Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

The Midwest and East Coast have the majority of top matches tonight, but the spotlight will be on the West Coast for another match-up between two top-five nationally ranked teams.

No. 1 BYU and No. 4 Long Beach State will play each other in a match that could not only have big implications in the conference standings but in the race for the lone at-large spot to the NCAA Tournament. In addition, out in the MIVA Lindenwood looks to pull another upset this weekend as it plays host to Loyola.

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


1. No. 1 BYU (16-3, 15-2 MPSF) vs. No. 4 Long Beach State (17-6, 13-5 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Long Beach, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, In-match Tweets
What to know: Two of the top outside attackers in the nation andlikely front-runners for the AVCA National Player of the Year willface each other as BYU and Long Beach State meet in a critical MPSFmatch. Long Beach State outside attacker Taylor Crabb leads the nation with a 4.36 kills per game average, while BYU outside attacker Taylor Sander is ninth in the nation with a 3.86 kills per game average. In addition, the last time these teams played each other both outside attackers combined for 40 kills. Sander had match-high 21 kills, but Crabb had 19 kills to help the 49ers upset the Cougars in five games in early February. BYU since that loss has won 10 of its
last 11 matches and is in first place in the MPSF with a two-match lead. Long Beach State is in third place in the MPSF and a victory against BYU would clinch the team a spot in the eight-team conference tournament. This match will also a retro-feel as it will be played Long Beach State’s secondary faculty the Gold Mine and the 49ers will be wearing throwback jerseys from the 1970s.

2. Loyola (13-8, 4-3 MIVA) vs. Lindenwood (17-8, 3-5 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in St. Charles, Mo.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: A day after pulling one of the upsets of the season, Lindenwood will attempt to pull another upset as it plays host to Loyola. Lindenwood swept No. 8 Lewis on Friday for the program’s first victory against a nationally ranked team since it transitioned from the NAIA to NCAA Division II. Outside attacker Colin Hackworth had a team-high 18 kills in the victory and is now fifth in the conference averaging a 3.44 kills per game. Loyola outside attacker Joseph Smalzer enters this conference match tied for second in the MIVA with a 3.69 kills per game average. The Ramblers are also on a four-match winning streak, including a victory against first-place Lewis last week to stay in third place in the MIVA.


3. Penn State (14-6, 8-1 EIVA) vs. St. Francis (8-12, 5-4 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Loretto, Pa.
Follow live: Live stats, In-match Tweets
Match vitals: Penn State will look to snap its worst losing streak in six years as it resumes conference play with a road match against St. Francis. The defending-EIVA champions enters this match after being swept by Ohio State last week to extend its losing streak to three matches — the program’s first three-match losing streak since 2007. If history is any indication, though, the Nittany Lions’ losing streak won’t reach four matches. Penn State is 31-0 all-time against St. Francis dating back to 1995, including a sweep against the Red Flashes in February. A victory would also clinch the first-place Nittany Lions a spot in the four-team EIVA Tournament. St. Francis is in fifth place in the conference and one-match behind fourth-place Harvard for the final spot in the conference tournament.

4. No. 6 Ohio State (15-4, 7-2 MIVA) vs. IPFW (9-9, 3-6 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: IPFW will try to do tonight it hasn’t done in almost six years: beat Ohio State. The Mastodons will play host to the Buckeyes and are on an 11-match losing streak against Ohio State. The last time IPFW defeated Ohio State was the 2007 MIVA Tournament championship match to advance to the Final Four. IPFW is on a two-match losing streak but has already defeated two nationally ranked teams earlier this month. Ohio State after losing to Ball State on Friday is in second place in the MIVA and a half-match behind first-place Lewis. The Buckeyes also need to beat the Mastodons to remain in control of their fate as they attempt to win their seventh consecutive MIVA regular season title.

5. Hawai’i (8-14, 7-12 MPSF) vs. Pacific (6-14, 3-13 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Honolulu
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Hawai’i’s late-season push for the final spot in the MPSF Tournament continues as it looks to complete the weekend series sweep against Pacific. The Warriors held the Tigers to less than a .200 attack percentage in the first two games of its four-game victory Friday. In addition, outside attacker JP Marks had a match-high 14 digs in the victory. Hawai’i with the win moved one-and-half matches out of eighth place and the final berth in the conference tournament. Pacific remains in last place in the MPSF and has not won a conference match since early February. In addition, the Tigers are now on a 32-match losing streak against the Warriors stretching back to 1997.