Conference tournament semifinal matches to follow tonight

The postseason spotlight is shining on the Midwest tonight as the MIVA Tournament continues.

No. 1 Loyola and IPFW will play each other in the conference tournament semifinals with the Mastodons eyeing to pull off one of its biggest upsets in program history. In addition, Lewis in the other semifinal will play its rival Ball State and try to make its case for a possible at-large bid.


Check out the college men’s volleyball conference tournament matches to follow tonight.

No. 1 seed Loyola (25-1, 14-0 MIVA) vs. No. 4 seed IPFW (21-6, 9-5 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Chicago
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: Loyola leads 2-0 (won in four games in February and won in three games in March)
Last MIVA Tournament title: Loyola (2013); IPFW (2007)
What to know: Loyola is the over-whelming favorite to win the conference title, but it will first have to get past an IPFW team in the semifinals that has been prone to upset the Ramblers at home in recent years. Despite losing both regular season head-to-head matches, IPFW the last two seasons as an unranked team has upset Loyola at Gentile Arena. In addition, the Mastodons were the last team to beat a No. 1 seed in the MIVA Tournament semifinals when they upset the Ramblers in 2005. IPFW reached the semifinals after sweeping Ohio State in the conference tournament quarterfinals on Saturday for the program’s first postseason win since 2007. The Mastodons in the victory had more than a .400 attack percentage and all-conference outside attacker Andrew Sellan had a match-high 15 kills. Loyola with outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke, the 2014 MIVA Player of the Year, not playing was still able to sweep Quincy in its quarterfinals match to extend its winning streak to a nation-best 23 matches. The last Off the Block bracketology projections also has Loyola as the No. 1 overall seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament regardless of how it fares for the rest of the MIVA Tournament.

No. 2 seed Lewis (22-6, 11-3 MIVA) vs. No. 3 seed Ball State (22-7, 10-4 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Romeoville, Ill.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, Radio feed, In-match tweets
Season series: Lewis leads 2-0 (won in three games in February and won in five games in March)
Last MIVA Tournament title: Lewis (2012); Ball State (2002)
What to know: Ball State hasn’t forgotten the All-American performance Lewis opposite Geoff Powell had the last time the two teams played each other. Powell in a late regular season match had a career-high 32 kills to lead the Flyers to rally from a two-game road deficit and beat the Cardinals. With that comeback victory, Lewis was able to secure the No. 2 seed over Ball State and home-court advantage for this semifinal match. The Cardinals have not won in Romeoville, Ill., since 2009, including a three-game loss in February. However, Ball State finished the regular season leading the conference and second in the nation with a 3.00 blocks per game average. In addition, middle attacker Matt Leske had a nation-best 1.60 blocks per game and added a season-high 12 blocks in the five-game loss to Lewis. This semifinal match could also have significant implications to the at-large bid race for the NCAA Tournament. The latest Off the Block bracketology projections has Lewis as the first-team out in the at-large bid race and needs a victory against Ball State remain in serious contention.