Quick-hit guide to Big West Tournament quarterfinal matches

Photo by Jonathan Bates

Brandon Johnson | Off the Block Senior Contributor

The Big West Tournament quarterfinal match-ups are set.Check out the quick-hit guide of what to know about each match.

No. 3 seed UC Irvine (17-10, 4-5 Big West) vs. No. 6 seed UC San Diego (7-19, 0-9 Big West)
Match vitals: 5 p.m. in Manoa, Hawai’i
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets, Live video
Season series: UC Irvine 2-0 (UC Irvine won in four sets on Feb. 8 in La Jolla; UC Irvine won in #CincoSets on Feb. 14 in Irvine)
Last Tournament title: Irvine (2015, MPSF); UC San Diego (Never)
Stats to know: UC Irvine’s up and down season appears to be peaking at the right time. The Anteaters are coming off a home and away sweep of previously No. 3 UC Santa Barbara in which they welcomed back Sophomore outside attacker Joel Schneidmiller from injury, and he responded by collecting 31 total kills in the two matches while hitting over .400 in each match. Schneidmiller has been the key offensive weapon for the Anteaters this season, racking up 3.71 kills per game (third in Big West) and 0.55 aces per game (first in Big West). Senior setter Dante Chakravorti ranks third in the Big West with 9.89 assists per game while leading the Anteaters to the third best attack percentage in the conference at .319. 2019 has been a struggle for UC San Diego as they have yet to crack the win column in Big West play. There is hope on the horizon for the Tritons in the form of Sophomore outside attacker Wyatt Harrison and Freshman setter Blake Crisp. Harrison’s 3.27 kills per set ranks 8th in the conference while Crisp in split playing time collected 6.12 assists per set and made the Big West All-Freshman Team.

No. 4 seed UC Santa Barbara (17-9, 4-5 Big West) vs. No. 5 seed CSUN (13-13, 2-7 Big West)
Match vitals: 7:30 p.m. in Manoa, Hawai’i
Follow Live: Live stats, In-match tweetsLive video
Season series: UC Santa Barbara 2-0 (UC Santa Barbara swept CSUN on March 29 at UC Santa Barbara; UC Santa Barbara won in #CincoSets on March 30th at CSUN)
Last Tournament title: UC Santa Barbara (2011, MPSF); CSUN (Never)
Stats to know: Just over a week ago, UC Santa Barbara was ranked No. 3 in the country and appeared to be a virtual lock for the NCAA Tournament. But after dropping four straight matches (three on the road), the Gauchos enter the Big West Tournament possibly needing two wins to get back into NCAA Tournament consideration. Senior outside attacker Corey Chavers has put together an All-American type year, ranking in the top 20 in the Big West in total kills, kills per game, aces per game, digs per game, and blocks per game. He is joined on the outside by Ryan Wilcox, who just took home the Big West Freshman of the Year award. The Matadors enter the Big West tournament looking to salvage a disappointing season that saw them win only two matches during the regular season of conference play. Despite this, CSUN received a strong senior year from outside attacker Dimitar Kalchev (All Big West First-Team), who ranked in the top five of Big West play in total kills and aces per game. Freshman setter Taylor Ittner handed out 9.76 assists per game and collected 1.60 digs per game while collecting Big West All-Freshman Team honors.