The college men’s volleyball season is finally here.
No. 14 Ohio State playing host to new MIVA member McKendree will officially open the 2015 season. In addition, Stanford in only other regular season match tonight will play NCAA Division III opponent UC Santa Cruz.
Check out the top college men’s volleyball matches from around the nation to follow tonight.
No. 14 Ohio State (0-0, 0-0 MIVA) vs. McKendree (0-0, 0-0 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio
Follow live: Gametracker, In-match tweets
What to know: Mckendree will make its MIVA debut against a team that is not only a charter member of the conference but one of the most successful programs in the 45-year history of the conference. Ohio State returns a majority of its starters from last year’s team that finished in fifth place in the MIVA — including middle attacker Driss Guessous, the 2014 AVCA Newcomer of the Year. Setter Christy Blough also returns as the starting setter after along with Guessous being named to the 2014 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team. McKendree in the off-season officially became the ninth member of the MIVA. The Bearcats finished their inaugural season last year at 8-23 and went winless in seven non-conference matches against MIVA teams. In addition, outside attackers Dustin Borenstein and Michael Polizzi led McKendree last season each averaging more than 2.20 kills per game. This will be the first of two matches between Ohio State and McKendree this weekend to open the conference season.
No. 10 Stanford (0-0, 0-0 MPSF) VS. UC Santa Cruz (0-0)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Palo Alto, California
Follow live: In-match tweets
What to know: Stanford will open the season with a drastically different lineup that was on-court eight months ago when it played in the NCAA Tournament championship match. Even with the loss of its two starting outside attackers and opposite, though, the Cardinal still return plenty of talent. All-American setter James Shaw will begin his third season as the team’s starting setter and was named a finalist for the Lloy Ball Award in 2014. In addition, All-American middle attacker Conrad Kaminski led the MPSF last season with a .505 attack percentage, while All-American libero Grant Delgado returns for his senior season. The Cardinal will also rely on Alex Stephanus and Madison Hayden to fill the void at the outside attacker position. UC Santa Cruz finished last season 14-12 and missed the 10-team Division III NCAA Tournament.