Only a few weeks until the postseason and several matches today could go a long way to determining the conference tournament fields.
No. 6 BYU and No. 13 CSUN will open a two-match weekend series with both teams facing a near must-win situation for completely different reasons. In addition, No. 1 Hawai’i will attempt to remain in first place in the MPSF as it plays host to No. 15 Stanford.
Check out the nation’s top college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
No. 6 BYU (13-9, 10-8 MPSF) vs. No. 13 CSUN (10-15, 7-12 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Northridge, California
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: The pressure is on for both No. 6 BYU and No. 13 CSUN in this late-season two-match series. The Cougars enter this road series on a six-match losing streak — their longest losing streak since 1991 when the program was in its second year at the NCAA Division I level. BYU during this streak has lost four conference road matches, including two losses to then-unranked Stanford in March. In addition, the Cougars have dropped into a tie for fifth place in the MPSF and are in danger of not having a top-four MPSF finish and a postseason home match for the first time in almost five years. CSUN is tied for ninth place in the MPSF and trails eighth-place Stanford by a half-match for the final berth to the MPSF Tournament. The Matadors are attempting to make the postseason for the second time since reaching the 2010 NCAA Tournament semifinals. This match will also feature two of the top blockers in the conference. BYU middle attacker Michael Hatch and CSUN middle attacker Greg Faulkner are both in the top five of the MPSF averaging more than 1.20 blocks per game.
No. 1 Hawai’i (21-3, 16-2 MPSF) vs. No. 15 Stanford (10-14, 7-11 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Honolulu
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: No. 1 Hawai’i will open a two-match home series against No. 15 Stanford with the hopes of not having to return to the mainland for the upcoming MPSF Tournament. With four conference matches remaining, Hawai’i is in first place in the MPSF standings but has less than a one-match lead on second-place No. 4 UC Irvine and third-place No. 3 Pepperdine. In addition, the Rainbow Warriors will likely have to sweep this weekend home series to remain in contention of winning the MPSF regular season title and having home court advantage throughout the conference tournament. All-American middle attacker Taylor Averill leads the MPSF with a .506 attack percentage and is second in the conference with a 1.34 blocks per game average. Averill also had more than a .700 attack percentage three times during the Rainbow Warriors’ 14-match winning streak. Stanford enters this road series in contention with No. 12 UCLA and CSUN for eighth place in the conference and the final berth to the MPSF Tournament. However, the Cardinal will be without All-American setter James Shaw who is out with a leg injury. Freshman setter Kyle Dagostino had 40 assists as Stanford defeat Cal Baptist in four games last week to move into eighth place in the MPSF.
No. 7 Penn State (13-9, 7-0 EIVA) vs. Harvard (11-9, 5-3 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in University Park, Pennsylvania
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: In the same season when No. 7 Penn State set the program’s record for longest losing streak during the rally scoring era, it now can establish a double-digit winning streak. Penn State is on a nine-match winning streak as it plays host to Harvard in showdown between the top two teams in the EIVA standings. The Nittany Lions have a 2.5-match lead on second-place Harvard and are two victories away from clinching the EIVA regular season title. In addition, All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell has at least 15 kills in all but two matches during Penn State’s winning streak, including 15 kills in a four-game victory against Harvard in February. However, Harvard remains the only EIVA team to hold Russel to less than a .300 attack percentage in a match so far this season. Harvard libero Casey White also has a conference-best 2.46 kills per game average, while middle attacker Caleb Zimmick leads the EIVA with a 1.19 blocks per game average.