The push for the postseason is in full force throughout every conference.
No. 9 UCLA and No. 10 Hawai’i both play in critical conference matches as they try to lock-up the final spot in the MPSF Tournament. In addition, No. 3 Pepperdine has a chance clinch a conference tournament home match as it plays host to No. 8 USC.
Check out the top five college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
1. No. 3 Pepperdine (15-6, 15-6 MPSF) vs. No. 8 USC (15-9, 14-9 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Malibu, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: Pepperdine setter Matt West and USC setter Micah Christenson have gotten use to going up against each other. The two All-Americans have spent their careers competing for everything from starting spots on U.S. National teams to now seeding positioning for the upcoming MPSF Tournament. Pepperdine is in second place in the MPSF and a win against the Trojans can help the Waves move a step closer to locking down a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. West is also third in the conference with an 11.33 assists per game average and has guided the Waves offense to a .302 attack percentage this season. USC playing in its regular season finale is in seventh place and can clinch a postseason berth with a victory. In addition, Christenson leads the conference with an 11.74 assists per game average and has helped USC win four of its last five matches.
2. No. 6 Long Beach State (16-7, 13-7 MPSF) vs. No. 9 UCLA (15-9, 12-8 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Long Beach, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: If history is an indication, All-American outside attacker Taylor Crabb should have big offensive performance when Long Beach State travels to UCLA. Crabb has more than 20 kills in each of Long Beach State’s last two matches against UCLA, including a season-high 29 kills in a four-game victory against the Bruins in February. The senior has also led the 49ers in kills the last 10 matches and has a nation-best with a 4.80 kills per game average. Long Beach State enters this conference match needing a victory to remain in position for a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and a home match in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. UCLA is coming off of a five-game overtime upset loss to Cal State Norhtridge on Thursday to drop into a tie for eighth place and the final berth in the MPSF Tournament. In addition, the Bruins are trying to avoid becoming the UCLA team to not qualify for the postseason in program history.
3. No. 2 BYU (18-5, 18-3 MPSF) vs. No. 10 Hawai’i (14-10, 12-9 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Honolulu
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: The final berth in the MPSF Tournament is on the line for Hawai’i as it tries to complete the series sweep against BYU. The Rainbow Warriors rallied from a two-game deficit to defeat the first-place Cougars in the series opener Friday and moved into tie for eighth place in the MPSF. With three remaining regular season matches, Hawai’i is tied with UCLA for that final berth to the conference tournament but holds the tiebreaker over the Bruins. In addition, outside attacker Brook Sedore in the series opening victory had a match-high 17 kills and added six blocks. BYU entered the series having already clinched the No. 1 seed for the upcoming conference tournament but needs one more win to capture the out-right MPSF regular season championship. Outside attacker Taylor Sander in the loss also finished with a team-high 16 kills.
4. Ball State (18-7, 7-4 MIVA) vs. Grand Canyon (14-14, 2-9 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Phoenix, Ariz.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: Ball State will attempt to clinch a home match for the upcoming MIVA Tournament and complete the series sweep against Grand Canyon. The Cardinal swept the Antelopes in the opener on Friday to remain in third place in the MIVA. In addition, Ball State needs one more win in its final three matches or a Lindenwood loss to clinch a MIVA Tournament quarterfinals home match for the second consecutive year. Ball State in the series opener out-hit Grand Canyon .127 to .092, including holding the Antelopes to a negative attack percentage in the first game. In addition, Ball State All-American middle attacker Matt Leske finished with a match-high eight blocks. Grand Canyon outside attacker Ben Ponnet in the loss led all players with 17 kills.
5. Cal Baptist (4-20, 2-19 MPSF) vs. Pacific (2-22, 1-20 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Stockton, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: For one final time, Pacific will have a home men’s volleyball match. Pacific in its final season before the university dissolves the program will play host to its home regular season finale. The university during the off-season opted to end the Pacific men’s volleyball team after more than 20 seasons because of budgetary reasons and the need to finance a new schoolwide strategic initiative. Both the Tigers and Lancers enter this conference match having already been eliminated from postseason contention. However, Pacific middle attacker Tommy Carmody leads the conference with a 1.55 blocks per game average and 121 total blocks. In addition, the junior is among the front-runners to win the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year. Cal Baptist is on a nine-match losing streak and has won one match since the end of January.