Off the Block unveils college men’s volleyball National Matches of Weekend

Photo courtesy of UCLA athletics

There are plenty of compelling matches this weekend across all levels of college men’s volleyball.

Check out the Off the Block National Matches of the Weekend for NCAA Division I-II, NCAA Division III and NAIA men’s volleyball.


NCAA Division I-II National Match of the Weekend

No. 6/6 UCLA (3-1, 0-0 MPSF) vs. No. 10/9 Penn State (2-2, 0-0 EIVA)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. Friday in University Park, Pennsylvania
Follow live: Live stats, Live video (Big Ten Plus), In-match tweets
UCLA player to watch: Preseason All-American middle attacker Daenan Gyimah has double-digit kills and at least a .300 attack percentage in his last two matches but did not play in UCLA’s upset loss to UC San Diego last week.
Penn State player to watch: Outside attacker Brett Wildman is in the nation’s top 20 with a 3.64 kills per game average, including having a season-high 17 kills in a victory against No. 7/7 Lewis on Saturday.
Quick breakdown: The Nittany Lions will attempt to get their first win against the Bruins since 2008 and snap an eight-match losing streak in the series. Penn State enters this match after allowing zero aces in a five-game road win versus Lewis. UCLA leads the nation with a 2.43 aces per game average while also committing at least 20 service errors in three of its first four matches this season.

NCAA Division III National Match of the Weekend

No. 1 SUNY New Paltz (2-0) vs. No. 11 Southern Virginia (2-1)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
SUNY Paltz player to watch: Setter Matthew Grace guided the offense to a .325 attack percentage in a five-game victory against No. 5 Benedictine last week.
Southern Virginia player to watch: Opposite Mark Stapley had double-digit kills in two of the team’s three matches so far this season and had a season-high 13 digs in the season-opening victory against Mount St. Joseph last week.
Quick breakdown: The defending NCAA champions SUNY New Paltz will continue its stretch of four consecutive matches against nationally ranked teams to open the season as plays No. 12 Juniata on Friday and No. 11 Southern Virginia on Saturday at the Juniata Invitational. Southern Virginia arrives to this non-conference tournament winning two of its three matches during an Ohio road trip. The team rebounded from an upset loss to Augustana on Friday with a sweep against Wittenberg on Saturday.

NAIA National Match of the Weekend

Vanguard (2-1) vs. Hope International (2-2)
Match vitals:
6 p.m. Friday in Fullerton, California
Follow live: Live stats, Live video
Vanguard player to watch: Outside attacker Kyle Anema had 22 kills along with three blocks against NCAA Division III powerhouse Springfield last week.
Hope International player to watch: Setter Reid Harrison is averaging 11.18 assists per game and guided the offense to a .320 attack percentage in a victory versus Life last week.
Quick breakdown: Vanguard playing in the program’s inaugural season has a roster largely comprised of transfers and opened the season with victories against St. Katherine and Springfield. It also out-blocked Concordia-Irvine 8 to 5.5 in a four-game loss on Wednesday. Hope International split its four matches at the Oak Invitational last weekend. Outside attacker Joshua Nehls at the event had at least 25 kills in back-to-back matches, including a career-best 31 kills in a loss to Siena Heights.