Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

It’s the final Wednesday of the regular season, and it’s so big it warrants a top-five match breakdown.

No. 3 UCLA will try to clinch a home match in the MPSF Tournament and remain in contention for the only at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament as it plays No. 5 Pepperdine. In addition, the Conference Tournament resumes tonight with both semifinal matches.

Check out this special Wednesday edition of the top-five men’s volleyball matches from around the nation to follow tonight.


1. No. 3 UCLA (18-10, 14-8 MPSF) vs. No. 5 Pepperdine (13-10, 12-10 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Los Angeles
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: In what could be a preview of a MPSF Tournament quarterfinals match next week, UCLA will play host to Pepperdine with a chance to secure a home match in the conference tournament. UCLA enters the final week of the regular season in fourth place in the MPSF and just needs to win one of its two remaining matches to be guaranteeing a home match for the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. In addition, if the postseason started today UCLA would play Pepperdine in that opening-round match. The Waves are in fifth place and have lost four of their last five matches, including blowing a two-match lead at home against No. 4 Long Beach State on Saturday. Pepperdine is also 3-8 on the road and won one road match in the last two months.

2. No. 2 UC Irvine (20-6, 17-6 MPSF) vs. Cal State Northridge (11-13, 9-13 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Irvine, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, In-match Tweets
What to know: Cal State Northridge will have another try to clinch the final spot in the MPSF Tournament, but it will have to defeat the defending-NCAA champions UC Irvine on the road. The Matadors had two chances last week to secure a spot in the postseason, but it lost to Pepperdine in five games and then was swept by USC. In order to clinch a postseason berth, Cal State Northridge needs to win either of its remaining matches or Hawai’i needs to loses one of its two matches this weekend. UC Irvine enters its conference regular season finale in second place and on a three-match winning streak. In addition, the Anteaters have not lost to the Matadors in three years, including a four-game win earlier this season. Outside attacker Kevin Tillie in that victory had a match-high 17 kills. Tillie is currently eighth in the nation averaging 3.83 kills per game.


3. Lees-McRae (18-12, 10-6 CC) vs. Pfeiffer (15-8, 13-3 CC)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Misenheimer, N.C.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Pfeiffer is two wins away from repeating as the Conference Carolinas champions, but it first will have to beat Lees-McRae in the conference tournament semifinals. The defending-champions Pfeiffer finished the regular season in second place and earned the No. 2 seed and a bye into the semifinals, while Lees-McRae as the No. 3 seed swept Belmont Abbey in the opening round Saturday to advance to the conference tournament semifinals. This match will also feature the top offensive team in the Conference Carolinas against the top defensive team. Pfeiffer outside attacker Caleb Brophy was named the Conference Carolinas Player of the Year after leading the conference and being fifth in the nation with a 4.01 kills per game average. In addition, Lees-McRae led the conference with a 2.45 blocks per game average, including 11 blocks in a four-game victory against Pfeiffer in their last meeting.

4. Mount Olive (22-5, 15-1 CC) vs. Limestone (14-13, 9-7 CC)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Mount Olive, N.C.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Mount Olive will try to continue its near perfect season as it plays Limestone in the conference tournament semifinals. The Trojans won the Conference Carolinas regular season championship after setting a school record for wins in a single-season and only losing one conference match. In addition, Mount Olive had three players earn First-Team All-Conference honors — including outside attacker Angel Dache who is in the nation’s top 25 with a 3.42 kills per game average. Limestone advanced to the semifinals as the No. 4 seed after defeating Erskine in four games in the quarterfinals on Saturday. The winner of this match will advance to play the other semifinal winner in the championship match Saturday.

5. No. 10 Loyola (18-8, 9-3 MIVA) vs. IPFW (12-11, 4-8 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: After a disastrous weekend road trip, IPFW’s doesn’t get easier with a home match against Loyola. IPFW lost to Lindenwood and last-place Quincy during the weekend and will now be guaranteed to play a road match in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals next week. Loyola is on an eight-match winning streak and swept Ohio State during the weekend to likely be the No. 2 seed for the upcoming conference tournament. However, the Ramblers lost to the Mastodons in five games earlier this season. For more on the conference tournament seeding scenarios, check out this video breakdown.