There may appear to be some lopsided match-ups, but beware of the upset tonight in college men’s volleyball.
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara and No. 13 Stanford highlights the slate of matches in the day’s only meeting between two nationally ranked teams. In addition, No. 14 Ball State will attempt to remain perfect in conference play as it plays host to Lindenwood.
Check out the nation’s top college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (5-4, 1-4 MPSF) vs. No. 13 Stanford (3-5, 2-3 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Santa Barbara, California
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: It’s still early in the season, but No. 8 UC Santa Barbara can’t afford another loss if it hopes to win the MPSF regular season championship. The Gauchos after being picked to finish second in the MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll have opened the conference season losing four of their first five matches. Despite being in 10th place in the MPSF, UC Santa Barbara entered the weekend among the conference leaders with a .309 attack percentage. In addition, the Gauchos had three players finish with double-digit kills in a four-game home loss to No. 5 Pepperdine on Friday. Stanford has not defeated a nationally ranked team this season, including a three-game loss to No. 9 UCLA on Thursday. This match will also feature two of the two setters in the nation. Both Stanford All-American setter James Shaw and UC Santa Barbara All-American setter Jonah Seif finished last season in the top-10 of voting for the Lloy Ball Award. Shaw and Seif were also were named to the preseason watch list for the 2015 Lloy Ball Award.
No. 14 Ball State (6-1, 1-0 MIVA) vs. Lindenwood (2-2, 0-1 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7:30 p.m. in Muncie, Indiana
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: No. 14 Ball State will attempt to continue its trend of slowing down Lindenwood all-conference opposite Colin Hackworth as the two teams meet in the opening weekend of their MIVA seasons. Hackworth enters the match among the MIVA leaders with a 3.81 kills per game average and has double-digit kills in every match this season. However, Ball State last season in a late-season match and in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals held Hackworth both times to less than 10 kills and a .200 attack percentage. Ball State is leading the nation with a 3.42 blocks per game average. In addition, freshman middle attacker Matt Walsh last week tied a school single-match rally scoring era record with 14 blocks in a sweep against Sacred Heart.
No. 11 Long Beach State (5-3, 2-3 MPSF) vs. Cal Baptist (3-6, 1-5 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Riverside, California
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: Freshman middle attacker Enrique Garcia will attempt to have a big encore blocking performance as Cal Baptist plays host to No. 11 Long Beach State. Garcia had 16 blocks in a sweep against UC San Diego last weekend to set the MPSF rally scoring era record for most blocks in a single match. The Lancers, though, since that record-setting performance have lost their last two matches, and Garcia has a combined five blocks. Long Beach State has lost two of their last three conference matches and was held to a negative attack percentage in a three-game loss to No. 2 USC on Wednesday. Freshman outside attacker Louis Richard in that loss had a team-high five kills and was to the only 49er to finish with more than a .250 attack percentage. Long Beach State is 13-1 all-time against Cal Baptist and has won the last six meetings.
North Greenville (1-7, 1-4 CC) vs. Cincinnati Christian
Match vitals: Noon in Bluefield, Virginia
Follow live: In-match tweets
Lees-McRae (1-2, 0-1 CC) vs. Emmanuel (0-4, 0-4 CC)
Match vitals: 7:30 p.m. in Franklin Springs, Georgia
Follow live: Online video