Initial look at the conference tournament semifinal matches

The conference tournament quarterfinals are over and only 12 teams left in the nation control their own fate to reach the four-team NCAA Tournament.

The conference tournament will continue for the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF this week with semifinal matches. Here is the initial look and the historical information to know about every conference tournament semifinal match.


MPSF TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS

No. 1 seed BYU (23-4, 21-3 MPSF) vs. No. 4 seed UCLA (21-10, 16-8 MPSF)
Match vitals:
8 p.m. Thursday in Provo, Utah
Season series: Tied at 1-1 (BYU won in three games in February; UCLA won in three games in April)
Last MPSF semifinal victory: BYU (2008); UCLA (2006)
Historical stats to know: UCLA and BYU have met in the MPSF Tournament three times with the Bruins winning their only semifinal match, sweeping the Cougars in the 1995 conference tournament. BYU is also attempting to join the 2010 Stanford team as the only No. 1 seed to win the MPSF Tournament since 2005.

No. 2 seed UC irvine (23-6, 18-6 MPSF) vs. No. 3 seed Long Beach State (23-7, 18-6 MPSF)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. Thursday in Provo, Utah
Season series: UC Irvine leads 3-0 (won in three games in January, in five games in January and in four games in March)
Last MPSF semifinal victory: UC Irvine (2012); Long Beach State (2008)
Historical stats to know: UC Irvine is undefeated in postseason play since All-American outside attacker Kevin Tillie joined the team for the 2012 season, and in his six career postseason matches the senior has a team-high 4.38 kills per game average. Long Beach State has three loses already to UC irvine during the regular season but the 49ers in the last 30 years have never lost to an opponent four times in a single-season.


MIVA TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS

No. 1 seed Lewis (19-9, 10-4 MIVA) vs. No. 5 seed Grand Canyon (17-14, 7-7 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. Wednesday in Romeoville, Ill.
Season series: Lewis leads 2-0 (won in four games and five games in February)
Last MIVA semifinal victory: Lewis (2012); Grand Canyon (never)
Historical stats to know: Lewis has lost one MIVA Tournament home match since joining the MIVA in 1994 and is 5-0 at home in the conference tournament since returning in 2007 from its NCAA postseason ban. Grand Canyon has never defeated Lewis in its program history, but the Antelopes enter this match after winning their first postseason match in their program history.

No. 2 seed Loyola (20-9, 10-4 MIVA) vs. No. 3 seed Ball State (21-5, 9-5 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. Wednesday in Chicago
Season series: Tied at 1-1 (Loyola won in three games in February; Ball State won in four games in April)
Last MIVA semifinal victory: Loyola (2011); Ball State (2009)
Historical stats to know: Ball State is on a 14-match losing streak in road matches against Loyola with the Cardinals’ last win in Chicago coming in 1999. However, Ball State’s first regional title in program history was won in Chicago when it defeated George Williams in the championship match of the 1961 Great Lakes Volleyball Regional championships. Loyola has lost in the MIVA Tournament semifinals four of the last six years but was never the higher seed in any of those loses.


EIVA TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS

No. 1 seed Penn State (21-7, 13-1 EIVA) vs. No. 4 seed Princeton (13-9, 9-5 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. Thursday in University Park, Pa.
Season series: Penn State leads 2-0 (won in four games in February and four games in March)
Last EIVA semifinal victory: Penn State (2012); Princeton (2010)
Historical stats to know: Penn State since losing to Princeton in the 1998 EIVA Tournament semifinals is on a 35-match winning streak in the conference tournament and has won an NCAA-record 14 consecutive conference championships. Princeton is the only team besides Penn State to represent the East Coast in the NCAA Tournament since 1991.

No. 2 seed George Mason (15-11, 11-3 EIVA) vs. No. 3 seed Harvard (17-8, 10-4 EIVA)
Match vitals:
5:30 p.m. Thursday in University Park, Pa.
Season series: George Mason leads 2-0 (won in three games in March and four games in April)
Last EIVA semifinal victory: George Mason (2012); Harvard (never)
Historical stats to know: George Mason has won seven of its last eight matches against Harvard dating back to 1984, including an upset victory in the EIVA Tournament semifinals last year. The Crimson have never won an EIVA Tournament match since their program started in 1981.

3 Replies to “Initial look at the conference tournament semifinal matches”

  1. I was at UC for the quarterfinal, and a lot of us had byucougars.com open on our phones — it was a freaky night watching both the 1v8 and 2v7 matches almost turn into huge upsets!

  2. it was definitely a stressful night Saturday in Provo. The Cougars will have to play much better if they want to beat UCLA on Thursday. I’l sure the Bruins will be pumped up with a chance to play for the National Championship on their home court!

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