Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

Conference play will now officially hit every conference beginning tonight with several intriguing matches.

Ohio State and Lindenwood will play in a historic match as they open the MIVA season, while weeks into the MPSF schedule No. 5 Stanford tries to avoid the upset as it plays host to No. 10 UC Santa Barbara.

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


1. No. 5 Stanford (5-2, 2-2 MPSF) vs. No. 10 UC Santa Barbara (3-4, 1-3 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: Two of the top freshmen setters in the nation will face each other for the first time in their college careers as UC Santa Barbara travels to Stanford. Stanford setter James Shaw is among the MPSF leaders with a 10.32 assists per game average. In addition, the Cardinal’s offense has more than a .300 attack percentage in all of its matches this season. Gauchos setter Jonah Seif is averaging 10.37 assists per game. However, UC Santa Barbara has lost its last three conference matches, including a five-game loss to Pacific on Friday. Stanford defeated UCLA in a nationally televised match Tuesday to snap its two-match losing streak.

2. No. 4 Penn State (5-1, 1-0 EIVA) vs. Harvard (3-0, 1-0 EIVA)
Match vitals:
4 p.m. in University Park, Pa.
Follow live: Gametracker, In-match Tweets
What to know: Penn State will attempt to get its 60th consecutive conference victory and knock off one of the last remaining undefeated teams in the nation as it plays host to Harvard. In its EIVA opener, Penn State swept Sacred Heart on Friday to extend its NCAA-record conference winning streak to 59 matches. Outside attacker Tom Comfort in the victory had seven kills and a team-high .500 attack percentage before being pulled after the second game with Nittany Lions up two games. In addition, Comfort is fifth in the EIVA with a 3.40 kills per game average. Crimson outside attacker D.J. White leads the EIVA averaging 5.00 kills per game, including having seven kills in the opening game of Harvard’s sweep against St. Francis on Friday. Harvard is one of five remaining undefeated left in the nation entering Saturday.


3. George Mason (2-3, 0-0 EIVA) vs. Lewis (3-5, 0-0 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Romeoville, Ill.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: The top blocking team in the EIVA will go up against one of the most explosive offenses in the MIVA as George Mason continues its Midwest road trip with a match against Lewis. George Mason leads the EIVA with a 3.29 blocks per game average and has at least 10 blocks all but one of its matches so far this season. In addition, middle attacker Piotr Dabrowski has a conference-best 1.76 blocks per game average and had a match-high seven blocks in George Mason’s upset victory against Loyola on Friday. Lewis had two starters named Preseason All-Americans, setter BJ Boldog and outside attacker Jay Petty. Flyers outside attacker Geoff Powell is also third in the MIVA averaging 3.78 kills per game.

4. No. 8 Long Beach State (5-3, 3-2 MPSF) vs. UC San Diego (3-5, 2-3 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in San Diego
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Less than 24 hours after falling two points short of beating the defending NCAA champions, the 49ers will try to recover and play a team prone to upsetting top 10 nationally ranked teams. Long Beach State lost to No. 3 UC Irvine in five games Friday to snap its three-match winning streak. UC San Diego has already upset USC at home, but since that victory it has dropped two of its last three home matches — including a three-game loss to No. 9 Cal State Northridge on Friday. Long Beach State is 55-5 all-time against UC San Diego. However, the 49ers last year lost to the Tritons and UC San Diego earlier this season pushed Long Beach State to five games at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational.

5. Ohio State (3-2, 0-0 MIVA) vs. Lindenwood (0-0, 0-0 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in St. Charles, Mo.
Follow live: Live stats, In-match Tweets
What to know: Lindenwood has a daunting task in its MIVA debut — trying to defeat the six-time defending conference regular-season champions Ohio State. The Lions begin their inaugural season in the MIVA after a multiple-year transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II. This two-match home conference series against Ohio State also will be Lindenwood’s season opener. Ohio State has already played five matches, including defeating Hawai’i at the Outrigger Invitational.