Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

It’s a must-win night for several teams across the night.

Loyola plays host to No. 8 Ohio State as the Ramblers look to stay in the race for the conference regular season title, while No. 9 Pepperdine travels to Pacific in search of its first MPSF victory in almost a month.

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


1. No. 1 Stanford (12-2, 9-1 MPSF) vs. No. 6 USC (8-4, 6-4 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Pay-per-view online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Two of the top outside attackers in the nation will face each other in this match-up of top-10 ranked teams. Stanford outside attacker Brad Lawson is 10th in the nation with a 3.94 kills per game average. Lawson also had a match-high 14 in Stanford’s victory against Pepperdine on Friday as the Cardinal extend their winning streak to eight matches. USC outside attacker Tony Ciarelli is eighth in the nation with a 3.94 kills per game average. In addition, Ciarelli had a team-high 17 kills against Pacific on Friday to help USC will its third straight match.

2. No. 8 Ohio State (11-5, 2-1 MIVA) vs. Loyola (8-7, 1-2 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Chicago
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: It’s the middle of February but this match is a must-win for the MIVA preseason favorites Loyola if it wants to win the conference regular season championship. Loyola blew a two-game lead against IPFW and lost in five games on Friday for its second MIVA loss. Only one MIVA team in the 41-year conference history has won the MIVA regular season championship with more than two conference losses. Ohio State enters this match after having its five-match winning streak snapped with a four-game loss to No. 7 Lewis on Thursday.

3. No. 4 BYU (11-3, 7-2 MPSF) vs. UC Santa Barbara (4-9, 2-7 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: BYU and UC Santa Barbara will conclude their two-match conference series after the Cougars won the opener in four games on Friday. BYU outside attacker Robb Stowell had a match-high 17 kills, while middle attacker Russ Lavaja had a match-high 11 blocks in the victory. In addition, BYU had a season-high 19.5 blocks — 10.5 more blocks than the Gauchos — and out-hit UC Santa Barbara .259 to .105. The Cougars are on a five-match winning streak and are now 5-2 since All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander injured his hand.

4. No. 5 Penn State (11-1, 5-0 EIVA) vs. George Mason (4-9, 1-2 EIVA)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. in University Park, Pa.
Follow live: Gametracker, In-match Tweets
What to know: The last team defeat Penn State in EIVA play was George Mason — but every player on the Patriots’ current roster was in high school when that happened. Penn State since losing to George Mason in 2008 has won 45 consecutive EIVA matches. In addition, the Nittany Lions have yet to lose a set in their first five EIVA matches this season. George Mason, which was predicted to finish the conference in second place in the EIVA Preseason Coaches Poll, has lost seven of its last eight matches.

5. No. 9 Pepperdine (7-6, 5-5 MPSF) vs. Pacific (5-10, 3-7 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Stockton, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Pepperdine after opening the season 5-1 is in desperate need of a victory as it travels to Pacific. The Waves have lost four consecutive MPSF matches, including a four-game loss to Stanford on Friday. That loss also dropped Pepperdine to sixth place in the conference standings. Pacific lost to USC in four games on Friday and is on a five-match home losing streak dating back to the second week of the regular season.