Conference tournament semifinal matches to follow tonight

Photo by Jay Sowers

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

Big West Tournament semifinals

No. 1 seed Long Beach State (24-1, 9-1 Big West) vs. No. 4 seed CSUN (16-10, 5-5 Big West)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. in Long Beach, California
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: Long Beach State leads 2-0
Last conference championship: Long Beach State (2017); CSUN (1993)
Last postseason meeting: CSUN defeated Long Beach State in four games in the 1996 MPSF Tournament quarterfinals
What to know: The run at a perfect season may be over. The chances of winning the inaugural Big West Tournament championship and the program’s first NCAA championship in almost 30 years are still well intact for Long Beach State. Long Beach State after losing its regular season finale to end its undefeated season will begin the postseason with a home match against CSUN in the Big West Tournament semifinals. The 49ers, along with having a nation-best .378 attack percentage, had three players on Friday named finalists for national college men’s volleyball awards. Setter Josh Tuaniga for the second consecutive year was named a finalist for the Lloy Ball Award, while opposite Kyle Esing was named the finalists for the Bryan Ivie Award. Outside attacker TJ DeFalco also was named a finalist for the Kircah Kiraly Award and has a chance to repeat as the award winner. DeFalco, the 2018 Big West Player of the Year, has the nation’s best attack percentage for a pin-hitter at .383 and is in the nation’s top 15 averaging 3.66 kills per game. He also had a match-high 15 kills on a .458 attack percentage and three aces in Long Beach State series finale sweep against CSUN in March. CSUN advanced to the semifinals with a four-game victory against UC Santa Barbara on Thursday. All-Big West opposite Arvis Greene had a team-high 20 kills to help the Matadors earn their first postseason win since 2010. Greene has a nation-best 4.61 kills per game average and along with Ensing was one of the three finalists for the Bryan Ivie Award. In addition, the senior had a combined 25 kills on a .291 attack percentage in the two regular season losses to the 49ers.

No. 2 seed Hawai’i (18-7, 6-4 Big West) vs. No. 3 seed UC Irvine (21-8, 6-4 Big West)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. in Long Beach, California
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: Tied at 1-1
Last conference championship: Hawai’i (never); UC Irvine (2015)
Last postseason meeting: UC Irvine swept Hawai’i in the 2011 MPSF Tournament quarterfinals
What to know: This is a whole lot more than a conference tournament semifinal match — it’s a defacto NCAA Tournament play-in match. The winner of the Big West Tournament semifinal match between Hawai’i and UC Irvine is projected to hold the advantage for the final at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, according to the latest Off the Block bracketology. Hawai’i enters the postseason after pulling off a five-game upset against previously undefeated Long Beach State in its regular-season finale on Saturday. All-MPSF setter Joe Worsley guided the Rainbow Warriors to a .328 attack percentage in the victory that clinched the No. 2 seed and bye to the Big West Tournament semifinals. In addition, Hawai’i is third in the nation with a .346 attack percentage and hit more than .300 in four of its final five regular season matches. UC Irvine has the fifth-best attack percentage in the nation at .337, including hitting a season-high .551 in a sweep against UC San Diego in the Big West Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday. All-Big West middle attacker Scott Stadick was one of three Anteaters with at least eight kills and a .500 attack percentage in that postseason victory. Stadick is in the nation’s top-three with both a 1.32 blocks per game average and a .467 attack percentage. The sophomore also was named a finalist on Friday for the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year and the Ryan Millar Award, which is presented to the nation’s top middle attacker. Hawai’i had two players named finalists for the college men’s volleyball national awards. Libero was selected as a finalist for the Erik Shoji Award, and outside attacker Stijn van Tilburg was named an International Player of the Year finalist. van Tilburg is fourth in the nation averaging 4.07 kills per game. The junior from The Netherlands also had a combined 48 kills in the two-match regular season series against the Anteaters, including a season-high 27 kills on a .458 attack percentage in the series finale.

ConfCarolinas Tournament semifinals

No. 1 seed King (21-5, 15-1 ConfCarolinas) vs. No. 4 seed Belmont Abbey (13-15, 8-8 ConfCarolinas)
Match vitals:
5 p.m. in Bristol, Tennessee
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: King leads 2-0
Last ConfCarolinas championship: King (never); Belmont Abbey (never)
Last postseason meeting: First postseason meeting between King and Belmont Abbey

No. 2 seed Barton (20-7, 15-1 ConfCarolinas) vs. No. 3 seed Mount Olive (16-12, 11-5 ConfCarolinas)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. in Bristol, Tennessee
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
Season series: Barton leads 2-0
Last ConfCarolinas championship: Barton (2017); Mount Olive (2010)
Last postseason meeting: Barton swept Mount Olive in the 2017 ConfCarolinas Tournament finals