For anyone ever wanting the MPSF to travel more and play more non-conference matches, that wish is coming true tonight.
No. 1 Pepperdine will open its season with a rare East Coast road trip as it begins a two-match series against first-year program North Greenville. In addition, No. 10 Hawai’i will make its season debut playing a non-conference match against Stevens Tech.
Check out the college men’s volleyball matches from around the nation to follow tonight.
No. 1 Pepperdine (0-0, 0-0 MPSF) vs. North Greenville (0-0, 0-0 CC)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Spartanburg, South Carolina
Follow live: Online video, In-match tweets
What to know: No team in the history of college men’s volleyball will have a more daunting inaugural match than what coach Fred Battenfield scheduled for North Greenville. The first-year program will open its season against No. 1 Pepperdine in the Battle at the Star event at the new $19 million Upward Star Center. Pepperdine returns a majority of its starters from last year’s team that won a share of the MPSF regular season championship, including Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American selections setter Matt West and outside attacker Josh Taylor. The Waves also were the overwhelming favorite to win the MPSF in the conference’s preseason poll and set a conference record for the widest vote margin between first place and second place. This is the first time in almost a decade that Pepperdine has traveled outside of the West Coast to play a regular season match. North Greenville’s inaugural roster is comprised primarily of freshmen. However, the Crusaders finished the preseason 23-1 beating several top club teams. This is the first of two matches between Pepperdine and North Greenville. While the series opener will be at the neutral location of the Upward Star Center, the finale will be played on North Greenville’s home court Monday.
No. 14 Ohio State (1-0, 1-0 MIVA) vs. McKendree (0-1, 0-1)
Match vitals: 4 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio
Follow live: Live stats, In-match tweets
What to know: Ohio State and McKendree will conclude their two-match conference series following the Buckeyes’ four-game victory in the nations’ college men’s volleyball season-opener Friday. Ohio State outside attacker Miles Johnson had a match-high 14 kills, while opposite Nicolas Szerszen in his college debut added 14 kills. In addition, Ohio State out-hit McKendree .360 to .073 and held the Bearcats to a negative attack percentage in two games. However, coach Pete Hanson said in a postmatch interview with Off the Block that one area the Buckeyes need to improve for series finale is their serving. Ohio State finished the match with nine aces but had 21 serving errors. McKendree is a second-year program that is playing its inaugural season in the MIVA. Middle attacker Brendan Schmidt in the season-opening loss led McKendree with eight kills and four blocks.
No. 10 Hawai’i (0-0, 0-0 MPSF) vs. Stevens Tech (0-0, 0-0 UVC)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Honolulu
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed, In-match tweets
What to know: Hawai’i will open its season against a team that finished last season in the top 10 of the national rankings and won a match in the NCAA Tournament. For the first time in its program’s history, Hawai’i will play a non-conference match versus the Stevens Tech, a NCAA Division III school. The Rainbow Warriors ended last season missing the eight-team MPSF Tournament for the second time in the last three years. Hawai’i, though, was picked to finish in seventh place in the MPSF Preseason Poll. Middle attacker Tyler Averill and outside attacker Brook Sedore also both earned Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American honors. Stevens Tech had three players named to the Division III Preseason All-American Teams, including recent transfer outside attacker Tim Ferriter.