Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

The final day of the regular season is here and there are still so many seeds undecided for the conference tournaments.

Five MPSF teams enter today with a chance to claim at least a share of the MPSF regular season championship. In addition, No. 9 Lewis looks to get a share of the MIVA regular season title, while Grand Canyon and IPFW are both fighting for a home match in the MIVA Tournament.

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


1. No. 1 USC (21-4, 17-4 MPSF) vs. No. 11 Cal State Northridge (12-16, 8-13 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Northridge, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: USC after opening the season as Final Four long-shots with four new starters now has a chance to repeat as MPSF regular season champions. The Trojans enter the final week of the regular season in first place in the MPSF and can win the title out-right and get the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament if it wins its remaining match against Cal State Northridge. USC is on a nation-best 16-match winning streak — its program’s longest winning streak in more than 20 years — and defeated then-No. 2 UC Irvine last week to take sole possession of first place. However, if USC loses to Cal State Northridge it could create havoc in the MPSF standings and the regular season would likely end with a four-way tie for first-place. Cal State Northridge clinched a spot in the MPSF Tournament after upsetting No. 8 Pepperdine on Friday. The Matadors are likely locked into the No. 8 seed for the MPSF Tournament, but could move the No. 7 seed they beat the Trojans and get some help.

2. No. 3 UCLA (22-6, 16-5 MPSF) vs. No. 5 Stanford (19-6, 16-5 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Pay-per-view online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: No MPSF weekend match will have bigger conference tournament seeding implications than the regular season finale between UCLA and Stanford. The Cardinal and the Bruins enter tied for third place in the MPSF, but both still have a chance to finish with at least a share of the MPSF regular season title if USC loses tonight. In addition, the team that wins the UCLA-Stanford match will get a home match in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals, while the loser will likely have to open the tournament on the road. This match will also feature two of the top setters in the nation. Stanford setter Evan Barry leads the nation with a 11.88 assists per game average. In addition, UCLA with setter Kyle Caldwell has helped guide the Bruins’ offense to the third highest attack percentage in the nation at .334 — .003 attack percentage points behind second-place Stanford.


3. No. 3 BYU (22-6, 17-5 MPSF) vs. No. 6 Penn State (20-4, 13-0 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: BYU and Penn State will conclude their two-match non-conference series after the Cougars won the opener in four games Friday. Outside attacker Taylor Sander in the victory had a match-high 20 kills, while middle attacker Futi Tavana added 10 kills. In addition, BYU out-hit Penn State .323 to .216, including having more than a .400 attack percentage in the final two games. Outside attacker Tom Comfort led Penn State with 16 kills and was the only Nittany Lion to finish the match with double-digit kills. This match also has significant NCAA Tournament implications. If BYU beats Penn State to complete the series sweep it would be a nation-best 7-4 against teams qualified or under consideration for the NCAA Tournament, according to the latest Off the Block projections. Record against qualified and under consideration teams is one of the eight pieces of criteria used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee to determine seeding and the at-large bid.

4. Loyola (17-11, 7-4 MIVA) vs. IPFW (13-13, 5-6 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Follow live: Live chat, In-match Tweets
What to know: IPFW will have a chance to get the No. 4 seed for the MIVA Tournament and host its first postseason match in five years if it can defeat Loyola and get some help. IPFW lost to No. 8 Ohio State in four games Friday to remain tied with Grand Canyon for fourth place. Loyola will play its first match in almost two weeks and has already clinched the No. 3 seed for the MIVA Tournament. For more on this match, check out this article in today’s issue of The News-Sentinel.

5. No. 9 Lewis (22-6, 8-3 MIVA) vs. Grand Canyon (15-15, 5-6 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Romeoville, Ill.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Lewis is locked into the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament, but it can claim a share of the MIVA regular season championship with victory against Grand Canyon tonight. This would be the first time since Lewis received the NCAA men’s volleyball death penalty almost 10 years ago that the Flyers have won a conference regular season championship. The Flyers clinched the MIVA Tournament No. 2 seed on Friday after sweeping Grand Canyon to open their two-match series. Outside attacker Jay Petty had a match-high 13 kills and a .423 attack percentage in the victory. Grand Canyon with the loss was unable to clinch the No. 4 seed and its first postseson home match in program history. However, the Antelopes can achieve that feat tonight with a victory or an IPFW loss.

BEST OF THE REST
No. 7 Pepperdine (14-13, 9-12 MPSF) vs. No. 10 Long Beach State (14-14, 9-12 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Long Beach, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Radio feed
What to know: Pepperdine and Long Beach State will battle for the No. 6 seed in the MPSF Tournament as the two teams meet to close out the regular season. Both the Waves and 49ers are tied for sixth place after losing matches earlier this week. Long Beach State lost in three-games to No. 1 USC on Thursday, while Pepperdine was upset at home against Cal State Northridge.

No. 4 UC Irvine (20-5, 16-5 MPSF) vs. UC San Diego (9-18, 6-15 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in San Diego
Follow live: Live stats, In-match Tweets
What to know: For UC Irvine to have any chance of a share of the MPSF regular season championship it will need some help but it will also have to defeat UC San Diego. The Anteaters have lost two of their last three matches, including a four-game loss to USC last week. UC San Diego did not qualify for the MPSF Tournament but last season it pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year as it defeated UC Irvine.