Schedule rankings: Top 15 non-conference matches for EIVA teams in 2019

Photo courtesy of Penn State athletics and Craig Houtz

Off the Block in collaboration with the EIVA presented throughout the fall The Top 15 EIVA Non-Conference Matches that ranked the league’s marquee matches set for the 2019 season

Check out what the Off the Block editors selected as the top non-conference matches scheduled for EIVA teams during the upcoming season.

The EIVA is oldest East Coast men’s volleyball conference and has eight members — Charleston, George Mason, Harvard, NJIT, Penn State, Princeton, St. Francis and Sacred Heart. It also is one of the five NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball conference that receives an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

1. Penn State vs. BYU
Jan. 18 at Penn State
Penn State and BYU first played each other in 1990, but this will be the first time in the series history that the Nittany Lions will have a home match against the Cougars. Penn State finished last season in second place in the EIVA, while BYU won the MPSF championship and advanced to the VolleyFour for the third straight year. Read the match breakdown

2. George Mason vs. UC Irvine
Jan. 12 at George Mason
The defending EIVA regular season champions will have a marquee non-conference match on its home court as it will play host to UC Irvine. George Mason is attempting to get its first win in 25 years against UC Irvine, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament opening round last season. Read the match breakdown

3. Penn State vs. Loyola
Feb. 2 at Loyola
The Nittany Lions will open the second month of the regular season against a team that ended last season in the the top 10 of the national rankings. Penn State and Loyola will continue their annual non-conference meeting after splitting their home-and-home series in 2017. Read the match breakdown

4. Princeton vs. Pepperdine
Dec. 30 at Princeton
Princeton after last season coming within one match of reaching its first NCAA Tournament in 20 years will now open the 2019 college men’s volleyball season. The Tigers will travel to play the Waves in the nation’s first regular season match of the season. Read the match breakdown

5. NJIT vs. Hawai’i
Jan. 10 at Hawai’i
Two of the top European players in college men’s volleyball face each other as opposite Alvaro Gimeno and NJIT will travel across the country to play outside attacker Stijn van Tilburg and Hawai’i. Read the match breakdown

6. St. Francis vs. BYU
Jan. 19 at St. Francis
St. Francis will have one of its biggest non-conference home matches in program history as it plays host to the defending MPSF champions BYU. Read the match breakdown

7. George Mason vs. Pepperdine
March 12 at Pepperdine
George Mason will travel across the country to play a likely top-10 nationally ranked team. In addition, George Mason has never defeated Pepperdine in their series history. Read the match breakdown

8. Harvard vs. UC Santa Barbara
Jan. 3 at UC Santa Barbara
Harvard will begin its title defense of the EIVA championship by attempting to pull off an upset and get the program’s first all-time win against UC Santa Barbara. Read the match breakdown

9. Ohio State vs. Penn State
Jan. 5 at Ohio State
Even a rivalry deep in history like Penn State and Ohio State can have a first. This match between the Nittany Lions and the defending MIVA champions will be the earliest meeting during a regular season in the 48-year series history. Read the match breakdown

10. Princeton vs. USC
Jan. 31 at USC
Princeton and USC had its first all-time meeting last season. The two teams will now meet for the second consecutive year as Princeton travels to USC. Read the match breakdown

11. St. Francis vs. Long Beach State
March 8 at Long Beach State
St. Francis will get its shot to upset the defending NCAA champions Long Beach State in a mid-season non-conference match. Read the match breakdown

12. George Mason vs. Ball State
Feb. 10 at Ball State
George Mason will continue its annual non-conference series versus Ball State — one of the top defensive teams in the nation last season. Read the match breakdown

13. Charleston vs. UC Irvine
Feb. 1 at Grand Canyon
The Golden Eagles are going big during the program’s second all-time trip to the west. Charleston will play UC Irvine as part of a non-conference event at Grand Canyon. Read the match breakdown

14. Princeton vs. Lewis
March 9 at Princeton
Princeton will attempt to pull off its first victory in program history against Lewis as they play host to the Flyers. Read the match breakdown

15. Harvard vs. Barton
March 18 at Barton
Harvard will have its first road trip to the ConfCarolinas in program history as it will play the defending co-ConfCarolinas regular season champions Barton. Read the match breakdown

EIVA non-conference schedules

Charleston

Jan. 4 at Ohio State
Jan. 11 at Lindenwood
Jan. 12 at McKendree
Jan. 16 vs. Stevenson
Jan. 18 vs. King
Feb. 1 vs. UC Irvine (at Grand Canyon)
Feb. 1 vs. Benedictine-Mesa (at Grand Canyon)
Feb. 2 at Grand Canyon
Feb. 16 vs. Queens
March 6 vs. Wittenburg
March 8 vs. Emmanuel
March 9 vs. Emmanuel
March 29 vs. Lawrence Tech (at Lourdes)
March 29 at Lourdes
April 3 at Juniata

George Mason

Jan. 4 at Queens
Jan. 5 at Barton
Jan. 11 vs. Erskine
Jan. 12 vs. UC Irvine
Jan. 18 at Ohio State
Feb. 1 vs. Coker
Feb. 9 at Purdue Fort Wayne
Feb. 10 at Ball State
March 12 at Pepperdine
March 15 at Grand Canyon
March 16 at Grand Canyon

Harvard

Jan. 3 at UC Santa Barbara
Jan. 4 vs. CSUN (at UC Santa Barbara)
Jan. 5 vs. Long Beach State (at UC Santa Barbara)
Jan. 12 vs. UC San Diego
Feb. 1 vs. Ball State
Feb. 2 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne
March 18 at Barton
March 19 at Mount Olive

Penn State

Jan. 5 at Ohio State
Jan. 12 vs. North Greenville
Jan. 18 vs. BYU
Jan. 25 vs. McKendree
Jan. 26 vs. Lindenwood
Jan. 31 at Lewis
Feb. 2 at Loyola
Feb. 8 at Long Beach State
Feb. 9 vs. UC Santa Barbara (at Long Beach State)
March 8 at USC
March 9 vs. UCLA (at USC)
March 15 at Ball State
March 16 at Purdue Fort Wayne
March 19 vs. Ohio State

Princeton

Dec. 30 at Pepperdine
Jan. 2 at UCLA
Jan. 4 at Ball State
Jan. 5 at Purdue Fort Wayne
Jan. 11 vs. UC Irvine (at George Mason)
Jan. 12 vs. Erskine (at George Mason)
Jan. 29 at UC San Diego
Jan. 31 at USC
Feb. 1 at CSUN
March 9 vs. Lewis
March 21 at BYU
March 22 vs. Hawai’i (at BYU)
March 23 vs. McKendree (at BYU)

St. Francis

Jan. 11 vs. Emmanuel
Jan. 12 vs. Daemen
Jan. 12 vs. Anderson Broaddus
Jan. 19 vs. BYU
Jan. 25 vs. Lindenwood
Jan. 26 vs. McKendree
Feb. 1 at Ohio State
Feb. 8 vs. Hawai’i (at Queens)
Feb. 9 at Belmont Abbey
Feb. 10 at Queens
March 8 at CSUN
March 9 at Long Beach State
March 15 at Ball State
March 16 at Purdue Fort Wayne