Top 5 college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

It’s a short turnaround tonight in college men’s volleyball for several teams following lengthy conference matches less than 24 hours ago.

No. 1 Stanford and No. 7 UC Irvine will both attempt to rebound from losing a five-game conference match on Friday to a top-10 nationally ranked team. In addition, out in the Midwest No. 2 Loyola looks to make its case for No. 1 in the national rankings as it plays host to Mount Olive.

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


1. No. 1 Stanford (3-1, 0-1 MPSF) vs. No. 9 UC Santa Barbara (2-0, 1-0 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: There will likely be a new No. 1 in the national polls next week, but Stanford coming off its first loss of the season can remain in content to keep its top spot in the polls if it can beat UC Santa Barbara. Stanford after earning its first No. 1 ranking in almost two years earlier this week lost a road match to UCLA in five games on Friday. Outside attacker Steven Irvin had a team-high 22 kills against UCLA — his second match this season with at least 20 kills. Despite the loss, setter James Shaw had 57 assists as the Cardinal out-hit the Bruins .310 to. .296. The loss, though, could result in a new team getting the No. 1 ranking in the national coaches poll for the fourth consecutive week to open the season. UC Santa Barbara enters its home match against Stanford after sweeping Pacific in its conference opener on Friday. Middle attacker Ryan Thompson in the victory had a match-high five blocks as the Gauchos held Pacific to a .057 attack percentage.

2. No. 7 UC Irvine (2-4, 0-3 MPSF) vs. Cal Baptist (1-3, 1-2 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Irvine, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: Don’t hit the panic button just yet on the Anteaters. UC Irvine will attempt to stop a three-match losing streak and get its first conference victory of the season it plays host to Cal Baptist. This is the second consecutive year that the Anteaters have experienced a three-match losing streak early in the conference season. The team last season recovered from that early losing streak to win the NCAA championship. UC Irvine’s home match against Cal Baptist comes less than 24 hours after it lost to BYU in five games. Outside attacker Tamir Hershko in the loss had a team-high 25 kills, while All-American middle attacker Collin Mehring led all players with six blocks. Cal Baptist defeated UC San Diego in a fifth-game overtime on Thursday for its first win of the season. In addition, outside attacker Johannes Brink had a match-high 24 kills in the victory.


3. No. 2 Loyola (3-1, 0-0 MIVA) vs. Mount Olive (0-1, 0-1 Conference Carolinas)
Match vitals:
4 p.m. in Chicago
Follow live: Gametracker, In-match tweets
What to know: In what could be a preview of a NCAA Tournament match later this season, Mount Olive will travel to the Midwest to play the defending MIVA champions Loyola. The Ramblers resumed their season-opening homestand following a bye week as it swept Erskine on Friday. Loyola to open its season upset BYU and UC Irvine and jumped to No. 2 in the latest coaches poll — its highest coaches poll ranking in school history. This match will also conclude Mount Olive’s season-opening Midwest weekend road trip. Mount Olive in its season opener almost upset No. 10 Lewis before losing in four games. In addition, Mount Olive was picked as the favorite to win the Conference Carolinas in the conference’s preseason coaches poll that was released earlier this week.

4. Penn State (2-2, 0-0 EIVA) vs. Ball State (1-2, 0-0 MIVA)
Match vitals:
4 p.m. in University Park, Pa.
Follow live: Gametracker, In-match tweets
What to know: One of the oldest college men’s volleyball non-conference rivalries will resume tonight as Penn State plays host to Ball State. Both teams with an exception of one year have annually played each other at least once in non-conference play since 1982. Penn State is on a two-match winning streak after sweeping IPFW on Friday in its home opener. Outside attacker Aaron Russell had a match-high 12 kills against the Mastodons. It was also the third match this season that Russell led the Nittany Lions in kills. Ball State opened its East Coast road trip with a four-game loss to St. Francis on Friday. However, the Cardinals have won the last two meetings against the Nittany Lions dating back to 2011.

5. Ohio State (1-3, 0-0 MIVA) vs. George Mason (0-0, 0-0 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio
Follow live: Gametracker, Pay-per-view online video, In-match tweets
What to know: Ohio State snapped its season-opening three-match losing streak and will now try end its weekend homestead undefeated as it plays George Mason. The Buckeyes returning home after going winless at the Outrigger Invitational picked up their first victory of the season as it swept Lees-McRae on Friday. The Buckeyes held the Bobcats to a negative attack percentage and less than 15 points in all three games. In addition, Ohio State ended the match out-hitting Lees-McRae .407 to -.153. Ohio State is on an eight match winning streak against George Mason dating back to 2009. However, the Patriots hold the all-time series advantage against the Buckeyes 25-24. This will also be the season-opener for George Mason, which was picked to finish in fourth place in the EIVA preseason coaches poll.