Top 5 college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

There are critical early-season conference matches from coast-to-coast tonight in college men’s volleyball.

No. 1 Pepperdine and No. 5 BYU will attempt to stay undefeated in the MPSF as they both play top-10 nationally ranked teams. In addition, not to be overlooked on the East Coast is a match-up between Mount Olive and Limestone, two of the preseason favorites to represent the Conference Carolinas in the NCAA Tournament.


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

1. No. 1 Pepperdine (4-0, 4-0 MPSF) vs. No. 4 Long Beach State (3-3, 2-3 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Long Beach, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, In-match tweets
What to know: Pepperdine after earning the No. 1 ranking in the AVCA coaches poll for the first time in four years will now try to get an early-season road conference victory against Long Beach State. The Waves through the first three weeks of the season have two players among the MPSF leaders in kills. Outside attacker Josh Taylor entered this week leading the nation with a 5.00 kills per game average, while opposite Parker Kalmbach is in the MPSF’s top 15 with a 3.73 kills per game average and was named the National Player of the Week on Tuesday. In addition, Pepperdine is the only remaining undefeated team in the nation among college men’s volleyball teams who have started their seasons. Long Beach State continues its homestand after a three-game loss to USC on Wednesday. The 49ers in the loss were held to a season-low .188 attack percentage.

2. No. 6 BYU (4-2, 4-0 MPSF) vs. No. 8 Stanford (3-2, 0-2 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: BYU has one of the best home-court advantages in the nation, but it’s had little affect on Stanford in recent years. The Cardinal entering its road match against the Cougars are 4-3 at Smith Fieldhouse since 2008. Stanford, though, is on a two-match losing streak after losing to both UCLA and UC Santa Barbara in five games during the weekend. BYU is on a four-match winning streak, including a five-game road victory against UC Irvine last week. In addition, All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander had a career-high nine aces in a sweep against UC San Diego on Saturday. Sander also started this week as the only player in the nation with more than 100 kills throughout the first three weeks of the season.


3. No. 7 USC (4-1, 3-1 MPSF) vs. Cal State Northridge (1-3, 1-2 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Northridge, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: It’s still early in the season, but USC outside attacker Lucas Yoder continues to make his case for the AVCA Newcomer of the Year. Yoder has led the Trojans in kills in every match so far this season and is in the conference’s top five with a 4.12 kills per game average. In addition, Yoder has won two of the first three Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week as the Trojans have won four of their last five matches. Cal State Northridge will play USC after almost upsetting Pepperdine on Wednesday. Freshman outside attacker Damani Lenore in the five-game loss to the Waves had a career-high 28 kills.

4. Lewis (4-2, 0-0 MIVA) vs. Harvard (0-1, 0-0 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Cambridge, Mass.
Follow live: Live stats, Pay-per-view online video, In-match tweets
What to know: The series history between Lewis and Harvard is pretty short. For the first time since 2006 and the second time the two programs’ histories, Lewis and Harvard will play each other. The Flyers are making their first East Coast road trip of the season for this rare non-conference match-up. Lewis extended its winning streak to three matches with victories against Erskine and Mount Olive last week. In addition, outside attacker Greg Petty enters the weekend among the MIVA leaders with a 3.11 kills per game average. Harvard is playing its first non-exhibition match since reaching the championship match at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational. All-EIVA outside attacker DJ White in that tournament title match had a team-high 14 kills as Harvard lost to Long Beach State in four games.

5. Mount Olive (1-2, 1-0 CC) vs. Limestone (4-1, 2-0 CC)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Mount Olive, N.C.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video
What to know: The two front-runners for the Conference Carolinas’ inaugural automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament will meet in an early-season conference match. Mount Olive returns a majority of starters from last year’s team that won the Conference Carolinas regular season championship. The team was also picked to win the conference in the Conference Carolinas preseason coaches poll. The Trojans, though, opened their season with losses to Loyola and Lewis during a Midwest road trip last week. Limestone remained undefeated in conference play, including a sweep against Pfeiffer on Tuesday. In addition, middle attacker Joel Muhlbach was an honorable mention selection for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week after having a match-high 10 blocks in a non-conference victory against Coker last week. This will also be the first meeting between the two teams since Limestone upset Mount Olive in the Conference Carolinas Tournament semifinals last season.