The lengthy eight-month off-season has finally come to an close and the 2017 season officially premiers tonight.
Check out all the matches today involving NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball teams and how to follow them live.
No. 8 UC Irvine (0-0, 0-0 MPSF) vs. Concordia-Irvine (0-0)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Irvine, California
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: Two schools separated by less than two miles will open the college men’s volleyball season as No. 8 UC Irvine makes a five-minute road trip for a non-conference match against Concordia-Irvine. The Anteaters one-year removed from winning the MPSF and reaching the NCAA Tournament semifinals finished an injury-plagued 2016 season in eighth place in the MPSF. However, Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American opposite Tamir Hershko returns to the court for the Anteaters this upcoming season. Hershko missed the majority of last season with an injury but still had a team-high 3.71 kills per game. In addition, all-conference selection Michael Saeta enters his senior season after transitioning midway through the 2016 season from setter to opposite. Saeta finished the season with a 1.79 kills per game average and was a finalist for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Server of the Year with the nation’s third-best aces per game average at 0.52. Along with these returning starters, UC Irvine added freshman Scott Stadick. The 7-foot middle attacker from Wisconsin helped lead the U.S. Men’s Junior National Team to the gold medal at the NORCECA U21 Continental Championship during the summer. Concordia-Irvine finished last season 10-7 — the nation’s second-best record among independent teams. Among the starters returning for the Eagles includes outside attacker Andrew Hammer, who had a team-high 2.62 kills per game average last season. This will be the final season of Concordia-Irvine’s three-year transition from a NAIA to NCAA Division II program. In addition, the Eagles during the off-season were granted membership to the MPSF beginning in 2018. UC Irvine is playing its final season in the MPSF before leaving to join the newly-formed Big West men’s volleyball conference.
No. 6 Lewis (0-0, 0-0 MIVA) vs. Alberta (8-2)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Jasper, Alberta
Follow live: In-match tweets