Six teams are left with a chance to get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament heading into Conference Championship Saturday.
The conference tournaments conclude with Conference Championship Saturday as the EIVA, MIVA and MPSF all will play their championship matches. Here is the initial look and the historical information to know about every conference tournament title match.
MPSF TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
No. 1 seed BYU (24-4, 21-3 MPSF) vs. No. 3 seed Long Beach State (24-7, 18-6 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Saturday in Provo, Utah
Season series: Tied at 1-1 (Long Beach won in five games in February; BYU won in three games in March)
Last MPSF Tournament title: BYU (2004); Long Beach State (never)
Historical stats to know: BYU All-American outside attacker Taylor Sander in his postseason career is averaging 3.87 kills per game and has two matches with at least 20 kills, including last season’s conference tournament victory against Long Beach State. However, in the Cougars’ two MPSF Tournament victories this season Sander has the fewest amount of kills in his playoff career, combining for 25 kills in the both matches. Long Beach State All-American outside attacker Taylor Crabb has a 3.59 kills per game average in his postseason career and had his first postseason match with more than 20 kills in the team’s semifinal victory against UC Irvine. Long Beach State in its program history is 0-3 all-time in the MPSF Tournament championship with one of its loses coming against BYU in 2004. BYU is attempting to become the second No. 1 seed to win the MPSF Tournament since 2005.
MIVA TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
No. 1 seed Lewis (20-9, 10-4 MIVA) vs. No. 2 seed Loyola (21-9, 10-4 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Saturday in Romeoville, Ill.
Season series: Tied at 1-1 (Lewis won in four games in February; Loyola won in four games in March)
Last MIVA Tournament title: Lewis (2012); Loyola (never)
Historical stats to know: Lewis and Loyola for the seventh time in their programs’ histories will meet in the MIVA Tournament with the higher seed every time, expect when the Ramblers upset the Flyers in 2001. Lewis with a victory will also become the fifth program in conference history to repeat as MIVA Tournament championships. Loyola outside attacker and 2013 MIVA Player of the Year Joseph Smalzer is averaging 3.72 kills per game kill in his career against Lewis, but had a career-worst three kills in the Ramblers postseason loss to the Flyers last season. This is the fourth time in the last five years that the No. 1 seed and No. 2 seed have played in the MIVA Tournament championship match. In addition, it will be the third time conference history that two schools from Illinois will play each other the championship match.
EIVA TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
No. 1 seed Penn State (22-7, 13-1 EIVA) vs. No. 3 seed Harvard (18-8, 10-4 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Saturday in University Park, Pa.
Season series: Tied at 1-1 (Penn State won in five games in January; Harvard won in three games in February)
Last EIVA Tournament tittle: Penn State (2012); Harvard (never)
Historical stats to know: Penn State enters this title match seeking its 15th consecutive EIVA championship and is on a NCAA-record 36-match conference tournament winning streak. The Nittany Lions also have only lost one conference tournament match on their home court since starting their program in 1997. Harvard has never defeated Penn State at Rec Hall but forced its last two matches at Penn State to five games. In addition, the Crimson are appearing in their first conference championship match in program history and attempting to become the first No. 3 seed to win the EIVA championship in the recent history of the tournament.