Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

With the new national rankings coming out in less than 48 hours, multiple teams are looking to send a statement to the voters in several marquee matches tonight.

No. 3 Stanford will try to add one more conference victory and make its case for why it should be the new No. 1 after BYU lost Friday, while Ball State will attempt to keep its perfect season alive for one more week and potentially move into the national rankings. In addition, Harvard and Springfield will face each other in the Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic championship match.

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


1. No. 3 Stanford (7-2, 4-2 MPSF) vs. Hawai’i (3-7, 2-5 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Honolulu
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Stanford and Hawai’i will conclude their two-match conference series after the Cardinals won a contentious opener in five games Friday that included players on both teams being reprimanded by officials for unsportsmanlike conduct. Outside attacker Steven Irvin in the victory had a career-high 27 kills, while outside attacker Brian Cook added 20 kills. Stanford also out-hit Hawai’i .287 to .218 — the first time this season the Cardinal failed to finish with at least a .300 attack percentage. Outside attacker Sinisa Zarkovic led Hawai’i with 16 kills in the series opener. If Stanford can win this match, it will also be in the running for the No. 1 national ranking when the new polls are released after No. 1 BYU lost on Friday.

2. Loyola (6-5, 0-0 MIVA) vs. Springfield (5-1)
Match vitals:
8 p.m. in Springfield, Mass.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Springfield one year after winning its first Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic championship in program history will now have a chance to repeat at its home tournament if it can pull off one of the team’s biggest upsets in its recent history. Springfield will play Loyola in the championship match of the non-conference tournament after both teams won its semifinal matches Friday. Loyola rallied from a one-game deficit to defeat Harvard in four games in its semifinal. Outside attacker Joseph Smazler in the victory had a season-high six aces and now leads the nation with 23 aces this season. Springfield, which is ranked No. 1 in the Division III national coaches poll, swept Juniata in the semifinals to advance to the title match. However, the Pride have never defeated the Ramblers with their last meeting coming in 2004.


3. No. 1 BYU (5-2, 4-1 MPSF) vs. No. 9 Cal State Northridge (4-3, 2-3 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Live stats, In-match Tweets
What to know: Two of the top defensive teams in the MPSF will face each other as BYU plays host to Cal State Northridge. The Cougars entered this week leading the conference holding opponents to a .205 attack percentage. However, BYU lost to Long Beach State in five games Friday for its first conference loss. The 49ers in the upset victory had a .301 attack percentage — the highest attack percentage the Cougars have allowed all season. The Matadors are third in the MPSF with a .231 opponent attack percentage. Cal State Northridge, though, has lost two of its last three matches, including a four-game road loss to Cal Baptist earlier this week.

4. No. 5 UCLA (7-5, 3-3 MPSF) vs. UC San Diego (4-7, 2-5 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Los Angeles
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: The UCLA and UC San Diego series before 2008 was about as close as a guaranteed victory as possible for the Bruins, but in the last five years this conference match-up has been anything but predictable. UC San Diego since getting its first victory in program history against UCLA in 2008 has defeated the Bruins five more times in the last five years. In addition, the Tritons late-season upset victory against the Bruins last year helped prevent UCLA from hosting a conference tournament match. UCLA since 2008 is 7-6 against UC San Diego, including a five-game victory against the Tritons in the UC Santa Barbara Invitational in January. The Bruins, though, have lost four of their last six matches and need a victory to avoid moving below .500 in conference play for the first time this season.

5. Ball State (6-0, 1-0 MIVA) vs. Lindenood (1-3, 1-2 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. in Muncie, Ind.
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: The only undefeated team left in the nation will attempt to get another conference victory and showcase why it belongs in the national rankings as Ball State plays host to Lindenwood. Ball State is off to its best start since 2007 and defeated Quincy in four-games Friday to win its MIVA opener. In addition, Ball State outside attacker Greg Herceg entered this weekend leading the nation averaging 4.57 kills per game. However, the Cardinals during this six-match winning streak to open the season have played two teams with a winning record and no nationally ranked teams. Lindenwood in its inaugural MIVA season defeated IPFW in four games Friday for its first MIVA victory in program history.