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. 2/1 BYU (12-0, 2-0 MPSF) vs. Grand Canyon (9-2, 2-0 MPSF)
Match vitals: 6 p.m. Friday in Phoenix, Arizona
Follow live: Live stats, Live video, In-match tweets
BYU player to watch: Middle attacker Felipe de Brito Ferreira leads the MPSF and is fifth in the nation with a 1.29 blocks per game average. He also is hitting .426, including having at least five kills and more than a .350 attack percentage in six of the last seven matches.
Grand Canyon player to watch: Outside attacker Christian Janke is second in the nation with a 0.69 aces per game average. He also is among the national leaders with a 3.03 kills per game average and had a season-high 15 kills in a sweep against USC on Saturday.
Quick breakdown: Undefeated BYU will travel to Grand Canyon with first place in the MPSF on the line. Opposite Gabi Garcia Fernandez leads the nation with a 0.89 aces per game average and is sixth in the nation with a 4.09 kills per game average. The Preseason All-American also had 13 kills and three aces in BYU’s sweep against No. 8/8 UCLA last week. The Antelopes enter this home match on an eight-match winning that was highlighted by the team’s sweep against No. 13 Stanford. In addition, Grand Canyon is fourth in the nation averaging 1.91 aces per game.
NCAA Division III National Match of the Weekend
No. 2 Vassar (8-3) vs. No. 5 Stevens (9-1)
Match vitals: 1 p.m. Saturday in Poughkeepsie, New York
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Vassar player to watch: Middle attacker Ryan Duchemin leads the nation with a .489 attack percentage and has double-digit kills in two of his last four matches against nationally ranked teams.
Stevens player to watch: Setter Grant Burden is fourth in the nation with a 11.05 assists per game average and has guided the Stevens offense to the fourth-best attack percentage in the nation at .326.
Quick breakdown: The Brewers will play their third match against a top-five nationally ranked team in the last 10 days. Vassar defeated then-No. 1 SUNY New Paltz in five games last week and lost in a fifth-game overtime to No. 1 Springfield on Wednesday. Stevens rebounded from an upset loss to Rutgers-Newark on Saturday and swept King’s on Wednesday. In addition, Stevens leads the nation with a 2.57 blocks per game average.
NAIA National Match of the Weekend
No. 3 Missouri Baptist (14-3) vs. No. 7 St. Xaiver (7-2)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Friday in St. Louis
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Missouri Baptist player to watch: Outside attacker Luka Cajic leads the nation with 209 kills and 37 aces. He also has at least 15 kills in nine matches, including 16 kills on a .571 attack percentage in a sweep against No. 4 Lourdes last week.
St. Xaiver player to watch: Outside attacker Grant Ooms is in the nation’s top 10 averaging 4.1 kills per game and has double-digit kills in every match this season.
Quick breakdown: This will be the first meeting between the two programs since Missouri Baptist defeated St. Xaiver in four games at the NAIA National Championship last season. Missouri Baptist enters this match after suffering a three-game loss to No. 6 Park on Wednesday that ended a 13-match winning streak. St. Xaiver swept Trinity Christian on Tuesday to snap a two-match losing streak. In addition, the Cougars are attempting to get their second victory against a nationally ranked team this season.