It’s all about the rematch tonight in college men’s volleyball.
No. 2 BYU and No. 4 Pepperdine will play each other for the second in time in four weeks in another showdown between two top-five ranked teams. In addition, No. 3 UCLA and Hawai’i will close out their two-match conference series after the Rainbow Warriors pulled off the upset in the opener.
Check out the top five college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
1. No. 2 BYU (11-3, 11-1 MPSF) vs. No. 4 Pepperdine (9-3, 9-3 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: BYU will get its chance to avenge its only conference loss so far this season. First-place BYU will continue its weekend homestand as it plays host to Pepperdine weeks after the Waves won the first meeting in five games. The Cougars following that loss have won their last five matches, and has a 1.5-match led on second-place No. 3 UCLA in the MPSF standings. In addition, All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander had a match-high 15 kills and four aces in a sweep against No. 7 USC on Friday. However, Pepperdine entered the week leading the MPSF and second in the nation with a 3.05 blocks per game average, including having 15 blocks in its win against BYU. Middle attacker Nikola Antonijevic is also fourth in the nation averaging 1.43 blocks per game. This match could also have significant ramifications at the end of the season as both teams battle for a possible spot in the NCAA Tournament. Among the factors the selection committee uses to determine the two at-large bids and seeding for the tournament field includes head-to-head record and record against teams under consideration for a tournament berth.
2. No. 3 UCLA (13-4, 10-3 MPSF) vs. Hawai’i (10-6, 8-5 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Honolulu
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: Hawai’i one day after upsetting No. 3 UCLA will now attempt to complete the series sweep against the Bruins. Outside attacker Brook Sedore finished with a match-high 24 kills to help the Rainbow Warriors win in four games and snap their two-match losing streak. Outside attacker Sinisa Zarkovic also had 15 kills, while middle attacker Taylor Averill added 12 kills in the series opener win. In addition, Hawai’i out-hit UCLA .346 to .309 and had at least a .400 attack percentage in two of the four games. All-American outside attacker Gonzalo Quiroga in the loss had a team-high 19 kills. UCLA also need a victory to keep pace with first-place BYU after the loss dropped the Bruins 1.5-matches behind the Cougars.
3. No. 8 Stanford (9-7, 6-7 MPSF) vs. Cal State Northridge (5-9, 5-8 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Northridge, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: It’s not a must-win scenario for Stanford or Cal State Northridge, but both teams can’t afford many more losses if either is going to make the postseason. Stanford following a four-game loss to No. 5 Long Beach State on Friday dropped into ninth place in the MPSF and one-match behind No. 9 UC Irvine for eighth place and the final berth for the MPSF Tournament. In addition, Cal State Northridge swept Pacific on Friday to remain in 10th place in the MPSF and move two-matches out of eighth place. This will be the second meeting this season between Stanford and Cal State Northridge. The Cardinal had eight aces and a .344 attack percentage in a home sweep against the Matadors in February.
4. Ball State (9-5, 4-2 MIVA) vs. Mount Olive (7-8, 6-3 CC)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Muncie, Ind.
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: A team from the Conference Carolinas has never defeated a nationally ranked team in the coaches poll. In order to change that stat though, Mount Olive will have to accomplish the feat against a team coming off one of its biggest victories of the season. Ball State started a season-long homestand this weekend after rallying from a one-game road deficit to defeat its conference rival Ohio State on Wednesday. All-American middle attacker Matt Leske in the victory had a match-high 11 block and moved up in the nation’s top 10 for blocks per game average. In addition, outside attacker Shane Witmer started in place of injured all-conference outside attacker Larry Wrather and had a career-high 17 kills. Mount Olive is in second place in the Conference Carolinas and has won six of its last eight matches. However, the teams is 0-4 against the MIVA this season, including a three-game loss to IPFW on Friday. In addition, all-conference outside attacker Angel Dache leads the Trojans and is second in the Conference Carolinas with a 4.35 kills per game average.
5. St. Francis (9-5, 4-2 EIVA) vs. Princeton (4-6, 3-1 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Princeton, N.J.
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: Princeton doesn’t have a lot of time to celebrate its upset victory against No. 10 Penn State. The Tigers a day after getting their first victory against the Nittany Lions in 16 years will now have to play St. Francis in a match-up between the two teams tied for third place in the EIVA. Princeton enters this match as the only team with three players — outside attackers Cody Kessel, Pat Schwagler and Devin Stearns — in the conference’s top 10 for kills per game. All three of those players also finished with double-digit kills in the five-game victory against Penn State. St. Francis has won four of its last five matches to move into third place in the conference. In addition, middle attacker Mark Kochan led all players with a season-high 15 kills in a four-game victory against George Mason on Friday.