Conference tournament semifinal matches to follow tonight

The final match-up for Conference Championship Friday will be decided today.

The MPSF Tournament semifinals get underway with Hawai’i and Pepperdine meeting in a critical match for both their hopes of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. In addition, UC Irvine will attempt to avoid the upset as it plays host to USC in the other semifinal.

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


MPSF TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS

No. 2 seed Hawai’i (24-5, 18-4 MPSF) vs. No. 3 seed Pepperdine (23-5, 17-5 MPSF)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. in Irvine, California
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-matches tweets
Season series: Hawai’i leads 2-0
What to know: Hawai’i will have a chance to put an end to the perception that it can’t win away from its home court as it plays Pepperdine in the MPSF Tournament semifinals. The Rainbow Warriors are 9-25 all-time in road or neutral site postseason matches with its last win coming in 2002. However, the Hawai’i was 9-1 on the road this season before being swept in a two-match road series against BYU during the final week of the regular season to drop out of first place in the MPSF standings. Pepperdine enters this semifinal match needing to win the conference tournament to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. The Waves trail the Rainbow Warriors in the majority of selection committee criteria categories. In addition, a win in the semifinals would not be enough to give Pepperdine an at-large bid ahead of Hawai’i, according to the latest Off the Block bracketology. This match will also feature two of the top opposites in the nation. Pepperdine All-American opposite Parker Kalmbach won the Bryan Ivie Award after leading the conference with a 4.10 kills per game average. Hawai’i outside attacker Brook Sedore finished third in the voting for the national award and was sixth in the MPSF averaging 3.42 kills per game.

No. 1 seed UC Irvine (26-4, 19-3 MPSF) vs. No. 4 seed USC (19-8, 15-7 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. in Irvine, California
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: Tied at 1-1
What to know: UC Irvine wants to put an end to history repeating itself tonight. The Anteaters earned the No. 1 seed and will have home court for the rest of the MPSF Tournament for the first time since 2009 when USC pulled off an upset against UC Irvine in the semifinals. Both UC Irvine and USC enter this semifinal match on the conference’s longest winning streaks with the Anteaters at eight matches and the Trojans at five matches. UC Irvine also has a nation-best .361 attack percentage, including having a .481 attack percentage and three attack errors in a sweep against UCLA in the quarterfinals. USC overcame a one-game deficit to defeat BYU in five games in its quarterfinals match Saturday for its first postseason victory since 2012. In addition, USC setter Micah Christenson is among the nation’s leaders with a 10.65 assists per game average and repeated as the Lloy Ball Award winner earlier this week. UC Irvine opposite Zack La Cavera, the 2015 MPSF Player of the Year, had a team-high 39 combined kills in the two regular season matches against USC.