No. 10 Hawai’i to play tonight after tsunami warning canceled

The No. 10 Hawai’i men’s volleyball team’s home match tonight will not be postponed after a tsunami warning for the state ended earlier today.

Hawai’i will open its two-match weekend home series against Pacific at its initially scheduled time of 7 p.m. Friday in Honolulu, the school’s Director of Media Relations Derek Inouchi stated via e-mail earlier today.

A tsunami warning was issued for Hawaii along with a mass statewide evacuation of the coastal area after a tsunami killed hundreds of people in Japan. The tsunami resulted from a 8.9 earthquake near Japan’s east coast.
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Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

It’s Spring Break and the Midwest and East Coast men’s volleyball teams are fleeing to the warm weather of California.

With about five EIVA and MIVA teams playing against California teams this week, Mid-March is typically when teams will schedule non-conference road trips coinciding with its Spring Break. Highlighting this week of non-conference play is the four-team Active Ankle Challenge at Long Beach State, which opens with the only match tonight between teams ranked in the top 10. In addition, No. 8 UCLA tonight plays its final non-conference match at Pauley Pavillion before the stadium later this year for renovations.

Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
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Q&A with UC Santa Barbara coach Rick McLaughlin

Coach Rick McLaughlin and his UC Santa Barbara team main goal entering this season was to make the MPSF Tournament — it was a lofty goal given the program’s recent history.

The No. 6 Gauchos had missed the eight-team conference tournament for the last five years — the third longest active streak in the MPSF. With six conference matches remaining, though, UC Santa Barbara (11-8, 9-7 MPSF) is in sixth place in the MPSF and poised to qualify for its first postseason tournament since 2006.

In addition, UC Santa Barbara has been ranked as high as No. 3 this season. It is also the only team in the nation to have two players, Jeff Menzel and Cullen Irons, ranked in the nation’s top 20 for kills per game average.

Off the Block conducted an interview with McLaughlin earlier this week to discuss the chances of UC Santa Barbara making the postseason and possibility of making a run deep in the conference tournament.
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My men’s volleyball media poll ballot

The aftermath of No. 1 versus No. 2 resulted in little change to the men’s volleyball media poll.

USC remains the only team to be ranked No. 1 this season after winning both matches in five games against BYU during the weekend, while the Cougars stays at No. 2 following the road losses. Despite little change at the top, the bottom of the ranking saw some movement with UCLA jumping ahead of Penn State to No. 8 and Hawai’i breaking back into the top 10 after a one-week absence.

Check out this week’s top 10 men’s volleyball media poll and my ballot with explanations on why ranked each team where I did.
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The top 5 men’s volleyball stories of the week

It’s your top five men’s volleyball story list, but with a twist.

Every Sunday during the men’s volleyball season I will post the top five best men’s volleyball stories of the week from around the nation. The list, though, is based more on how well the reporter wrote and covered the story rather than just what happened on the court.
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Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

Two of the three men’s volleyball conferences will have two of their top teams playing each other tonight.

No. 1 USC finishing its weekend series against No. 2 BYU in the MPSF still highlights all the matches today. The other match, though, that is for sole possession of first place is in the Midwest as No. 4 Ohio State and No. 10 Loyola play with both teams vying to become the first team to go undefeated in MIVA play since 1998.

Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
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Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

The men’s volleyball spotlight is once again focused brightly on Southern California tonight.

No. 1 USC and No. 2 BYU opening their two-match weekend series in Los Angeles highlights tonight’s schedule. Not to be overlooked, though, are two other matches in Southern California tonight between teams in top 10 national rankings, including No. 3 Stanford playing No. 7 UC Irvine.

Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
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Q&A with USC coach Bill Ferguson

USC head coach Bill Ferguson could not have picked a better match to honor two former All-American Trojans.

On the same night the Trojans will retire the jerseys of Dusty Dvorak and Celso Kalache, No. 1 USC will play the finale of its two-match weekend series against No. 2 BYU — the first time this season the top two teams in the nation rankings will face each other.

Dvorak’s and Kalache’s jerseys will be retired in a post-match ceremony Saturday. Prior to this ceremony, the Trojans and Cougars will play the opener of their two-match series Friday night. USC enters this weekend series with the best record in the nation and has been No. 1 in the coaches and media poll since the preseason.

Off the Block conducted an interview earlier this week with Ferguson to discuss his team’s success in the first half of the season and the upcoming match between No. 1 and No. 2.
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Q&A with BYU coach Rob Neilson

For the first time this season the top two ranked teams will be across the net from each other.

No. 2 BYU (13-4, 9-3 MPSF) will travel to play No. 1 USC (13-1, 13-1 MPSF) for a two-match series Friday and Saturday in Los Angeles. Both teams are in first and second place in the MPSF and have been the top ranked teams in the coaches poll and media poll for multiple weeks.

In addition, the Cougars enter this weekend leading the nation with a 3.13 blocks per game average and have won nine of their last 10 conference matches.

Off the Block conducted an interview earlier this week with BYU interim head coach Rob Neilson to discuss his team’s success in the first half of the season and the upcoming match between No. 1 and No. 2.
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