Check out all the matches today involving NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball teams and how to follow them live.
No. 4/4 Ohio State (17-2, 9-1 MIVA) vs. No. 6/6 Penn State (12-5, 7-1 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in University Park, Pennsylvania
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: No. 6/6 Penn State a day after suffering its first conference home loss in almost 20 years will try to rebound with a non-conference match against its biggest rival. No. 4/4 Ohio State will travel to Penn State in the first meeting between the two teams in first place in their conferences. Penn State was undefeated in conference play before being upset at home against St. Francis on Friday. This was the Nittany Lions’ third consecutive loss and the first time it lost at home in a EIVA match since 1998. Ohio State is on a MIVA-best nine-match winning streak, including a road upset against then-No. 1/1 Long Beach State last week. Outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen had a season-high 26 kills on a .435 attack percentage in that victory and was named the National Player of the Week. The sophomore also started the week fifth in the nation with a 4.48 kills per game average and in the nation’s top 10 with a .416 attack percentage. Penn State outside attacker Chris Nugent despite the team’s recent losses had a team-high 17 kills against St. Francis for his 10th match this season with at least 15 kills. In addition, Nugent is in the top five of the EIVA with both a 4.21 kills per game average and a .330 attack percentage. This non-conference will also have significant bracketology ramifications for two teams projected to make the NCAA Tournament the latest Off the Block bracketology. Among the criteria the selection committee uses to determine the NCAA Tournament field includes head-to-head record, non-conference record and record versus teams under NCAA Tournament consideration.
No. 1/1 BYU (17-2, 13-2 MPSF) vs. No. 8/7 Pepperdine (10-7, 9-7 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets, TV (BYUtv)
What to know: One of the top blocking teams in the nation will have one more attempt to figure out a way to slow down All-American opposite Ben Patch. Patch finished with a match-high 18 kills on a .452 attack percentage as No. 1/1 BYU swept No. 8/7 Pepperdine on Friday to open their two-match series. The sophomore now enters the series finale having double-digit kills while hitting more than .300 in all seven home matches he has played in this season. Patch was one of three Cougars to have double-digit kills in the victory against the Waves that extended the team’s winning streak to a nation-best 13 matches. Outside attacker Jake Langlois had 12 kills, while outside attacker Brenden Sander added 11 kills. Pepperdine entered this series second in the nation with a 3.07 blocks per game average but was held to 3.5 blocks in the series opener. Opposite Matt Tarantino in the loss led the Waves with 17 kills. Tarantino has at least 15 kills in Pepperdine’s last four matches and is among the MPSF leaders with a 3.71 kills per game average.
Barton (12-4, 8-2 CC) vs. Erskine (11-4, 8-1 CC)
Match vitals: 2 p.m. in Due West, South Carolina
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: First-place Erskine will get an opportunity to avenge its only conference loss as it plays host to Barton in a battle between two top of the three teams in the Conference Carolinas standings. The Bulldogs earlier this month hit .500 in the opening game and decisive fifth game to upset the Flying Fleet and achieve the program’s first all-time win against Erskine. Barton finished that home victory out-hitting Erskine with a .344 attack percentage and has hit more than .300 in its last eight conference matches. In addition, Barton outside attacker Vasilis Mandilaris is among the national leaders for freshman with a 3.53 kills per game average. Erskine outside attacker Mike Michelau is second in the conference and among the national leaders averaging 4.54 kills per game. The junior also had a season-high 28 kills in the loss to Barton. Michelau has six matches with more than 20 kills this season, including accomplishing the feat four times in Erskine’s last five matches. Along with the outside attackers, this match will feature the top two setters statistically in the nation. Erskine setter David Grandy is leading the nation with an 11.60 assists per game average. In addition, Barton setter Federico Pagliara is second in the nation with an 11.31 assists per game average and has guided the team’s offense to the second best attack percentage in the conference at .305.
Limestone (8-10, 4-8 CC) vs. Belmont Abbey (10-8, 6-5 CC)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Belmont, North Carolina
Follow live: Online video