After four months and more than 500 matches across the country, one remaining match will decide the winner of the national championship.
The No. 1 seed BYU and the No. 2 seed UC Irvine will both try to capture their fourth national title in program history as the two teams meet in the NCAA Tournament championship match.
Check out the NCAA Tournament championship match to follow tonight.
No. 1 seed BYU (26-4, 21-3 MPSF) vs. No. 2 seed UC Irvine (24-7, 18-6 MPSF)
Match vitals: 6 p.m. in Los Angles
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
Season series: BYU leads 2-0 (won in four games in January and five games in February)
Last NCAA championship: BYU (2004); UC Irvine (2012)
NCAA finals record: BYU (3-1); UC Irvine (3-0)
What to know: David Kniffin said Friday that he knew from the moment he was hired as the UC Irvine new head coach during the summer the team he would likely have to beat to win a national championship would be BYU. Almost 10 months since becoming the Anteaters’ head coach, his prediction could not be more true. BYU and UC Irvine will play each other for the NCAA Tournament championship match with the winner getting their fourth national title in school history. The Cougars and Anteaters opened the season as the top two ranked teams in the nation and were the only teams to be ranked No. 1 in the national coaches poll throughout the entire regular season. The championship matchup is also the third time since 2000 that two teams ranked No. 1 at some point during the regular season will play each other in the NCAA finals. In addition, the Anteaters with a victory will become the third program in NCAA men’s volleyball history to repeat as national champions and the first to accomplish the feat in almost 20 years, while BYU is trying to snap its longest championship drought in program history. This championship match features several of the top outside attackers in college volleyball and multiple potential future Olympians. BYU All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander, the 2013 MPSF Player of the Year, is fifth in the nation with a 3.82 kills per game average and had a match-high 17 kills in the team’s semifinal sweep against Penn State. In addition, BYU opposite Ben Patch as a freshman earned All-American honors and will be playing his final college match before starting a two-year mission with the LDS church. UC Irvine is led by All-American outside attacker and French National Team member Kevin Tillie. Tillie in his senior season is among the national leaders with a 3.70 kills per game average and led all players with 14 kills and seven digs in a sweep against Loyola in the semifinals.