two weeks ago. If George Mason wins this match, Rutgers-Newark would be three matches out of first place and it would become a two-team race for the conference regular season title between Penn State and George Mason.

Ball State (6-6, 1-3 MIVA) vs. Quincy (8-6, 0-3 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7:30 p.m. at Muncie, Ind.
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: The two teams will each other for the first time since the Quincy upset Ball State last season. Covering the Cardinals last season for The Ball State Daily News, I spent some time researching after the match and ranked it Ball State’s second worst MIVA loss in its 47-year program history.

Pepperdine (5-7, 3-7 MPSF) vs. Cal State Northridge (4-11, 3-7 MPSF)
Match vitals: 10 p.m. at Northridge, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker
What to know: This match reeks of desperation for Pepperdine. After winning three straight matches to move to 3-5 and back in the MPSF playoff picture, the Waves have lost their last two matches — including losing in three games against Long Beach State on Wednesday.-