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
[Editor’s note: The original National Match of the Week was Mount Olive versus North Greenville but that match was postponed. Due to this postponement, Mount Olive versus Belmont Abbey is the new National Match of the Week]
Mount Olive (9-3, 8-2 ConfCarolinas) vs. Belmont Abbey (11-5, 7-3 ConfCarolinas)
Match vitals: 6:30 p.m. Friday in Mount Olive, North Carolina
Follow live: Live video
Mount Olive player to watch: Middle attacker Luke Visgitis is third in the nation with a .538 attack percentage and has double-digit kills in three of the last four matches.
North Greenville player to watch: Outside attacker Matteo Miselli in his first seasons at Belmont Abbey since transferring from Tusculum is in the nation’s top 20 with a 3.77 kills per game average.
Quick breakdown: Both Mount Olive and Belmont Abbey have never won a ConfCarolinas regular season title since the conference started receiving a NCAA Tournament bid, but the winner of this match-up will be in prime position to end that drought. With each team having four remaining regular season matches,first-place Mount Olive enters the weekend holding a one-match lead against Belmont Abbey. The Crusaders playing without opposite Andrew Kohut lost in three games to Trojans during their initial meeting last month. Kohut is in the nation’s top 25 with a 3.69 kills per game average, including having 17 kills in a five-game victory against King on Tuesday. That victory extended Belmont Abbey’s winning streak to four matches. Mount Olive has won four of its last six matches and is playing its second match in a span of 20 days. Outside attacker Tobi Azeez also is seventh in the nation with a 4.24 kills per game average and had a team-high 11 kills in the most recent victory against Belmont Abbey.
Molten/Off the Block NCAA Division III National Match of the Week
Fontbonne (14-1) vs. Mount St. Joseph (11-1)
Match vitals: 11 a.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday in Cincinnati
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Fontbonne player to watch: Outside attacker Ryan Lively is sixth in the nation averaging 4.57 kills per game on a .377 attack percentage, including having a season-high 25 kills in a victory against Trine in February.
Mount St. Joseph player to watch: Outside attacker Jason Hascher is fourth in the nation with a 4.79 kills per game average and is in the nation’s top 15 hitting .406.
Quick breakdown: First place and possibly the No. 1 seed for the upcoming MCVL Tournament will be on the line as Fontbonne travels to play Mount St. Joseph in the two-match series. Fontbonne is undefeated in conference play and has dropped one set during its current nine-match winning streak. The Griffins are also fifth in the nation with a .331 attack percentage and have hit more than .300 in each of the last seven matches. Mount St. Joseph since a season-opening conference loss has lost one set and is on an 11-match winning streak. In addition, Mount St. Joseph has held opponents to a .069 attack percentage — the sixth lowest in the country.
Molten/Off the Block NAIA National Match of the Week
No. 7 Vanguard (9-3) vs. No. 12 Ottawa-Arizona (12-3)
Match vitals: 1 p.m. Saturday in Costa Mesa, California
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Vanguard player to watch: Outside attacker Kyle Anema is fourth in the NAIA with a 5.11 kills per game average, including having more than 20 kills in seven matches.
Ottawa-Arizona player to watch: Jordan Moses is in the nations top 20 with a 3.75 kills per game average.
Quick breakdown: The first meeting this season between No. 7 Vanguard and No. 12 Ottawa-Arizona will be in the GCAC Championship. Ottawa-Arizona is undefeated in conference play and enters the championship match on a 10-match winning streak. The Spirit have more than a .300 attack percentage in four matches during the winning streak. Vanguard ended the regular season with a six-match series against Hope International that started Feb. 17 and won five of those matches. Setter Bryce Thompson has a nation-best 10.86 assists per game average and has guided the Vanguard offense to the fifth-best attack percentage in the nation at .311.