Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

About one month away from the start of the conference tournaments and several teams postseason fates could be on the line this weekend.

Cal Baptist will try to hold down eighth place and the final spot in the MPSF Tournament as it travels to No. 1 BYU. In addition, Hawai’i and USC will meet in a two-match series that is a virtual must-win for both schools.

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


1. No. 1 BYU (13-3, 12-2 MPSF) vs. Cal Baptist (8-9, 5-7 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Two of the top outside attackers in the nation having breakout seasons will face each other as BYU and Cal Baptist open a two-match conference series. Cal Baptist outside attacker Levi Cabral leads the nation with a 4.29 kills per game average. In addition, BYU freshman outside attacker Ben Patch on Tuesday became of the first player in NCAA history to win back-to-back AVCA National Player of the Week honors and set the single-match rally-scoring school record with 35 kills in a victory against then-No. 1 UC Irvine last weekend. Patch is also in the nation’s top 20 with a 3.55 kills per game average. This match could also be a potential MPSF Tournament quarterfinal match-up. BYU enters this weekend in first place, while Cal Baptist is in eighth place — the final berth in the conference tournament.

2. USC (4-9, 4-9 MPSF) vs. Hawai’i (5-12, 4-10 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Honolulu
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: The MPSF Tournament is a month away but this weekend’s two-match series between USC and Hawai’i is a near de-facto elimination series from postseason contention. USC enters in 10th place in the MPSF and two-matches behind eighth-place Cal Baptist for the final spot in the conference tournament. Hawai’i after losing two home matches to Cal State Northridge last weekend is in 11th place and two-and-half matches out of eighth place. This match will also be Homecoming for USC All-American starting setter Micah Christenson. Christenson, the 2012 AVCA Newcomer of the Year, grew up in Hawaii and returns to play Hawai’i for the first time in his college career.


3. No. 10 Lewis (13-5, 8-0 MIVA) vs. Princeton (7-3, 5-2 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Princeton, N.J.
Follow live: Live stats, Pay-per-view online video
What to know: For the first time in their programs histories, Lewis and Princeton will play each other. Lewis goes into this non-conference match on a nation-best 12 match winning streak, including a sweep on the road against Ohio State last weekend to take sole possession of first-place in the MIVA. Princeton has won six of its last seven matches with its lone loss coming against Penn State. The Tigers are also 3-0 at home this season and have already defeated a nationally ranked team this season — the first time it accomplished that feat in almost 10 years.

4. No. 4 Stanford (12-6, 9-6 MPSF) vs. UC Santa Barbara (7-12, 5-10 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed
What to know: Stanford will attempt to solve its road woes as it travels to play UC Santa Barbara. The Cardinal are 3-5 on the road this season and have lost their last two road matches. However, both those losses were to top-five nationally ranked teams. UC Santa Barbara is in ninth place in the MPSF and has won two of their last three matches. This will also be the final regular season meeting between the two teams. Outside attacker Brian Cook had a team-high 11 kills as Stanford swept UC Santa Barbara in January.

5. No. 6 Ohio State (12-3, 5-1 MIVA) vs. Grand Canyon (12-7, 5-3 MIVA)
Match vitals:
6 p.m. in Phoenix, Ariz.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Both Grand Canyon and Ohio State will battle to solidify getting a home match in the upcoming MIVA Tournament as they open a two-match weekend series. Ohio State begins the weekend in second place in the conference, while Grand Canyon is in third place and one-match behind the Buckeyes. The top four teams in the MIVA at the end of the regular season are awarded home matches for the conference tournament quarterfinals. Grand Canyon is on a six-match winning steak, but has never defeated Ohio State in program history. The Buckeyes are 6-0 all-time against the Antelopes, including two victories last season.