Check out all the matches today involving NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball teams and how to follow them live.
King (24-2, 13-1 ConfCarolinas) vs. Mount Olive (15-7, 13-2 ConfCarolinas)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Mount Olive, North Carolina
Follow live: Live stats, Online video
What to know: The longest winning streak in the nation and first place in the Conference Carolinas will all be put to the test for King. King is on a program-record 14-match winning streak and has a half-match lead for first place in the conference as it travels to play second-place Mount Olive. Middle attacker Jon Wheaton leads the Conference Carolinas and is fourth in the nation with a .459 attack percentage. He also has at least a .500 attack percentage in his last seven matches and had 10 kills while hitting .600 in a five-game loss to Mount Olive in February. Along with his offensive performance, Wheaton is sixth in the nation with a 1.11 blocks per game average, including having a season-high seven blocks in King’s four-game victory against Emmanuel last week. The Tornado are second in the Conference Carolinas with a .269 attack percentage and have hit above their season average eight times during the current winning streak. In addition, setter Nick Drooker is among the national leaders with both a 9.93 assists per game average and a 0.58 aces per game average. Mount Olive was the last team to beat King, but it dropped out of first place following an upset loss to Limestone last week. Opposite Robert Poole is second in the Conference Carolinas with a 3.50 kills per game average and had a match-high 16 kills in the previous meeting versus King. Poole in that conference victory also six aces — the second of four times this season he had at least five aces in a match. The opposite enters the weekend leading the Conference Carolinas and second in the nation with a 0.64 aces per game average. Both King and Mount Olive have already clinched home court advantage for the upcoming Conference Carolinas Tournament and need two more victories to be assured a top-three seed in the tournament.
No. 13 Penn State (14-9, 6-2 EIVA) vs. Princeton (10-10, 6-3 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in University Park, Pennsylvania
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: No. 13 Penn State coming off of its biggest upset victory in more than decade will now have to play some of its biggest conference matches so far this season. Penn State with a half-match lead ahead of both NJIT and Princeton for first place in the EIVA will play host to both teams this weekend beginning with Princeton tonight. This will be Penn State’s first match since upsetting No. 1/1 Ohio State in five games on Tuesday — the program’s first victory against No. 1 ranked team since 2006. The Nittany Lions won the match with starting setter Luke Braswell out of the lineup because of a concussion. Preseason All-American outside attacker Chris Nugent in the victory finished with a match-high 19 kills on a .515 attack percentage and added a season-high eight digs. This was the third time in his four matches since returning to the court from injury that Nugent had at least 15 kills. Despite being sidelined for a month, Nugent remains in the conference’s top five with both a 3.40 kills per game average and a .315 attack percentage. He also had a team-high 19 kills while hitting .412 to help Penn State rally from a two-game road deficit and beat Princeton in five games in February. Princeton enters this road match with one of the top middle attacker combinations in the nation. All-EIVA middle attacker Junior Oboh has a .429 attack percentage and has hit at least .500 in five of the last seven matches. Oboh also had a season-high seven blocks along with nine kills on a .571 attack percentage in a four-game loss to No. 3/3 BYU last week. Freshman middle attacker George Huhmann is in the nation’s top 15 with a .375 attack percentage and is fifth in the EIVA averaging 0.93 blocks per game. In addition, Huhmann had a combined 22 kills while hitting .559 in a two-match series split versus Grand Canyon. Along with its middle attackers, outside attacker Kendall Ratter is among the conference leaders with a 2.63 kills per game average. Ratter finished with a season-high 27 kills and four aces in the previous meeting against the Nittany Lions.
No. 11/10 USC (11-13, 5-10 MPSF) vs. No. 15 UC Santa Barbara (10-13, 5-10 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Los Angeles
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: The MPSF Tournament is still two weeks away, but there will be a virtual defacto play-in match tonight at the Galen Center. No. 11/10 USC will play host to No. 15 UC Santa Barbara with both teams tied for eighth place and the final berth to the conference tournament. USC lost to its crosstown rivals No. 6/6 UCLA on Wednesday to end a season-best five-match winning streak. Despite the loss, All-American outside attacker Lucas Yoder returned to the court for the first time in almost a month because of an injury. Yoder in the rivalry loss was the only Trojan to finish with more than five kills. Before the injury, Yoder led the nation with a 4.84 kills per game average and had at least 20 kills in four matches during February. UC Santa Barbara dropped into a tie with USC after blowing a two-game lead and losing a 25-point fifth-game overtime against last-place Cal Baptist on Thursday. The Gauchos are 1-8 in road matches and have not defeated a top-10 nationally ranked team this season. UC Santa Barbara outside attacker Jacob Delson is third in the nation with a 4.43 kills per game average, including having a match-high 20 kills in the loss to Cal Baptist. That was the seventh time this season Delson finished a match with at least 20 kills. Among Delson’s top performances of the season features 22 kills on a .447 attack percentage in a five-game home victory against the Trojans in January. The loser of this match between USC and UC Santa Barbara could still reach the MPSF Tournament but would likely need the opponent to lose both of its remaining MPSF matches next week. USC ends the season with a two-match home-and-home series against Cal Baptist, while UC Santa Barbara has a two-match home series against No. 3/3 BYU.
OFF THE BLOCK DIVISION III NATIONAL MATCH OF THE DAY