Initial look at NCAA Tournament semifinal matches

Four teams remain vying for a national championship as NCAA Tournament semifinals will take place Thursday in Palo Alto, California.

Check out the match-ups and the stats to know entering these postseason college men’s volleyball matches.


NCAA TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS

No. 1 seed Lewis (26-3, 15-1 MIVA) vs. No.5 seed Penn State (21-9, 12-0 EIVA)
Match vitals:
6 p.m. Thursday in Palo Alto, California
Last meeting: Lewis beat Penn State in four games in February
Last NCAA Tournament title: Lewis (2003); Penn State (2008)
NCAA Tournament record: Lewis (2-5); Penn State (16-29)
How they got here: Lewis (received first at-large bid to NCAA Tournament); Penn State (defeated Hawai’i in the NCAA Tournament play-in match)
Historical stats to know: This is the fourth semifinal match in the history of the NCAA Tournament between two non-West Coast teams. Penn State has played in the three previous matches going 1-2, including a loss to Loyola last season in the NCAA Tournament semifinals. A No. 1 seed has never lost a NCAA Tournament semifinal match played on the West Coast during the rally scoring era.

No. 2 seed UC Irvine (28-4, 19-3 MPSF) vs. No. 3 seed Loyola (26-2, 14-2 MIVA)
Match vitals:
8 p.m. Thursday in Palo Alto, California
Last meeting: Loyola beat UC Irvine last season
Last NCAA Tournament title: UC Irvine (2013); Loyola (2014)
NCAA Tournament record: UC Irvine (8-1); Loyola (3-1)
How they got here: UC Irvine (won the MPSF Tournament championship); Loyola (swept Pfeiffer in the NCAA Tournament play-in match)
Historical stats to know: If UC Irvine wins it would join UCLA as the only other program to have a nine-match NCAA Tournament winning streak. A Loyola victory would set-up the first NCAA Tournament finals between two non-West Coast schools in the tournament’s history. UC Irvine is undefeated all-time as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.