Marquee matches between top 10 nationally ranked teams are throughout the nation — and not just contained to the West Coast — tonight.
No. 3 UC Irvine playing host to No. 5 USC in MPSF action highlights the late-night matches, while in the Midwest No. 4 Stanford and No. 7 Penn State will meet in the Dunlap Invitational.
Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches from around the nation to follow tonight.
1. No. 3 UC Irvine (6-2, 2-2 MPSF) vs. No. 5 USC (3-2, 2-2 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m in Irvine, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: USC one week after losing two road matches to No. 1 BYU will continue its road trip against another top ranked team in the nation. The Trojans last week lost to the Cougars in four games and five games to suffer their first losses of the season. UC Irvine enters this match on a two-match winning streak, including a four-game victory versus No. 8 Pepperdine on Wednesday. In addition, the UC Irvine and USC match will feature three outside attackers — USC’s Tony Ciarelli and UC Irvine’s Carson Clark and Jermy Dejno — who are in the conference’s top 15 for kills per game average.
2. No. 4 Stanford (4-1, 2-1 MPSF) vs. No. 7 Penn State (2-1, 0-0 EIVA)
Match vitals: 5 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio
Follow live: Gametracker, In-match Tweets
What to know: Two of the nation’s top young middle attacker will face each other tonight as Stanford and Penn State open the non-conference Dunlap Invitational. Penn State freshman Aaron Russell has a team-high 0.71 blocks per game average and is second on the Nittany Lions with a 2.29 kills per game average. In addition, Stanford sophomore Eric Mochalski leads Stanford with a 0.73 blocks per game average and a .475 attack percentage. Both middle attackers represented the United States in international tournaments during the summer. This match also will be the first time Stanford and Penn State have played each other since the 2010 NCAA championship match, which the Cardinal won in three games.
3. No. 9 Ohio State (5-3, 0-0 MIVA) vs. Pacific (3-3, 1-2 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio.
Follow live: Gametracker, Pay-per-view online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: For the first time in three years, Ohio State will have a home match against a MPSF team. Ohio State will play Pacific on Friday and No. 4 Stanford on Saturday as part of the Dunlap Invitational. Ohio State is on a three-match winning streak, while Pacific has lost three of its last four matches — including a three-game losses to No. 4 Stanford and No. 2 UCLA. In addition, Ohio State outside attacker Shawn Sangrey leads the MIVA with a 4.17 kills per game average. This will be the first Ohio State match since the death of D.C. Koehl. Koehl, a national-award winning volleyball communications specialist, served as the Buckeyes sports information director.
4. No. 2 UCLA (8-1, 3-0 MPSF) vs. UC Santa Barbara (2-4, 0-2 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Los Angeles
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, Radio feed
What to know: The most proficient offense in the MPSF will go up against one of the least proficient offenses in the conference. UCLA entered this week leading the conference with .218 opponent attack percentage, while UC Santa Barbara is second-worst in the MPSF hitting .214. However, UC Santa Barbara last season won all three matches against UCLA. The Bruins are on a nation-best six match winning streak and have swept their last five matches.
5. Loyola (3-5, 0-0 MIVA) vs. George Mason (3-2, 0-0 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Chicago
Follow live: Gametracker
What to know: George Mason will have a chance to continue one the oddest streaks in the recent NCAA men’s volleyball history as it travels to the Midwest for a non-conference match against Loyola. All five of George Mason’s matches to open season have gone five games, including victories against Ball State and IPFW last weekend. George Mason outside attacker Mark Jones after missing the first three matches of the season for what he described as “personal reasons,” had 58 kills and a EIVA-best 5.80 kills per game average in two matches last week. Loyola outside attacker Joseph Smalzer leads the Ramblers and is second in the MIVA with a 3.92 kills per game aveerage.
BEST OF THE REST
Quincy (4-0, 0-0 MIVA) vs. Lindenwood (3-0)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in St. Charles, Mo.
Follow live: Live stats
What to know: There are four undefeated teams left among NCAA Division I-II and emeging NCAA Division I-II teams — Quincy, Lindendwood, Harvard and Princeton. That is list is guarnteed to decrease by at least one today as Quincy and Lindenwood play each other in non-conference play.
IPFW (2-2, 0-0 MIVA) vs. Mount Olive (2-2, 1-0 Conference Carolinas)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Mount Olive, N.C.
Follow live: Online video
What to know: IPFW for the first time in its program history will play a road match against a Conference Carolinas team. For more on this match, check out today’s story in The News-Sentinel.