Initial look at the NCAA Tournament semifinal matches

After four months of regular season matches and three conference tournaments, the Final Four field and semifinal pairings are set for the upcoming men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament.

Here is the initial look and the historical information to know about every NCAA Tournament semifinals match.



No. 1 seed BYU (25-4, 21-3 MPSF) vs. No. 4 seed Penn State (23-7, 13-1 EIVA)
Match vitals:
8 p.m. Thursday in Los Angeles
Last meeting: BYU swept Penn State in April 2011
How they got to here: BYU won the MPSF Tournament to receive the conference’s automatic bid. Penn State won the EIVA Tournament to receive the conference’s automatic bid.
Last NCAA Tournament appearance: BYU (2004); Penn State (2012)
Last NCAA Tournament championship: BYU (2004); Penn State (2008)
Historical stats to know: BYU in its program history never has a recorded loss in the NCAA Tournament, including defeating Penn State twice in the national semifinals. In addition, the Cougars have not lost to a team from the EIVA since 2005 but that loss was against the Nittany Lions. Penn State has lost the last two years in the semifinals but has not lost three consecutive years in the semifinals since 2003-05.

No. 2 seed UC Irvine (23-7, 18-6 MPSF) vs. No. 3 seed Loyola (22-9, 10-4 MIVA)
Match vitals:
6 p.m. Thursday in Los Angeles
Last meeting: UC Irvine swept Loyola in March 2009
How they got here: UC Irvine received the only at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Loyola won the MIVA Tournament to receive the conference’s automatic bid.
Last NCAA Tournament appearance: UC Irvine (2012); Loyola (never)
Last NCAA Tournament championship: UC Irvine (2012); Loyola (never)
Historical stats to know: UC Irvine is two wins away from joining UCLA as the only programs to repeat as men’s volleyball NCAA championships — with the Bruins last achieving the feat in 1995-96. In addition, only three defending national championships that reached the NCAA Tournament have lost in the semifinals since 2000. Loyola leads the all-time series against UC Irvine 3-2, but the Ramblers are on a seven-match losing streak when playing on the West Coast dating back to 2011.

10 Replies to “Initial look at the NCAA Tournament semifinal matches”

    1. The national semis will be webcast on The national championship match will be on ESPNU, which may or may not mean it will be simulcast online on their Watch ESPN website (I’m never quite clear on how that works).

      If it isn’t, there are….ways….of still being able to watch. I don’t want to discuss them publicly.

      1. Thanks Vinnie. Also, really love the blog. OTBB is unmatched in NCAA VB coverage. My wife and I are now weird VB fanatics. Hopefully there will be more and more of us weird fanatics out there because of your coverage.

        1. I’m not Vinnie (perhaps I should have mentioned that?) but I do run my own volleyblog.

          And I checked on Watch ESPN’s website. The match will not be simulcast, but pretty much anything (there are sparing exceptions) that’s carried live by ESPN becomes available for on-demand replay as soon as it’s over.

          And as I’ve said, there are….other ways….of viewing the match if you don’t get ESPNU on your TV either. We’d best discuss those over email, if anywhere.

  1. Yes Vinnie – Please let us know any updates and webcasts or tv or for the semi-finals and finals!

  2. I heard that BYU-TV offered to go to L.A. and broadcast both semi-finals, but the NCAA said no.

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