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. 6/6 UC Irvine (7-5, 0-1 Big West) vs. No. 10/10 UC San Diego (11-3, 1-0 Big West)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Friday in La Jolla, California
Follow live: Live stats, Live video (ESPN3), In-match tweets
UC Irvine player to watch: All-American middle attacker Scott Stadick has a nation-best 2.13 blocks per game. Stadick has more than five blocks in every match this season, including nine blocks in a five-game loss to UC San Diego on Saturday.
UC San Diego player to watch: Outside attacker Kyle McCauley finished with both a season-high 24 kills and three aces as UC San Diego defeated UC Irvine in their conference opener. This was the fourth match that McCauley had at least 20 kills, and he is eighth in the nation with a 3.96 kills per game average.
Quick breakdown: UC Irvine and UC San Diego will have their rematch after the Tritons upset the Anteaters last week. This was UC San Diego’s first victory in the series since 2011 and catapulted the Tritons into the top 10 of the national rankings for one of the first times in their program history. Despite the loss, UC Irvine out-hit UC San Diego .242 to .178 and out-blocked the Tritons 14 to 6.
NCAA Division III National Match of the Weekend
No. 1 Springfield (11-1) vs. No. 3 NYU (9-0)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Saturday in Springfield, Massachusetts
Follow live: Live stats
Springfield player to watch: Opposite Jarrett Anderson is among the national leaders with a 3.75 kills per game average and had a season-high 26 kills in a five-game victory against then-No. 2 Vassar last week.
NYU player to watch: Middle attacker Neil Ferraro is in the country’s top 10 with both a 1.14 blocks per game average and a .438 attack percentage. He also has double-digit kills in four matches this season, including a season-high 15 kills on a .938 attack percentage in a victory against Hunter earlier this week.
Quick breakdown: Two of the top offenses in the nation will face each other as NYU travels to Springfield. Undefeated NYU has lost four sets this season and is second in the country with a .361 attack percentage, while Springfield has the third-best attack percentage at .358. Both NYU setter Matin Bikdeli and Springfield setter Matt Lilley are also among the national leaders averaging more than 9.50 assists per game.
NAIA National Match of the Weekend
No. 3 Menlo (12-0) vs. No. 7 Benedictine-Mesa (9-6)
Match vitals: 1 p.m. Saturday in Mesa, Arizona
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Menlo player to watch: Outside attacker Edin Ibrahimovic is second in the nation with a 5.2 kills per game average and is sixth in the country with a .449 attack percentage. He also has double-digit kills and at least a .400 attack percentage in all but two matches this season.
Benedictine-Mesa player to watch: Middle attacker Bobby Henige is in the nation’s top 10 with 54 blocks and 23 aces. He also is among the national leaders with a .321 attack percentage and has double-digit kills in six of the team’s last nine matches.
Quick breakdown: Menlo is one of two remaining undefeated teams in the nation. Among its wins included a four-game victory against CSUN last month. In addition, Menlo leads the nation with both a .386 attack percentage and a 2.13 aces per game average. Benedictine-Mesa is on a six-match winning streak, including a five-game road victory against Vanguard earlier this month. It also has at least five aces in four consecutive matches.