The NCAA Tournament gets underway with the play-in match featuring Penn State and Belmont Abbey.
Check out the college men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight and how to follow them live.
Penn State (21-3, 16-2 EIVA) vs. Belmont Abbey (15-7, 9-5 ConfCarolinas)
Match vitals: 5 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio
Follow live: Live stats, Live video, In-match tweets,
Season series: First meeting this season
All-time series: First all-time meeting
NCAA Tournament championships: Penn State (1994, 2008); Belmont Abbey (none)
NCAA Tournament record: Penn State (31-16); Belmont Abbey (0-0)
NCAA Tournament appearances: Penn State (1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017); Belmont Abbey (first appearance)
What to know: Opposite Andrew Kohut knows all about the struggles of ConfCarolinas teams in the NCAA Tournament. The junior, though, also doesn’t care. Kohut gave a simple answer when asked about it in an interview with Off the Block — “why not us.” The ConfCarolinas champions Belmont Abbey will attempt to pull off the upset and the first conference’s first NCAA Tournament victory as it plays the EIVA champions Penn State in the play-in match. The Nittany Lions are second in the nation with a 2.06 aces per game average and had a combined 14 aces in its two EIVA Tournament victories. All-American opposite Cal Fisher leads the team and is second in the nation averaging 0.74 aces per game. Fisher, a finalist for the National Server of the Year, is among the national leaders with a 3.50 kills per game average on a career-best .349 attack percentage. He also had a match-high 27 kills while hitting .440 in victory against George Mason in the EIVA Tournament finals. Outside attacker Brett Wildman in that postseason win had 22 kills to secure the Nittany Lions’ 32nd EIVA Tournament championship. In addition, Wildman is in the top five of the EIVA averaging both 3.30 kills per game and 0.36 aces per game. Belmont Abbey earned its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history after beating Mount Olive in the ConfCarolinas Tournament finals. Kohut finished with a match-high 21 kill on a .351 attack percentage against the Trojans. Outside attacker Matteo Miselli in the win also had 20 kills while hitting .351. Miselli, who transferred to Belmont Abbey in the offseason after earning Freshman All-American honors at Tusculum, is in the nation’s top 15 with a 3.98 kills per game average. Along with Belmont Abbey making its NCAA Tournament debut, Nolan Albrecht will be one of the youngest head coaches for a team in the history of the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament. Albrecht one year after concluding his all-conference playing career at Belmont Abbey took over the program in 2017.