It’s all about the East Coast and West Coast tonight in college men’s volleyball.
UC Irvine and Stanford playing in a match-up between two top-five nationally ranked teams highlights the matches on the West Coast. In addition out the East Coast, Princeton looks to make its case for why it belongs in the national rankings as it opens conference play against George Mason.
Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches from around the nation to follow tonight.
1. No. 1 UC Irvine (8-3, 5-3 MPSF) vs. No. 5 Stanford (7-3, 4-3 MPSF)
Match vitals: 6:30 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: One of the top offensive teams in nation will go up against the top defensive team in the MPSF as Stanford plays host to UC Irvine. Stanford leads the conference with a .219 opponent attack percentage, while UC Irvine is third in the MPSF with a .316 attack percentage. The Anteaters also are on a conference-best four-match winning streak, including road victories at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara last week. In addition, outside attacker Kevin Tillie leads UC Irvine with a combined 73 kills during this winning streak. Stanford last weekend split a two-match road series against Hawai’i, but the Cardinal is undefeated at home this season.
2. No. 3 Long Beach State (8-4, 6-3 MPSF) vs. No. 8 USC 2-4, (2-4 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Long Beach. Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, In-match Tweets
What to know: It’s still too early in the season to call a match a must-win, but it’s getting closer to that point for USC with it traveling to play Long Beach State. USC is on a three-match losing streak after losing to Cal State Northridge in four games Wednesday. The Trojans have not had a four-match losing streak since 2006 — one year before coach Bill Ferguson took over the program. Long Beach State lost in three games to Pepperdine on Tuesday but has won has six of its last eight matches. Outside attacker Dalton Ammerman was also named the AVCA National Player of the Week after having a career-high 21 kills in an upset victory against No. 1 BYU last week.
3. No. 7 Pepperdine (5-3, 5-3 MPSF) vs. Cal State Northridge (5-4, 3-4 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Northridge, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match Tweets
What to know: Pepperdine has a chance to move into second place in the MPSF if it can defeat Cal State Northridge on the road. The Waves enter this weekend tied with UC Irvine for third place and a half-match behind second-place Long Beach State, which the Waves swept on Wednesday. Outside attacker Maurice Torres in the victory against the 49ers had a match-high 16 kills. In addition, Torres started this week in the conference’s top 10 with a 3.88 kills per game average. Cal State Northridge snapped a two-match losing streak with an upset victroy against No. 8 USC on Wednesday. Matadors outside attacker John Baker in the victory had a career-high 22 kills.
4. Princeton (1-1, 0-0 EIVA) vs. George Mason (2-5, 0-0 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Fairfax, Va.
Follow live: Live stats, Pay-per-view online video
What to know: Princeton after splitting a two-match West Coast road trip last week to start its season will now play George Mason in its conference opener. Princeton enters this match receiving votes in both the national coaches poll and national media poll. In addition, outside attacker Pat Schwagler is second in the conference averaging 4.12 kills per game and a .397 attack percentage. George Mason returns home following a 1-2 Midwest road trip that included a four-game victory against Loyola. Middle attacker Piotr Dabrowski is second in the EIVA averaging 1.58 blocks per game.
5. No. 4 Penn State (8-1, 2-0 EIVA) vs. St. Francis (4-6, 1-1 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in University Park, Pa.
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, In-match Tweets
What to know: Penn State is a perfect 30-0 in its program history against St. Francis. However, the more interesting storyline for this conference match is what will take place on the sidelines. Penn State coach Mark Pavlik during the match will wear a fedora to promote the EIVA Rallies campaign to benefit the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. For more information about how to donate money to the campaign, go to mskcc.org/giving.