Two conference rivals will meet in a NCAA Tournament championship match so rare that’s it has its own name — MIVAgeddon IV.
The No. 1 seed Lewis and No. 3 seed Loyola will play each other for the national title in the first NCAA Tournament finals match featuring two schools from the MIVA. In addition, Loyola will attempt to become the fourth school to win back-to-back national titles, while Lewis will try for its first national title since vacating its 2003 championship.
Check out the college men’s volleyball national championship match to follow tonight.
No. 1 seed Lewis (27-3, 15-1 MIVA) vs. No. 3 seed Loyola (27-2, 14-2 MIVA)
Match vitals: 6:30 p.m. in Palo Alto, California
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, Radio feed, In-match tweets
Last meeting: Loyola beat Lewis in the MIVA Tournament championship match
Last NCAA Tournament title: Lewis (2003); Loyola (2014)
NCAA Tournament all-time record: Lewis (3-5); Loyola (4-1)
What to know: Even before the season started in January several MIVA coaches were already raving about the improved strength of the conference. The season will now end tonight with two MIVA teams playing for the national championship as Loyola and Lewis meet in what has been coined the MIVAgeddon IV. This will be the fourth meeting this season between the two schools, which were each at times ranked No. 1 in the national coaches poll during the regular season. The Flyers won both regular season matches, but the defending NCAA-champions Loyola on the road beat Lewis in the MIVA Tournament championship match last week. Loyola All-American outside attacker Thomas Jaeschke in that conference tournament match had a match-high 20 kills. In addition, Jaeschke leads the conference with both a 4.04 kills per game average and a 0.57 aces per game average. The junior also was named the AVCA National Player of the Year along with winning the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year, repeating as MIVA Player of the Year and being a finalist for the Karch Kiraly Award. The Ramblers enter this championship leading the nation with a .355 attack percentage. Lewis middle attacker Bobby Walsh, the 2015 Off the Block/Springbak National Blocker of the Year, had a match-high 11 blocks in the team’s four-game victory against Penn State in the semifinals. Walsh is also leading the nation with a 1.59 blocks per game average, while the Flyers as a team have a nation-best 3.44 blocks per game average. Along with its defense, Lewis outside attackers Geoff Powell and Greg Petty both finished in the conference’s top 10 averaging more than 3.20 kills per game.