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 Week. Check out the top college men’s volleyball matches this weekend in NCAA Division I-II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.
Molten/Off the Block NCAA Division I-II National Match of the Week
No. 3/4 Lewis (8-1, 3-1 MIVA) vs. No. 13 McKendree (7-0, 6-0 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Friday in Romeoville, Illinois
Follow live: Live stats, Live video, In-match tweets
Lewis player to watch: All-American outside attacker Ryan Coenen is seventh in the nation with a 4.06 kills per game average and in the nation’s top 25 with a .337 attack percentage. The senior also has at least 20 kills in the three of the last five matches, including a team-high 21 kills in a five-game comeback victory against Purdue Fort Wayne on Saturday.
McKendree player to watch: Middle attacker Lucas Galifos leads the nation averaging 1.38 blocks per game and has at least three blocks in every match so far this season. He also is hitting .573 and had a season-high 13 kills on .647 attack percentage in a four-game victory against Quincy last week.
Quick breakdown: No. 3/4 Lewis may have been the overwhelming preseason to win the MIVA championship, but it is currently behind No. 13 McKendree in the conference standings. The undefeated Bearcats are off to their best start in program history and are in first place in the MIVA with a two-match lead on the defending MIVA champion Flyers. In addition, McKendree leads the MIVA and is sixth in the nation holding opponents to a .192 attack percentage. Lewis is seventh in the country with a .319 attack percentage. Setter Kevin Kauling has guided the Flyers offense to more than a .300 attack percentage in each of the last three matches. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since McKendree upset Lewis last season — the Flyers’ only conference loss in 2020.
Molten/Off the Block NCAA Division III National Match of the Week
Alvernia (1-0) vs. Misericordia (0-1)
Match vitals: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday in Reading, Pennsylvania
Follow live: Live stats
Alvernia player to watch: Outside attacker Josh Stewart ended last season among the team leaders with a 2.85 kills per game average on a .301 attack percentage. He also had both a match-high 17 kills and 14 digs in Alvernia’s four-game victory against Misericordia last season.
Misericordia player to watch: Libero Conner Westerfield concluded the abbreviated 2020 season in the nation’s top 15 with a 2.92 digs per game average, including having double-digit digs in nine matches.
Quick breakdown: Alvernia will play host to Misericordia in a doubleheader after the two teams’ season openers Wednesday could not have ended more differently. Alvernia, which concluded last season at 12-8, had a .315 attack percentage in a sweep against Wilkes. Misericordia went 13-9 in 2020, but in its 2021 season opener the team was limited to less than a .100 attack percentage in a three-game loss to Messiah.
Molten/Off the Block NAIA National Match of the Week
No. 1 Grand View (13-0) vs. No. 5 Missouri Baptist (9-2)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Friday in Des Moines, Iowa
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Grand View player to watch: Opposite Felix Chapman leads the NAIA with a 5.14 kills per game average and is in the top 15 of the NAIA with a .415 attack percentage. The 2020 NAIA National Player of the Year has more than 20 kills in three matches this season, including 21 kills while hitting .333 in a victory against No. 6 Jamestown last week.
Missouri Baptist player to watch: Outside attacker Miljan Kastratovic is in the top 10 of the NAIA with both a 4.18 kills per game average and 18 aces. The All-American also had a season-high 21 kills in a four-game victory against Culver-Stockton last week.
Quick breakdown: Two of the top offenses in the NAIA will meet for the second time this month as undefeated Grand View plays host to Missouri Baptist. The Vikings are second in the nation with a .353 attack percentage, while the Spartans are eighth in the NAIA hitting .298. In addition, setter Francisco Arredondo guided the Grand View offense to out-hit Missouri Baptist .408 to .141 during the team’s conference sweep on Feb. 5.