Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

The most anticipated day to open a NCAA men’s volleyball season is officially upon us.

The biggest event this weekend is the UC Santa Barbara Invitational, which features a No. 1 versus No. 2 match-up and a NCAA championship rematch. However, there are also several other non-conference and conference matches of interest today.

Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches from around the nation to follow tonight.
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In a sentence or two about every NCAA men’s volleyball team

Most of the time all the preseason talk surrounding a team can be summed up in one or two sentences — and that’s what we did.

With the NCAA men’s volleyball season beginning in earnest this weekend, get a quick breakdown of every men’s volleyball team from around the nation as they enter the 2012 season.

Check out what to know about each Division I-II men’s volleyball team at the start of the 2012 season.
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Players to watch for the 2012 AVCA Newcomer of Year award

A new season in college men’s volleyball also means plenty of new players — freshmen and transfer students — for each team in the nation.

Predicting how well a player will do in his first season with a new team is always a challenge. With the NCAA men’s volleyball season starting this week, though, there are several candidates who could become the 2012 AVCA Newcomer of the Year.

Check out the top 10 preseason favorites to win the 2012 AVCA Newcomer of the Year award at the end of the regular season.
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Players to watch for the 2012 AVCA Player of Year award

The field is wide open this year for the biggest individual award in college men’s volleyball.

With the NCAA men’s volleyball season starting this week, there are numerous candidates who could be the 2012 AVCA Player of the Year this season.

Check out the preseason favorites and the dark horse candidates who could win the Division I-II AVCA Player of the Year at the end of the regular season.
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The five teams that could surprise everyone in 2012

There are some teams that no one is talking about but could surprise people by the end of the season.

Whether it was UC Santa Barbara’s run to the NCAA championship match last season or Juniata reaching the EIVA championship match in 2009, there are always men’s volleyball teams each season that pleasantly surprise everyone in the nation.

Several teams last season that did not reach their conference tournament or finished outside of the national rankings could have a big season in 2012.
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Four dark horse teams that could crash the 2012 Final Four

Everyone loves an underdog story during the postseason — especially when you’ve been saying since the start of the year that it was the team to watch.

With the regular season set to start this week, there are the likely favorites to reach the Final Four. BYU, UC Irvine, Stanford and UCLA are the favorites from the MPSF, while Ohio State and Loyola are favorites in the MIVA and Penn State is the favorite in the EIVA.

However, there are several dark horse teams from each conference that could crash the Final Four this year.
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