Check out all the matches to follow today featuring NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball teams and how to follow the matches live.
No. 4 UC Irvine (0-0, 0-0 Big West) vs. No. 9 Loyola (0-0, 0-0 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Chicago, IL
Follow live: Live stats, In-Match tweets, Live Video (NBC Sports Chicago)
What to know: No. 4 UC Irvine – picked to finish third in the Big West behind Long Beach State and Hawai’i – will challenge themselves by playing 18 of their 27 matches away from home, beginning with a road match at Loyola. The two teams met in Provo, Utah, in opening weekend last year where the Eaters prevailed in four games. UC Irvine was led by opposite Karl Apfelbach, who led both teams with 22 kills and 15 digs. He went on to finish the season with 394 kills, 37 service aces and 476.5 total points. The Eaters also out-blocked the Ramblers 11 to 5 in their match last year. UC Irvine returns every starter from a team that made it to the NCAA Tournament opening round and finished sixth in the final 2018 coaches poll. Additionally, David Kniffin signed the top recruit coming out of high school last year, opposite Jonny Bowles. On the other side, Loyola was picked to finish second in the MIVA behind Lewis in the preseason poll. The Ramblers, who finished 2018 ranked No. 7 in the coaches poll, will rely on a pair of preseason all-conference returnees – setter Garrett Zolg and outside attacker Collin Mahan, who ranked fourth in the MIVA with 371 total kills – to lead the offensive attack. The biggest question for the Ramblers is who fills the hole created by the graduation of All-American middle attacker, Jeff Jendryk; this vacancy will immediately be tested as UC Irvine has Second-Team All-American middle attacker Scott Stadick on their side.
Princeton (0-2, 0-0 EIVA) vs. Ball State (0-0, 0-0 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Muncie, Indiana
Follow live: Live stats, In-Match tweets, Live Video
What to know: Ball State kicks off its 2019 season playing host to Princeton in a non-conference match. Coming off of a four-game loss to Loyola in the MIVA Tournament semifinals, Ball State was ranked fourth in the MIVA preseason poll behind Lewis, Loyola and Ohio State. Ball State graduated First-Team All-MIVA middle attacker Matt Walsh and Second-Team All-MIVA outside attacker Mitch Weiler, but return setter Second-Team All-MIVA Jake Romano and outside attacker Matt Szews (2017 MIVA Freshman of the Year). Szews finished last season with 27 service aces and 278 kills, averaging 2.78 kills per game, and scored a total of 335 points. After losing in four games to Harvard in the EIVA Championship, Princeton has come into the season as the preseason favorites to win the EIVA. Despite early non-conference losses to No. 6 Pepperdine and No. 2 UCLA, the Tigers look poised to live up to the hype. Among the players to watch are opposite George Huhmann and outside attackers Greg Luck and Parker Dixon. Preseason Second-Team All-American Huhmann earned First-Team All-EIVA honors after leading the EIVA in kills per set, total kills, points per set, and total points. Both teams come into the season unranked with Ball State missing the top 15 by only one spot with Princeton three spots behind. The teams last met in 2017 when Ball State won in a five-game overtime thriller, and Ball State currently leads the series 6-0-1.