Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

The conference tournaments are inching closer to starting and tonight’s matches could have big implications on the seeding for those tournaments.

No. 6 Stanford looks to remain in contention for a chance to host a MPSF Tournament match and avoid an upset as it plays host to No. 9 Cal State Northridge. In addition, Penn State has chance to win the EIVA regular season championship this season if it can get past second-place Princeton tonight.

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


1. No. 6 Stanford (12-8, 9-8 MPSF) vs. No. 9 Cal State Northridge (10-10, 8-10 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: Stanford plays host to Cal State Northridge in one of its most difficult match of the season — its first match back following its annual three-week layoff. The Cardinal is 2-6 since 2005 in its first match coming off its end-of-the-quarter break. Stanford, though, is on a six-match winning streak against Cal State Northirdge, including defeating the Matadors in four games on the road in February. A victory would also move Stanford a half-match behind Pepperdine for fifth place in the conference. Cal State Northridge is on a four-match losing streak and tied for the eighth place and the final berth into the MPSF Tournament.

2. Penn State (15-6, 9-1 EIVA) vs. Princeton (10-6, 8-2 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Princeton, N.J.
Follow live: Live stats, Pay-per-view online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: The Nittany Lions will conclude their season-long eight-match road trip with a chance to win the EIVA regular seaosn championship. For Penn State to accomplish that feat this weekend it will have to win both of its matches, including playing second-place Princeton tonight. Penn State is 3-3 during its month-long road trip and defeated St. Francis last weekend to snap a three-match losing streak. Princeton is on a five-match winning streak in conference play with their last EIVA loss coming against the Nittany Lions in February. The Tigers have also been without all-conference outside attacker Cody Kessel for a month because of a broken hand. Princeton last season at home, though, nearly upset Penn State and had multiple match-point opportunities before losing in five games.


3. Mount Olive (21-4, 14-1 Conference Carolinas) vs. Ohio State (15-5, 7-3 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio
Follow live: Gametracker, Pay-per-view online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Mount Olive will attempt to not only pull off the biggest win in its program history but the biggest upset in its entire conference’s history as it travels to play Ohio State. The Trojans have a nation-best 21 victories and already clinched the Conference Carolinas regular season championship — their third regular season title in the last four years. In addition, Mount Olive in non-conference play earlier this season forced Penn State to overtime and lost the three-match game by a combined eight points. Ohio State enters this weekend looking for a rebound victory after losing to No. 15 Ball State and IPFW last weekend. The Buckeyes are a 2-0 all-time against the Trojans sweeping both matches.

4. No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (12-12, 8-10 MPSF) vs. Hawai’i (9-14, 8-12 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Honolulu
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: The conference tournament is still three weeks away, but this two-match weekend series between Hawai’i and UC Santa Barbara will have a postseason, must-win feel. The Warriors enter this weekend in 10th place and one-match behind UC Santa Barbara for the final berth in the eight-team MPSF Tournament. In addition, if Hawai’i losses both these matches it realistically will be eliminated from postseason contention, while even a series split could make it more difficult for the Warriors to make the postseason. UC Santa Barbara enters on a season-best five-match winning streak, but are also 2-8 on the road this season. In addition, Gauchos middle attacker Dylan Davis leads the nation with a 1.42 blocks per game average.

5. No. 4 UCLA (15-9, 11-7 MPSF) vs. UC San Diego (7-16, 4-14 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in San Diego
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: One day before playing No. 2 UC Irvine, UCLA is walking into a potential trap match against a team that has been prone to upset the Bruins in recent years. UC San Diego plays host to UCLA and is eyeing an opportunity to beat the Bruins for the sixth time in their program history. The Tritons are 5-52 all-time against the Bruins, but last season at home UC San Diego upset UCLA. The Bruins have won both matches against the Tritons earlier this seaosn, including a five-game victory at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational in January.