Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

It’s the final weekend of the regular season, and with that may finally come clarity to the conference tournament brackets.

No. 8 Ohio State will play IPFW in its conference season finale with a chance to win the MIVA regular season championship. In addition, No. 4 BYU and No. 7 Penn State will open a two-match non-conference series with signficant NCAA Tournament implications.

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


1. No. 3 BYU (21-6, 17-5 MPSF) vs. No. 6 Penn State (20-3, 13-0 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: The most intriguing and anticipated non-conference series when the schedules were released in the fall now has massive NCAA Tournament implications. Penn State will travel to BYU for a two-match series with both teams needing to sweep the series to improve their NCAA Tournament seeding or chances at an at-large bid. Among the eight pieces of criteria the NCAA Tournament selection committee uses to determine the four-team field is record among teams that qualified or under consideration, which Penn State and BYU are both projected to be. The Cougars return home following the whole servegate fiasco at UCLA and splitting the two-match series against the Bruins. If BYU does not win the MPSF Tournament and get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, this weekend’s series will have big implication on whether it receives the at-large bid. Penn State clinched its 13th consecutive EIVA regular season title on Saturday after rallying from a two-game deficit to defeat Harvard. If Penn State can sweep the series against BYU it will likely sure-up the NCAA Tournament No. 3 seed and be in contention for the No. 2 seed — assuming it gets through the EIVA Tournament.

2. No. 8 Ohio State (18-8, 8-3 MIVA) vs. IPFW (13-12, 5-5 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio
Follow live: Gametracker, Pay-per-view online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Ohio State will have a chance to break a conference record and win the MIVA regular season title as it plays IPFW in its conference finale. The Buckeyes have already won five consecutive MIVA regular season championships — tying the record set by Ball State in the 1960s. IPFW is tied for fourth place and is on a three-match winning streak, including a four-game victory against Ball State last week. For more on this match, check out this story in today’s issue of The News-Sentinel.


3. No. 9 Lewis (21-6, 7-3 MIVA) VS. Grand Canyon (15-14, 5-5 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Romeoville,, Ill.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Grand Canyon will travel to Lewis for a two-match series looking to clinch a home match in the MIVA Tournament. The Antelopes — which were unanimous pick to finish the conference in last place in the MIVA Preseason Coaches Poll — are one win away from clinching the No. 4 seed in the MIVA Tournament and hosting their first postseason match in program history. Grand Canyon, though, has lost its last four conference matches, including a five-game road loss against Ohio State last week. Lewis still has a chance at the MIVA regular season championship. However, for that to happen Lewis will have to win both matches against Grand Canyon coupled with an Ohio State loss to IPFW.

4. No. 2 UCLA (21-6, 15-5 MPSF) vs. Pacific (7-19, 4-16 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Stockton, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: UCLA one day before its match against No. 5 Stanford will try to avoid an upset as it plays a road match against Pacific. The Bruins enter the weekend tied for fourth place in the MPSF but still have a chance to get a share of the MPSF regular season if they win their final two matches and get some help. Pacific is eliminated from the MPSF Tournament and on a five-match losing streak. However, the last time the Tigers played the Bruins in the final week of the regular season Pacific defeated UCLA. That 2010 victory also snapped the Tigers’ 58-match conference losing streak.

5. Harvard (17-4, 9-3 EIVA) vs. NJIT (10-15, 4-6 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Newark, N.J.
Follow live: Live stats
What to know: The next big sanity coming from Harvard is vol-sanity. Harvard on Monday moved into the AVCA top 15 national coaches poll for the first time in its program history after almost upsetting Penn State last week. Harvard in the midst of its best season in program history has the second-fewest losses in the nation and is 3-1 against West Coast teams. In addition, the Crimson are in second place in the EIVA and can clinch a spot in the four-team conference tournament if they win their match against the Highlanders. NJIT with four conference matches remaining is one-and-half matches behind St. Francis for fourth place and the final spot in the EIVA Tournament.