It’s all about revenge and rivalries tonight in college men’s volleyball.
No. 3 Stanford will get its rematch against No. 10 Long Beach State — almost 10 months after losing to the 49ers in the conference tournament. In addition, on the West Coast two of the nation’s best young setters will face each other, while on the East Coast a Conference Carolinas team will make history at one of the oldest volleyball tournaments.
Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches from around the nation to follow tonight.
1. No. 3 Stanford (7-2, 4-1 MPSF) vs. No. 10 Long Beach State (5-4, 1-3 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Long Beach, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Radio feed
What to know: Stanford will finally get its long awaited redemption match against Long Beach State. The Cardinal and 49ers will meet for the first time since Long Beach State upset Stanford in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals last season. That loss eliminated the Cardinal from Final Four consideration. Stanford enters tonight’s match on a three-match winning streak, including sweeping a two-match road series against then-No. 1 BYU last week. In addition, setter Evan Berry leads the conference in assists per game average as Sanford is second in the MPSF with a .360 attack percentage. Long Beach State is also on a three-match winning streak and defeated Cal State Northridge last week for its first MPSF victory.
2. No. 6 USC (5-4, 4-4 MPSF) vs. No. 8 Pepperdine (6-4, 5-3 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Los Angeles
Follow live: Gametracker, Pay-per-view online video
What to know: Two of the top young American setters — who in the future could be competing against each other to start on the U.S. Men’s National Team — will face each other tonight. Pepperdine and its freshman setter Matt West will travel to play USC and its freshman setter Micah Christenson. Christenson and West both represented the United States at international tournaments this summer and were named the starting setter for their college teams at the beginning of the season. West is third in the MPSF with an 11.19 assists per game average, while Christenson is fourth averaging 11.00 assists per game. USC enters this match after defeating UC Santa Barbara and losing to UCLA last week. Pepperdine has lost three of its last four matches after starting the season 5-1.
3. No. 9 Ohio State (8-4, 0-0 MIVA) vs. IPFW (5-2, 1-0)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Follow live: Live chat, In-match Tweets
What to know: One week after upsetting then-No. 6 Lewis, IPFW will attempt to defeat another top-10 ranked team in conference play. The Mastodons have won four of their last five matches, while the Buckeyes finished last weekend undefeated at the Penn State Invitational. For more on this match, check out this story in today’s The News-Sentinel.
4. No. 2 UC Irvine (7-2, 3-2 MPSF) vs. Hawai’i (6-5, 3-3 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Honolulu
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: UC Irvine following its bye week will resume play with a two-match conference series against Hawai’i. The Anteaters are on a three-match winning steak, including a four-match victory against USC in its last match. Hawai’i swept a two-match series against Pacific last week to extend its winning streak to four matches and move above a .500 winning percentage for the first time this season. Outside attacker Steven Hunt leads Hawai’i and is second in the conference with a 4.33 kills per game average, while UC Irvine outside attackers Carson Clark at 3.52 kills per game and Jeremy Dejno at 3.29 kills per game are both in the top 15.
5. Cal Baptist (2-8) vs. Lees-McRae (3-3, 1-0 Conference Carolinas)
Match vitals: 6 p.m. in Springfield, Mass.
Follow live: Online video
What to know: For the first time in its tournament history, a Conference Carolinas team will compete in the Morgan Classic as Lees-McRae and Cal Baptist play in the semifinals. Lees-McRae after starting the season 1-3 has won its last two matches, including a road victory against Sacred Heart. In addition, Jose Ribas is third in the conference with a 3.11 kills per game average. Cal Baptist is the defending Morgan Classic champions. However, the Lancers have lost five of their last six matches, including a four-game loss to Harvard on Wednesday.
BEST OF THE REST
Springfield (5-1) vs. UC Santa Cruz (3-1)
Match vitals: 8 p.m. in Springfield, Mass.
Follow live: Online video
What to know: In what could be a possible Division III NCAA Tournament preview, Springfield and UC Santa Cruz will meet in the Morgan Classic semifinals. Springfield received three first-place votes and was ranked No. 2 in this week’s Division III coaches poll, while UC Santa Cruz was ranked No. 3. The winner of this semifinals match will play the winner of the other semifinal between Cal Baptist and Lees-McRae in the Morgan Classic championship match on Saturday.