Conference tournament semifinal matches to follow tonight

Three more spots to Conference Championship Friday will be decided tonight.

The MIVA Tournament semifinals continue as Loyola plays host to Ohio State with a chance to reach the conference finals for the third straight year. In addition, the EIVA Tournament gets underway with both semifinal matches.

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


MIVA TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS

No. 2 seed Loyola (23-2, 15-2 MIVA) vs. No. 3 seed Ohio State (22-8, 12-5 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Chicago
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: Loyola leads 2-0
Last MIVA Tournament title: Loyola (2014); Ohio State (2011)
What to know: The only thing preventing a MIVAgeddon rematch in the conference tournament championship is one of the most dominant programs in the MIVA’s history. Loyola will play host to Ohio State with a spot in the MIVA Tournament championship match against Lewis on the line. This will be the second meeting between the two teams in less than two weeks after the Ramblers swept the Buckeyes in their regular season finale. All-American outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke had a match-high 16 kills on a .448 attack percentage in the victory. In addition, Jaeschke ended the regular season with a conference-best 4.13 kills per game average and repeated as the MIVA Player of the Year. Ohio State reached the semifinals after sweeping Ball State in the conference tournament quarterfinals on Friday. All-conference outside attacker Michael Henchy leads Ohio State averaging 3.19 kills per game and is one of three Buckeyes in the conference’s top 15 for kills per game average.

EIVA TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS

No. 2 seed Harvard (13-11, 7-5 EIVA) vs. No. 3 seed George Mason (14-12, 7-5 EIVA)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. in University Park, Pennsylvania
Season series: Harvard leads 2-0
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Last EIVA Tournament title: Harvard (never); George Mason (1988)
What to know: Expect for defense to be on display as Harvard and George Mason play each other to open the EIVA Tournament. Both teams led the conference with more than a 2.30 blocks per game average during the regular season. In addition, All-EIVA middle attacker Caleb Zimmick had an EIVA-best 1.17 blocks per game average, including have a combined 12 blocks in the Crimson’s two victories against the Patriots. However, Zimmick did not play in Harvard’s season finale win against Sacred Heart on Saturday to clinch the No. 2 seed. In addition, Casey White who moved from outside attacker to Harvard’s starting libero midway through the season is second in the conference with a 2.31 digs per game average. George Mason setter Brian Negron led all freshmen in the nation with a 9.70 assists per game average to earn Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team honors. In addition, outside attacker Paco Velez was named a finalist for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year after having a nation-best 0.57 aces per game average.

No. 1 seed Penn State (18-9, 12-0 EIVA) vs. No. 4 seed Princeton (11-12, 6-6 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. in University Park, Pennsylvania
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: Penn State leads 2-0
Last EIVA Tournament title: Penn State (2014); Princeton (1998)
What to know: Princeton has been waiting for this opportunity all season — a chance to become the first team since 1998 to beat Penn State in the EIVA Tournament. The Tigers were the last team to beat the Nittany Lions in the conference tournament and during the regular season when they achieved the feat last season. However, Princeton had a combined 54 service errors in its two regular season losses to Penn State during the second half of the season. Penn State enters the conference tournament on a nation-best 14-match winning streak and as the EIVA regular season champions. This semifinal match will also feature two of the top offensive players in the nation. Penn State All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell led the EIVA with a 4.65 kills per game average and won the Karch Kiraly Award for the nation’s top outside attacker. Princeton opposite Cody Kessel finished the regular season second in the conference averaging 4.32 kills per game.