There are plenty of compelling matches this weekend across all levels of college men’s volleyball.
Off the Block announced Thursday the Molten/Off the Block National Matches of the Weekend. Check out the top college men’s volleyball matches this weekend in NCAA Division I-II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.
NCAA Division I-II National Match of the Weekend
No. 1/1 BYU (8-0, 0-0 MPSF) vs. No. 3/3 UC Santa Barbara (6-0, 0-0 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Friday in Provo, Utah
Follow live: Live stats, Live video, In-match tweets, TV (BYUtv)
BYU player to watch: Preseason All-American opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez leads the nation with a 1.00 aces per game average, including having a combined seven aces in two victories against No. 5/7 UC Irvine last week. He also is fifth in the nation averaging 4.39 kills per game and has at least 15 kills in the Cougars’ three matches so far this season against a top-10 nationally ranked team.
UC Santa Barbara player to watch: Setter Casey McGarry is fourth in the nation with a 10.94 assists per game average and has guided the Gauchos to the country’s second-best attack percentage at .371. In addition, McGarry is second in the Big West averaging 2.28 digs per game.
Quick breakdown: Two of the seven remaining undefeated teams in NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball will meet for a two-match non-conference series. This series will feature two of the nation’s top three offense with both teams hitting more than .350. The Cougars also led the MPSF and are second in the nation averaging 2.89 blocks per game, including having at least 10 blocks in all but two matches this season. UC Santa Barbara is making its first trip outside of California this season after going undefeated in a five-match season-opening home stand and then sweeping No. 9/9 Stanford last week. The Gauchos have yet to lose a set this season.
NCAA Division III National Match of the Weekend
No. 7 Juniata (4-1) vs. No. 9 Vassar (4-2)
Match vitals: 3 p.m. Saturday in Glenside, Pennsylvania
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Juniata player to watch: Robert Bowling is in the nation’s top 30 with a 3.65 kills per game average, including having a season-high 22 kills on a .400 attack percentage in five-game victory against No. 12 Stevenson on Saturday.
Vassar player to watch: Setter Steven Koja is fourth in the nation with a 10.85 assists per game average and led Vasar to a .481 attack percentage in a sweep against No. 13 Endicott on Saturday.
Quick breakdown: Both Juniata and Vassar have two of the top 15 offenses in the nation. Junita leads the CVC and is seventh in the country with a .314 attack percentage — .030 percentage points better than Vassar. Vassar is on a four-match winning streak that has included two victories against top-10 nationally ranked teams. In addition, this will be the first meeting between the two teams since Vassar beat Juniata in five games in 2017.
NAIA National Match of the Weekend
No. 2 Campbellsville (9-0) vs. Life (2-2)
Match vitals: 3 p.m. Saturday in Campbellsville, Kentucky
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Campbellsville player to watch: Ramon Matos leads the team and is in the top 10 of the NAIA with a 1.20 blocks per game average. He is also among the national leaders with a .385 attack percentage and had a season-high 14 kills in a season-opening victory against then-No. 2 Missouri Baptist.
Life player to watch: Outside attacker Felipe Gonzalez is in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.85 kills per game average. The freshman had a season-high 20 kills in a four-game loss to Hope International earlier this month.
Quick breakdown: This will be the first meeting between the two second-year programs since Campbellsville defeated Life in the five games in the Mid-South Conference Tournament semifinals. Campbellsville jumped from unranked to No. 2 in the national coaches poll as a result of a nine-match winning streak to open the season that has featured two victories against top-five nationally ranked teams. Life is traveling to Campbellsville following a bye week. The Running Eagles opened the season splitting four matches at the Menlo Oak Invitational.