It’s the halfway point of the college men’s volleyball season but there are several matches that could have a postseason feel tonight.
No. 2 Lewis will attempt to extend its winning streak to 10 matches and get another signature non-conference victory as it plays host to Penn State. In addition, No. 5 BYU will try to remain perfect at home as it opens its two-match series against No. 9 Long Beach State.
Check out the nation’s top college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
No. 2 Lewis (11-1, 3-0 MIVA) vs. Penn State (4-7, 2-0 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Romeoville, Illinois
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: If Penn State is going to make a push at moving back into the national rankings or improving its projected bracketology status, it will have to start this weekend with two of its most challenging matches of the season. Penn State will open its Midwest road trip against No. 2 Lewis before playing No. 1 Loyola on Saturday. Despite starting the season at No. 3 in the national coaches poll, the Nittany Lions are winless both against nationally ranked teams and in road matches. Road record and record against teams under consideration for the NCAA Tournament are among the pieces of criteria used by the selection committee to determine seeding for the NCAA Tournament. Lewis is on a nine-match winning streak, including a four-game road victory against Penn State in January. Preseason All-American outside attacker Greg petty had a team-high 18 kills in that win. In addition, Petty is one of three Flyers with more than a 3.30 kills per game average. Penn State All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell is second in the EIVA with a 4.65 kills per game average and led all players with 23 kills in the loss to Lewis earlier this season.
No. 5 BYU (9-3, 8-2 MPSF) vs. No. 9 Long Beach State (8-4, 5-4 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: The nation’s longest active home winning streak will be put to the test against the last road team to win at Smith Fieldhouse. No. 5 BYU enters its two-match home series against No. 11 Long Beach State on a 32-match home winning streak with the Cougars last home loss coming versus the 49ers in 2013. BYU leads the MPSF and is third in the nation with a 3.11 blocks per game average. In addition, the Cougars are the only team to have three players — middle attackers Joseph Grosh and Michael Hatch and outside attacker Jake Langlois — in the nation’s top 15 for blocks per game average. Hatch also had a match-high seven blocks in a four-game road victory against No. 3 USC last week. With that win, BYU begins this series in a tie for for first place in the MPSF. Long Beach State has won three of its last four conference matches to move into sixth place in the conference standings. However, the 49ers so far this season are 0-4 against teams currently ranked in the top 10.
No. 9 IPFW (9-3, 3-1 MIVA) vs. No. 12 Ohio State (10-2, 4-0 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Fort Wayne
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: Two coaches who are among the NCAA men’s volleyball all-time leaders for career victories will go up against each other for one of the final times as No. 9 IPFW plays host to No. 12 Ohio State. IPFW coach Arnie Ball in his final season before he retires is 37-55 all-time against Ohio State under coach Pete Hanson dating back to 1985 when Hanson took over the Buckeyes program. Ball in his farewell season, though, has guided the Mastodons to their first top 10 national ranking since 2008. In addition, IPFW announced earlier this week it is starting a $250,000 fundraising campaign to the name the team’s home court after the program’s only head coach. Ohio State is on a seven-match winning streak, including beating Lindewood two weeks ago to remain undefeated in the MIVA and for Hanson’s 600th career victory. This will also be the first meeting between the two teams since IPFW swept Ohio State in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals last season.
North Greenville (5-8, 1-5 CC) vs. Bluefield (2-6)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Tigerville, South Carolina
Follow live: Online video