Top 5 college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

Several teams outside the top 10 of the national rankings have a chance to get a statement victory tonight.

Hawai’i and Cal State Northridge highlight the slate of matches tonight as both teams try to move up in the MPSF standings. In addition, Princeton will attempt to bounce back from a winless West Coast road trip with a non-conference match against IPFW.


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

1. Hawai’i (5-4, 3-3 MPSF) vs. Cal State Northridge (3-4, 3-3 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Northridge, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: Hawai’i still in search of its first road victory of the season will open a two-match conference road series against Cal State Northridge. The Rainbow Warriors started the road portion of their conference season last week with two losses to UC Santa Barbara. Opposite Brook Sedore in the two losses had a combined 34 kills. Sedore also leads the Rainbow Warriors and is in the conference’s top 10 with a 3.60 kills per game. Cal State Northridge opposite Damani Lenore is third in the MPSF averaging 4.24 kills per game. The freshman has at least 20 kills in two of the Matadors’ last three matches and was named last week the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week. Cal State Northridge is 2-1 at home this season but is on a four-match losing streak to Hawai’i dating back to 2012.

2. IPFW (3-2, 0-1 MIVA) vs. Princeton (0-2, 0-0 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Princeton, N.J.
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: For the first time in college men’s volleyball history, Princeton and IPFW will meet in a non-conference match. Both teams enter this inaugural meeting following five-game losses in their most recent matches. IPFW lost its conference opener to in-state rival Ball State last week and dropped out of the national coaches poll, while Princeton last week lost to Concordia-Irvine to conclude a season-opening West Coast road trip. Outside attacker Eddie Rivera also had double-digit kills in all but one of IPFW’s matches this season and is fourth in the MIVA with a 2.16 digs per game average. In addition, Princeton libero Tony Ensbury leads the EIVA with a 2.88 digs per game average, including having a team-high 17 digs in the loss to Concordia-Irvine.


3. Grand Canyon (5-3, 0-0 MIVA) vs. Lindenwood (6-2, 1-1 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in St. Charles, Mo.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: The Antelopes throughout the off-season weren’t shy about stating they felt they were one of the top teams in the MIVA. Grand Canyon will now have the chance to showcase it belongs among the top of the conference as it plays a two-match road series against Lindenwood. The team also starts MIVA play with a winning record, including picking up non-conference victories against Pacific and George Mason. In addition, outside attacker Ben Ponnet leads the Anteaters and is among the conference leaders with a 3.23 kills per game average. Lindenwood is on a five-match winning streak and defeated Quincy last week for its first conference victory of the season. Outside attackers Collin Hackworth and Michael Adams are both in the MIVA’s top five averaging more than 3.25 kills per game.

4. No. 9 UC Irvine (6-6, 3-5 MPSF) vs. Pacific (1-8, 0-6 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Stockton, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: The two liberos who earned Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American honors will go up against each other as Pacific plays host to UC Irvine. Pacific libero Javier Caceres, a Preseason Second-Team All-American, is in the conference’s top five with a 2.64 digs per game average and had double-digit digs in two of the Tigers’ last three matches. UC Irvine libero Michael Brinkley, a Preseason First-Team All-American, entered this week as the only MPSF player to have more than 100 digs through the first month of the regular season. Pacific is on an eight-match losing streak and still searching for its first conference victory in the program’s final season. In addition, the Anteaters are on a 13-match winning streak against the Tigers dating back to 2007.

5. Penn State (6-2, 1-0 EIVA) vs. Erskine (3-2, 3-0 CC)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in University Park, Pa.
Follow live: Live stat, In-match tweets
What to know: No one can accuse Erskine of creating a soft non-conference schedule. The second-year program will travel to play the 15-time defending EIVA champions Penn State in its third non-conference match against a top-10 nationally ranked team this season. Erskine opened its season losing to No. 2 Loyola and No. 10 Lewis, but recovered to win its first three conference matches and is in first place in the Conference Carolinas. Erskine outside attacker Michael Michelau is also among the national leaders with a 4.41 kills per game average. Penn State remains undefeated through the first five matches of its season-long 11-match homestand, including defeating Ohio State in four games on Wednesday. In addition, the Nittany Lions have never lost to Conference Carolinas team and has dropped two games to a Conference Carolinas team since 2011.