And just in case you didn’t get enough top 10 teams play each other Friday, there are more of these matches today.
Seven of the top 10 ranked teams will be in action Saturday. Highlighting these matches is battle between the two undefeated teams — No. 2 BYU and No. 3 UC Irvine — in the UC Santa Barbara Invitational championship match.
Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches from around the nation to follow tonight.
1. No. 2 UC Irvine (3-0) vs. No. 3 UCLA (2-0)
Match vitals: 6:30 p.m. Satuardy in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Follow live: In-match Tweets
What to know: The two teams with the best starts to the 2012 season will meet in the UC Santa Barbara Invitational championship match. UC Irvine advanced to the title match after defeating No. 1 BYU and No. 8 Long Beach State in the opening rounds. UC Irvine outside attacker Jeremy Dejno has a team-high 41 kills through the first two rounds of the tournament, while outside attacker Carson Clark had a match-high 24 kills in the five-game comeback victory against Long Beach State. UCLA reached the finals with victories against Cal State Northridge and No. 7 Ohio State on Friday. Middle attacker Wes Dunlap led the Bruins with 14 kills in the opening round victory and added a team-high four blocks in a second-round sweep of the Buckeyes.
2. No. 1 BYU (1-1) vs. UC Santa Barbara (1-1)
Match vitals: 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: The Cougars will have additional motivation entering the consolation bracket championship match of the UC Santa Barbara Invitational. BYU and UC Santa Barbara will play each other for the first time since the Gauchos upset the Cougars last season in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. The loss prevented the Cougars from reaching the Final Four, while the victory helped springboard the Gauchos to an underdog run that ended in the Final Four. Both teams lost their opening round matches at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational — BYU in four games to No. 1 UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara to No. 7 Ohio State in five games. However, BYU rebounded to defeat No. 9 Loyola in the second round, and UC Santa Barbara beat Cal State Northridge.
3. No. 10 Pepperdine (0-0) vs. Lewis (0-0)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Saturday in Malibu, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video
What to know: Lewis and Pepperdine will begin a two-match non-conference series on Saturday. Lewis was projected to finish the MIVA in third place in its conference’s preseason coaches poll, while Pepperdine was projected to finish the MPSF in eighth place. This is also the first meeting between the two programs in the last eight years — and their second all-time meeting since playing in the 2003 NCAA championship match.
4. No. 9 Loyola (0-2) vs. Cal state Northridge (0-2)
Match vitals: 11 a.m. in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Follow live: N/A
What to know: It’s a shame one of these teams will finish the UC Santa Barbara Invitational winless and open the season 0-3. Loyola was swept by No. 8 Long Beach State in the first round before almost upsetting No. 1 BYU in five games in the second round. In addition, Cal State Northridge had two overtime games in a four-game loss to No. 3 UCLA to open the tournament and then lost to UC Santa Barbara in the second round. Freshman outside attacker Julius Hoefer leads the Matadors with a 3.50 kills per game average through the first two matches.
5. No. 7 Ohio State (1-1) vs. No. 8 Long Beach State (1-1)
Match vitals: 4 p.m. Saturday in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Follow live: N/A
What to know: The national media preseason poll had Ohio State ranked higher than Long Beach State, while the preseason coaches poll had Long Beach state as the higher ranked team. This ranking disparity will now get settled on the court as the Buckeyes and 49ers play each other in the third-place match at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational. Both teams split their two matches in the tournament’s opening day, including Ohio State defeating UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State beating No. 9 Loyola.