The waiting and waiting of an eight-month offseason is over and the college men’s volleyball season is beck.
Check out all the matches today involving NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball teams and how to follow them live.
No. 12 USC (0-0, 0-0 MPSF) vs. Princeton (0-0, 0-0 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. in Los Angeles
Follow live: Link stats, Online video, Radio feed, In-match tweets, TV (Pac-12 Network)
What to know: It’s only fitting that in a season featuring an unprecedented amount of non-conference matches it will begin with the first all-time meeting between two programs. Princeton will attempt to pull off the road upset against No. 12 USC in the opening match to the 2018 college men’s volleyball season. The Tigers return three all-conference starters after reaching the EIVA Tournament semifinals last season. Middle attacker George Huhmann, the 2017 EIVA Newcomer of the Year and Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American, finished last season with a conference-best .387 attack percentage and was among the national leaders averaging 1.03 blocks per game. Opposite Parker Dixon also as a freshman last season was in the conference’s top 10 with a 2.86 kills per game average, including having double-digit kills in each of the final four matches of the season. USC was picked to finish in fifth place in the conference coaches poll for the revamped MPSF, which went from 12 to seven members because of the addition of the Big West conference. Outside attacker Gianluca Grasso was named to the watch list for the 2018 Karch Kiraly Award and returns for his second season with the Trojans. Grasso, a junior college transfer, joined USC midway through the 2017 season and ended the year with a 3.32 kills per game average. USC, though, announced during the weekend Grasso could see limited playing time at the start of the season because of a back injury. The Trojans also added several highly touted recruits for the upcoming season, including middle attacker Sam Lewis. Lewis, who at 6-foot-10 is the tallest player in USC’s program history, was the high school California Division II Player of the Year and spent the offseason playing with the United States at the FIVB U19 World Championship. This will the first match for Princeton in a four-match West Coast road trip to open the season. All four of the Tigers’ opponents for this road trip are nationally ranked in the preseason coaches poll. Princeton in its program history has two victories against nationally ranked West Coast teams, with both of those wins coming in the last five years.