Conference tournament matches to follow tonight

Photo courtesy of USC athletics

Check out all the postseason matches today involving NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball teams and how to follow them live.

MPSF Tournament semifinals

No. 1 seed BYU (20-6, 10-2 MPSF) vs. No. 6 seed USC (8-19, 3-9 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets, TV (BYUtv)
Season series: BYU leads 2-0
Last MPSF championship: BYU (2016); USC (2009)
Last postseason meeting: USC defeated BYU in five games in the 2015 MPSF Tournament quarterfinals
What to know: USC already became the first No. 6 seed in seven years to win a MPSF Tournament match. The Trojans will now have the even bigger challenge of trying to become the first team in six years to upset the top-seeded team in the MPSF Tournament. USC following a four-game upset victory against Pepperdine in the quarterfinals travels to play the No. 1 seed BYU in the MPSF Tournament semifinals. Outside attacker Gianluca Grasso in that opening round of the conference tournament had 19 kills on a season-high .607 attack percentage. He also was named the AVCA National Player of the Week as he helped USC win its first postseason match since beating BYU in the 2015 MPSF Tournament quarterfinals. Along with Grasso, All-MPSF outside attacker Jack Wyett had a match-high 20 kills against Pepperdine. Wyett returning to the court this season after a two-year absence is in the nation’s top 10 with a 3.78 kills per game average. In addition, he had a combined 23 kills in the Trojans’ two regular season losses to the Cougars. BYU as the MPSF regular season champions earned home court advantage throughout the conference tournament and a bye to semifinals. All-MPSF setter Leo Durkin has guided the Cougars to the seventh-best attack percentage in the nation at .310, including hitting a combined .329 in the two wins versus the Trojans. Freshman opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez also had a season-high five aces along with 14 kills in the team’s most recent match against USC in March. Garcia, the 2018 MPSF Freshman of the Year, is among the MPSF leaders and in the nation’s top 25 averaging 3.44 kills per game. BYU is 23-2 all-time at home in the MPSF Tournament with its most recent loss occurring in 2011.

No. 2 seed UCLA (23-6, 9-3 MPSF) vs. No. 4 seed Concordia-Irvine (16-14, 5-7 MPSF)
Match vitals:
4:30 p.m. in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Live stats, Pay-per-view online video, In-match tweets
Season series: UCLA leads 2-0
Last MPSF championship: UCLA (2006); Concordia-Irvine (never)
Last postseason meeting: First postseason meeting between UCLA and Concordia-Irvine
What to know: Concordia-Irvine went from picked to finish last by every coach in the MPSF preseason poll to now being one of four teams remaining in the conference tournament and two wins away from the NCAA Tournament. The first-year MPSF program to continue its postseason run, though, will have to get its first all-time win against UCLA. Concordia-Irvine after earning the No. 4 seed swept Grand Canyon in the quarterfinals on Saturday to advance to the MPSF Tournament semifinals. All-MPSF setter Chandler Gibb in the postseason victory guided the Eagles to a .318 attack percentage and had a match-high eight blocks. Gibb also is fourth in the conference with a 9.70 assists per game average. UCLA All-MPSF setter Micah Ma’a leads the MPSF and is third in the nation with a 10.65 assists per game average. In addition, UCLA is second in the country with a .356 attack percentage and has hit more than .325 in nine consecutive matches. Ma’a along with his offensive performance this season is second in the MPSF averaging 0.48 aces per game, including having three combined aces in the two regular season victories against the Eagles. With a victory, UCLA will advance to the MPSF Tournament finals for the second time in the last three years. The Bruins also have never lost to a lower-seeded team in the MPSF Tournament since John Speraw became their head coach in 2013.

