No. 2 BYU and No. 5 Stanford have their first meeting since the four-game overtime match in the MPSF Tournament last season highlights the matches this weekend. In addition, Penn State after losing last week looks to start a new conference streak as it plays host to George Mason in a rematch of last year's EIVA championship match.
Check out the top-five men’s volleyball matches from around the nation to follow this weekend. Also for more on these matches and this weekend's results visit Off the Block at offtheblockblog.com.
1. No. 2 BYU (9-3, 8-2 MPSF) vs. No. 5 Stanford (9-5, 6-5 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Saturday in Provo, Utah
What to know: BYU will play Stanford for the first time since losing one of the lengthy overtime games in MPSF Tournament history last year that ended the Cougars season and chances of a Final Four berth. Stanford in the 2012 MPSF Tournament semifinals defeated BYU in four games, including a 35-33 overtime victory in the fourth game. BYU enters this match leading the nation with a .326 attack percentage. In addition, outside attacker Taylor Sander is in the nation's top 10 with a 3.94 kills per game average and had a match-high 23 kills in BYU's victory against USC last week. Stanford continues its four-match road trip after losing in three games against No. 3 Long Beach State to drop to fifth place in the MPSF. Stanford is also on an eight-match winning streak against BYU dating back to 2010.
Match vitals: 5 p.m. Saturday in Malibu, Calif.
What to know: UCLA has chance to do something it hasn't achieved since the second week of the season -- win back-to-back matches. However, to accomplish that feat UCLA will have to do something no team has done this season and beat Pepperdine on its home floor. The Waves are 6-0 at Firestone Fieldhouse, including winning the first three matches of its season-long four-match homestand. In addition, Pepperdine setter Matt West (right) is also second in the nation with an 11.26 assists per game. UCLA enters this match after sweeping its cross-town rival USC on Monday.
3. No. 3 Long Beach State (11-4, 9-3 MPSF) vs. No. 8 Cal State Northridge (7-5, 5-5 MPSF)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Friday in Northridge, Calif.
What to know: Long Beach State can match its longest winning streak in the last four years if it defeat Cal State Northridge on the road. The 49ers are on a three-match winning streak and have won six of their last seven matches, including a sweep against then-No. 3 Stanford last week. Outside attacker Taylor Crabb in that victory finished with 15 kills and has 49 combined during the team's winning streak. Cal State Northridge's match against Long Beach State will conclude the team's five-match homestand. The Matadors are 3-1 during their homestand and have already knocked off a top-five nationally ranked team.
4. No. 14 Lewis (9-5, 5-0 MIVA) vs. Ball State (8-3, 2-3 MIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Friday in Romeoville, Ill.
|Photo by Steve Woltmann|
5. Penn State (10-3, 4-1 EIVA) vs. George Mason (5-5, 3-0 EIVA)
Match vitals: 7 p.m. Friday in University Park, Pa.
What to know: The Nittany Lions will try bounce back from its first conference loss in five years by playing George Mason in a rematch of the 2012 EIVA championship match. Penn State last weekend lost in three games to Harvard to snap its NCAA-record 61-match conference winning streak dating back to 2008. The loss also dropped Penn State out of first place in the EIVA and a half-match behind George Mason in the EIVA standings. George Mason remains the only undefeated left in EIVA play. In addition, Patriots middle attacker Piotr Dabrowski leads the EIVA and is fourth in the nation averaging 1.39 blocks per game.