It’s all about the rematch tonight in college men’s volleyball.
No. 3 Pepperdine and No. 4 BYU in a conference match-up between two top-five ranked teams highlights the schedule. In addition, IPFW and Ball State renew their conference rivalry for the first time since meeting in the postseason last year.
Check out the top five college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight.
1. No. 3 Pepperdine (4-1, 4-1 MPSF) vs. No. 4 BYU (6-2, 6-0 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Malibu, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: One of the top offensive teams in the nation will go up against one of the top defensive teams in the nation as Pepperdine plays host to BYU in battle between two top-five nationally ranked teams. BYU begins its weekend road trip on a six-match winning streak and one of five teams in the MPSF averaging better than a .300 attack percentage for the season. In addition, All-American BYU outside attacker Taylor Sander is second in the nation with 19 aces and is in the MPSF’s top five averaging 4.55 kills per game. The Waves lead the nation with a 3.52 blocks per game average. Five Pepperdine players are among the top 15 MPSF leaders for blocks per game average, including middle attacker Nikola Antonijevic who leads the conference with a 1.60 blocks per game average. Pepperdine also set a school single-match record with 71 digs in a five-game loss to Long Beach State last week — the Waves’ first loss of the season.
Prediction: Pepperdine def. BYU in five games
2. No. 5 Long Beach State (4-3, 3-3 MPSF) vs. No. 7 Stanford (4-3, 1-3 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Palo Alto, Calif.
Follow live: Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: Stanford and Long Beach State aren’t in panic mode yet, but both teams need a big early-season conference victory to get back into the MPSF title race. Each team enters this weekend already having three conference losses. Stanford snapped its three-match conference losing streak with a victory against Cal Baptist on Saturday. In addition, the Cardinal is leading the MPSF with a .336 attack percentage, and setter James Shaw is among the conference leaders averaging 10.96 assists per game. Long Beach State in its last conference match upset then-No. 1 Pepperdine to improve to .500 conference play. Outside attacker Taylor Crabb leads the 49ers and is second in the MPSF with a 4.63 kills per game average. This will also be the first meeting between Long Beach State and Stanford since the 49ers beat the Cardinal in the MPSF Tournament quarterfinals last season.
3. IPFW (3-1, 0-0 MIVA) vs. Ball State (3-2, 0-0 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: One of the best in-state rivalries in college men’s volleyball will be renewed when Ball State makes the one-hour trip north to play IPFW. The men’s volleyball rivalry has become so big in Fort Wayne that even the city’s newspaper The News-Sentinel ranked it among the top 10 sporting events in Indiana. This match will be both team’s conference opener and the first time the teams have played each other since the Cardinals swept the Mastodons in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals last season. IPFW setter Omar Rivera is leading the MIVA with a 11.43 assists per game average. In addition, the Mastodons have a conference-best .364 attack percentage through the first three weeks of the season. Ball State enters conference play after it snapped a two-match losing streak with a non-conference victory against McKendree last week.
4. No. 9 Hawai’i (5-3, 3-2 MPSF) vs. No. 10 UC Santa Barbara (4-2, 3-2 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: UC Santa Barbara and Hawai’i will conclude their two-match conference series less than 24 hours after the Gauchos defeated the Rainbow Warriors in four games in the series opener. Hawai’i playing in its first road match of the season was out-hit .208 to .192 and had its three-match winning streak come to an end. In addition, middle attacker Ryan Thompson in the victory had match-high seven blocks, while outside attacker Austin Kingi added a team-high 13 kills and 10 digs. Hawai’i outside attacker Brook Sedore finished with a match-high 19 kills. However, the Rainbow Warriors had 13 service errors and season-low zero aces in the loss against the Gauchos.
5. Lees-McRae (2-1, 0-0 CC) vs. Lindenwood (3-2, 1-1 MIVA)
Match vitals:7:30 p.m. in St. Charles, Mo.
Follow live: Live stats, Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: For the second week in a row, Lees-McRae will attempt to pick-up another big non-conference victory for the Conference Carolinas as it travels to play Lindenwood in the annual Lindenwood Classic. Lees-McRae enters this non-conference tournament after defeating St. Francis in five games last weekend. This was the first time this season that a Conference Carolinas team defeated an opponent from the EIVA. Outside attacker Brady Markle finished with a match-high 23 kills and a .529 attack percentage against St. Francis. Lindenwood has won three of its last four matches, including a five-game conference victory against Quincy on Wednesday. Outside attacker Mike Adams is also among the conference leaders with a 3.38 kills per game average.