EIVA Tournament semifinals

No. 1 seed George Mason (17-11, 13-1 EIVA) vs. No. 4 seed Princeton (11-15, 7-7 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. in Fairfax, Virginia
Follow live: Live stats, Pay-per-view online video, In-match tweets
Season series: George Mason leads 2-0
Last EIVA championship: George Mason (2016); Princeton (1998)
Last postseason meeting: Princeton defeated George Mason in four games in the 2010 EIVA Tournament semifinals
What to know: It’s a completely new feel to the EIVA Tournament. For the first time in 20 years, a team besides Penn State earned the No. 1 seed and the right to play host to the four-team conference tournament. George Mason following a program-record 11-0 start to conference play won the EIVA regular season title and will play host to the Princeton in the semifinals. Included int he Patriots’ historic start to the EIVA were two regular season victories against the Tigers. All-EIVA setter Brian Negron led the George Mason offense to more than .300 attack percentage in both of those wins, including the team hitting .342 during a home sweep in February. Negron, the EIVA Player of the Year, also had two aces and the match-winning kills as George Mason defeated the Patriots in five games in March. This semifinal match will feature two of the top pin-hitters in the conference. Princeton opposite George Huhmann leads the EIVA and is in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.65 kills per game average, while George Mason opposite Hayden Wagner is second in the conference averaging 3.53 kills per game. Huhmann enters the postseason having more than 20 kills in two of his last three matches. In addition, he had a match-high 19 kills on a .531 attack percentage in a road sweep against Penn state on Friday. The Patriots, though, held Huhmann to five kills and a season-low negative-.063 attack percentage the last time the Tigers played at RAC Gym. Both George Mason and Princeton reached the postseason despite the first month of the season being a combined 4-10 in non-conference play. George Mason and Princeton also are the only two programs besides Penn State to win an EIVA championship in the last 20 years.

No. 2 seed Penn State (15-10, 10-4 EIVA) vs. No. 3 seed Harvard (11-13, 10-4 EIVA)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. in Fairfax, Virginia
Follow live: Live stats, Pay-per-view online video, In-match tweets
Season series: Tied at 1-1
Last EIVA championship: Penn State (2017); Harvard (never)
Last postseason meeting: Penn State swept Harvard in the 2013 EIVA Tournament finals
What to know: Penn State will have its top offensive option back in the starting lineup for its EIVA Tournament semifinal match against Harvard. All-EIVA opposite Calvin Mende after not starting in three matches because of an injury returned to the court and had 11 kills in Penn State’s regular season finale win against NJIT on Saturday. Mende suffered the late season injury in a five-game road loss to Harvard. In addition, Mende had 15 kills on a .522 attack percentage against the Crimson before suffering that injury midway through the third game. Despite the injury, Mende finished the regular season in the conference’s top six with both a 3.15 kills per game average and a .302 attack percentage. Harvard outside attacker Brad Gretsch also is among the conference’s offensive leaders. The All-EIVA selection as part of Harvard’s 6-2 offensive system is third in the EIVA averaging 3.50 kills per game and has the fourth-best attack percentage in the EIVA at .317. Gretsch enters the postseason after having a season-high 23 kills in a five-game loss to George Mason on Friday. Along with Gretsch, All-EIVA middle attacker Riley Moore had a career-high 14 kills on a .875 attack percentage in the previous meeting against the Nittany Lions. Harvard has defeated the defending EIVA champions Penn State twice in the last five years. However, the Crimson have never beaten the Nittany Lions in the postseason. This also is the first time since 1998 that Penn State will play a neutral site or road match in the EIVA Tournament.

Big West Tournament quarterfinals

No. 3 seed UC Irvine (20-8, 6-4 Big West) vs. No. 6 seed UC San Diego (9-18, 0-10 Big West)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. in Long Beach, California
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: UC Irvine leads 2-0
Last conference championship: UC Irvine (2015); UC San Diego (never)
Last postseason meeting: First postseason meeting between UC Irvine and UC San Diego

No. 4 seed CSUN (15-10, 5-5 Big West) vs. No. 5 seed UC Santa Barbara (11-12, 4-6 Big West)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. in Long Beach, California
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: Tied at 1-1
Last conference championship: CSUN (1993); UC Santa Barbara (2011)
Last postseason meeting: First postseason meeting between CSUN and UC Santa Barbara