A regular season Wednesday in college men’s volleyball doesn’t get bigger than tonight.
Four of the top 10 nationally ranked teams will be in action tonight, including No. 1 UCLA and No. 3 Pepperdine meeting in a critical conference match. In addition, Loyola and Lewis will renew their in-state rivalry in a rematch of last season’s MIVA championship match.
Check out this special Wednesday edition of the top college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
1. No. 1 UCLA (9-1, 6-0 MPSF) vs. No. 3 Pepperdine (5-1, 5-1 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Malibu, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: UCLA and its conference-best offense will try to remain the only undefeated team in MPSF play as it goes on the road to play the conference’s top defensive team Pepperdine. The Bruins leads the MPSF with both a .344 attack percentage and a 1.65 aces per game average. In addition, outside attacker Gonzalo Quiroga is tied for the conference lead with 20 aces. UCLA is on a nation-best nine-match winning streak and is the only undefeated MPSF team in conference play thanks to Pepperdine. Pepperdine defeated No. 4 BYU in five games on Saturday to move to third place in the MPSF. The Waves lead the nation with a 3.37 blocks per game average and have two players in the MPSF’s top 10 for blocks. Outside attacker Josh Taylor is also second in the conference with a 4.83 kills per game average.
2. No. 2 Loyola (7-1, 1-0 MIVA) vs. No. 10 Lewis (7-2, 0-0 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Romeoville, Ill.
Follow live:Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: Lewis doesn’t have to be reminded the last time it played Loyola. The Ramblers and Flyers will meet each other for the first time since the 2013 MIVA championship match, which ended with Loyola pulling the upset and its fans rushing Lewis’ home court in celebration. Loyola enters on a five-match winning streak, including sweeping Ohio State in its conference opener on Saturday. All-American outside attacker Joseph Smalzer in the victory had a match-high 17 kills and five aces against the Buckeyes. In addition, the Ramblers earned the program’s first No. 1 ranking in the national coaches poll last week before dropping to No. 2 in the latest poll released Monday. Lewis is on a conference-best six-match winning streak. Outside attacker Greg Petty is also among the conference leaders with both a 3.26 kills per game average and a .325 attack percentage.
3. Ohio State (4-4, 2-1 MIVA) vs. Penn State (5-2, 1-0 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7:15 p.m. in University Park, Pa.
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: Not even a blizzard is going to stop Penn State and Ohio State from renewing their non-conference rivalry. With icy and heavy snow in the forecast, The Nittany Lions will attempt to remain undefeated during their season-long 11-match homestand as it plays host to the Buckeyes. Penn State is on a five-match winning streak that started with the Nittany Lions sweeping the Buckeyes at the Outrigger Invitational in January. In addition, outside attacker Aaron Russell leads the EIVA with a 3.81 kills per game average and earned EIVA Offensive Player of the Week honors on Monday. Ohio State opposite Andrew Lutz is second in the MIVA averaging 3.52 kills per game. The Buckeyes also enter this non-conference match having won four of their last five matches.