SUNY New Paltz and UC Santa Cruz are the final two teams remaining in the NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship. Check out what to know about today’s final and how to follow it live.
SUNY New Paltz (27-7, 8-1 UVC) vs. UC Santa Cruz (21-16)
Match vitals:6 p.m. in Union, New Jersey
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
What to know:UC Santa Cruz has now won its last nine matches in a row, and All-American middle attacker Raymond Cascio is averaging 21 kills per match during that winning streak. In its upset win over Stevens in the NCAA Division III Tournament semifinals, Cascio led all players with 20 kills. Cascio leads all of Division III with 14.00 attacks per game, 5.67 kills per game and 6.25 points per game. The Banana Slugs also out-blocked the Ducks, 11 to 2. SUNY New Paltz comes into the match having also won their last nine matches. In their semifinals upset win over Springfield, SUNY New Paltz hit .375 in the final three games. Individually, the Hawks were led by Aaron Carrk’s 18 kills and Nick Smith’s 16 kills. Smith and Carrk go one and two on the team for attacks per game, points per game, kills per game, and attack percentage. UC Santa Cruz leads the all-time series, 6-3, but SUNY-New Paltz has won the last three matches, including a four-game victory earlier this year in January in Santa Cruz. In that Jan. 13 match, SUNY New Paltz out-hit UC Santa Cruz .323 to .165, and Smith and Carrk both had 17 kills. UC Santa Cruz out-blocked SUNY New Paltz, 9 to 2. SUNY New Paltz is 2-1 in matches played at Kean this year, while UC Santa Cruz is 1-1. UC Santa Cruz will try to use its service game and blocking game to secure a victory, as the Banana Slugs rank No. 1 in Division III in blocks per game and No. 7 in aces per game. The Slugs also rank No. 1 nationally in opponent attack percentage. On the other side of the net, the Hawks rank No. 2 in attack percentage, and No. 3 in both kills per game and assists per game. The Hawks made it to the NCAA Division III Tournament semifinals in 2013, 2014, and 2015, won the title in 2016 and lost in the finals in 2017. UC Santa Cruz lost in NCAA Tournament semifinals in 2012, and lost in the quarterfinals in 2013 and 2015.