Check out the NCAA Tournament finals to follow tonight between UCLA and Hawai’i and how to follow the match live.
No. 1 seed UCLA (30-2, 12-0 MPSF) vs. No. 2 seed Hawai’i (29-2, 9-1 Big West)
Match vitals: 5 p.m. in Fairfax, Virginia
Follow live: Live stats, Live video, Radio feed,
How they get here: UCLA won the MPSF Tournament to earn a berth to the NCAA Tournament and swept Long Beach State in the NCAA Tournament semifinals. Hawai’i won the Big West Tournament to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament and defeated Penn State in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
All-time series: UCLA leads 64-31
Season series: Hawai’i leads 1-0
Last meeting in series: Hawai’i defeated UCLA in four games in March
Previous NCAA Tournament meetings: UCLA defeated Hawai’i in five games in the 1996 NCAA Tournament finals
NCAA Tournament record: UCLA (56-10); Hawai’i (11-6)
NCAA Tournament finals record: UCLA (19-7); Hawai’i (3-2)
NCAA championships: UCLA (1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2006); Hawai’i (2002, 2021, 2022)
NCAA Tournament appearances: UCLA (1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2016, 2018, 2022, 2023); Hawai’i (1995, 1996, 2002, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2022, 2023)
UCLA player accolades this season: Andrew Rowan (AVCA National Newcomer of the Year, MPSF Freshman of the Year, First-Team All-American, First-Team All-MPSF, MPSF All-Freshman Team); Ethan Champiain (First-Team All-American, First-Team All-MPSF); Ido David (First-Team All-American, First-Team All-MPSF); Merrick McHenry (First-Team All-American, First-Team All-MPSF); Alex Knight (Second-Team All-American, First-Team All-MPSF)
Hawai’i player accolades this season: Jakob Thelle (National Player of the Year, Big West Player of the Year, First-Team All-American, All-Big West); Dimitrios Mouchlias (First-Team All-American, All-Big West); Guilherme Voss (First-Team All-American, All-Big West); Spyros Chakas (Second-Team All-American, All-Big West); Chaz Galloway (All-Big West); Brett Sheward (All-Big West); Kurt Nusterer (Big West All-Freshman)
What to know: It all comes down to one match. One NCAA Tournament finals match to that will help further cement the legacy of Hawai’i and UCLA. Hawai’i enters the finals attempting to become the first team since UCLA in the 1980s to win three consecutive NCAA championships. The Bruins are attempting to win their first NCAA championship since 2006, end their longest title drought in program history and win the title under coach John Speraw. UCLA enters the finals leading the nation with a .383 attack percentage. All-American freshman setter Andrew Rowan has guided the offense to more than .400 attack percentage in two of the team’s three postseason matches, including a .458 attack percentage in a NCAA Tournament semifinals sweep against Long Beach State. All-American opposite Ido David in the semifinals led all players with 17 kills on a .619 attack percentage. David entered the NCAA Tournament among the national leaders with a 3.54 kills per game average and had a team-high 21 kills in the regular season road loss to the Rainbow Warriors. All-American opposite Dimitrios Mouchlias in that last meeting between the two programs had a team-high 22 kills and hit .390. This was the second of three times this season that Mouchlias had more than 20 kills in a match. The opposite finished with a season-igh 25 kills on a .364 attack percentage as Hawai’i defeated Penn State in five games in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Thursday. Setter Jakob Thelle, the National Player of the Year, led the offense to a .298 attack percentage in that win. Thelle entered the NCAA Tournament leading the nation with a 10.73 assists per game average and guided the offense to the nation’s second-best attack percentage at .373. The setter also is sixth in the nation with a 0.36 aces per game average and has 121 career aces.