NCAA Tournament play-in matches to follow tonight

Check out all the college men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament matches tonight and how to follow them live.

No. 4 seed Long Beach State (24-7, 17-5 MPSF) vs. No. 5 seed Erskine (21-6, 15-3 CC)
Match vitals:
6 p.m. in University Park, Pennsylvania
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Last NCAA Tournament title: Long Beach State (1991); Erskine (never)
How they got here: Long Beach State (earned final at-large bid); Erskine (won the Conference Carolinas Tournament to earn conference’s automatic bid)
What to know: Two of the nation’s top outside attackers statistically will face each other as the No. 4 seed Long Beach State plays the No. 5 seed Erskine in a play-in match to open the NCAA Tournament. Long Beach State freshman outside attacker TJ DeFalco was in the nation’s top 10 and leads all freshman with a 4.26 kills per game average. He also was the runner-up for the Karch Kiraly Award for the nation’s top outside attacker and earned Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American Team honors as he had eight matches with at least 20 kills. In addition, DeFalco ended the regular season with more than a .300 attack percentage and had 38 aces. Erskine outside attacker Mike Michelau is second in the nation averaging 4.46 kills per game and was named the 2016 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year. The graduating junior also is hitting .329 and had nine matches with at least 20 kills. However, in his three matches against nationally ranked teams at the start of the season Michelau was held to a combined 27 kills and a .159 attack percentage. This will be Erskine’s second NCAA Tournament appearance in the last three years. The Flying Fleet won the Conference Carolinas Tournament championship and became the first Conference Carolinas team to earn a seed higher than the No. 6 seed. Long Beach State earned the final at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and is making its first tournament appearance in almost a decade. Along with DeFalco, setter Josh Tuaniga and middle attacker Taylor Gregory were named AVCA All-Americans on Monday. The 49ers are fourth in the nation with a .327 attack percentage and one of eight teams in the nation hitting more than .300. Long Beach State also has never lost a match to a Conference Carolinas school.


No. 3 seed Ohio State (28-2, 15-1 MIVA) vs. No. 6 seed George Mason (18-11, 10-4 EIVA)
Match vitals:
8 p.m. in University Park, Pennsylvania
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Last NCAA Tournament title: Ohio State (2011); George Mason (never)
How they got here: Ohio State (won MIVA Tournament to earn conference’s automatic bid); George Mason (won EIVA Tournament to earn conference’s automatic bid)
What to know: Expect for there to be plenty of aggressive serving in the NCAA Tournament play-in match between the No. 3 seed Ohio State and the No. 6 seed George Mason. Both the Buckeyes and Mason led their conferences and were among the nation’s leaders averaging more than an ace per game. Ohio State All-American outside attacker Nicolas Szerszen had a MIVA-best 51 aces, including an ace in sweep against George Mason in January. Szerszen also was named the 2016 Karch Kiraly Award winner and 2016 MIVA Player of the Year after finishing the regular season in the nation’s top 10 with both a 4.34 kills per game average and .404 attack percentage. In addition, the sophomore had a match-high 18 kills and one attack error on a season-best .733 attack percentage in the non-conference meeting against the Patriots. George Mason is making its first NCAA Tournament in almost 30 years after beating three nationally ranked teams in its last four matches and winning the four-team EIVA Tournament. The Patriots in their last four matches have a combined 26 aces, including eight aces in a EIVA Tournament semifinal sweep against Harvard. Outside attacker Paco Velez leads the EIVA with a 0.45 aces per game average and had a season-high six aces versus Harvard. In addition, outside attacker Jack Wilson leads the Patriots and is sixth in the conference with a 3.61 kills per game average. Wilson also had a match-high 22 kills in the team’s four-game victory versus St. Francis in the EIVA Tournament finals. Despite both teams’ ability to create pressure from the serving line, Ohio State was third in the MIVA with more than 450 service errors this season. In addition, George Mason was second in the EIVA with 437 service errors.