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Top 5 men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

April 9, 2011

It’s the aftermath tonight following a day featuring some of the biggest upsets of the season.

After two of the top three ranked teams lost Friday, all five of the top ranked teams will be in action tonight. Highlighting the night is No. 1 USC and No. 3 Stanford both looking for wins after being upset. Outside of the MPSF, an in-state rivalry will be renewed tonight in Muncie, Ind., as Ball State looks to clinch the No. 3 seed in the MIVA Tournament.

Check out the top five men’s volleyball matches to follow tonight

1. No. 1 USC (18-2, 17-2 MPSF) vs. No. 7 Hawai’i (15-11, 13-8 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. Honolulu
Follow live: Live stats, Radio feed
What to know: One day after Hawai’i defeated USC to end the nation’s longest winning streak at 12 matches, the two teams will meet again to close out their two-match weekend series. Hawai’i outside attacker Jonas Umlauft had a match-high 26 kills in the victory. The sophomore also has at least 20 kills in six of last seven matches. Despite losing, USC out-hit Hawai’i .383 to .338 and three Trojans had more than 10 kills, including outside attacker Murphy Troy who had a team-high 17 kills. This was the second time in the last two years that the Warriors defeated the Trojans when they were ranked No. 1.

2. No. 3 Stanford (17-8, 13-7 MPSF) vs. No. 6 UCLA (16-11, 9-10)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Los Angeles
Follow live: Gametracker, Radio feed
What to know: It is almost panic time for the Cardinal and this match a must-win as the team heads into the conference tournament. Stanford lost in four games to No. 8 UC Santa Barbara on Friday to move one-and-half matches behind BYU for second place and will now likely be the No. 3 seed for the conference tournament. The Cardinal are 3-4 since its bye week in early March, and its loss Friday likely puts the team behind BYU entering the MPSF Tournament for the one at-large bid to the Final Four. UCLA swept last-place Pacific on Friday to end its two match losing streak. Freshman outside attacker Gonzalo Quiroga had a career-high six aces in the win and is now in the nation’s top 15 with 39 aces this season.

3. IPFW (15-9, 5-6 MIVA) vs. Ball State (16-10 MIVA)
Match vitals:
7:30 p.m. in Muncie, Ind.
Follow live: Off the Block in-match live chat, Live stats, Online video
What to know: Coach Joel Walton said since the middle of the season that Ball State’s goal was to get the No. 3 seed in the MIVA Tournament to avoid playing Ohio State until the conference championship match. That goal can be accomplished tonight with a victory against IPFW. Ball State lost on the road to second-place Loyola in five games Friday but was able to stay in third place because IPFW upset Lewis. The Cardinals are on an eight match winning streak against the Mastodons, including a three-game victory in February.

4. No. 2 BYU (19-7, 15-6 MPSF) vs. Pepperdine (9-14, 5-14 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Malbui, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker
What to know: All the Cougars need to do is win their regular season finale tonight and they will clinch the No. 2 seed in the MPSF Tournament. BYU opened its two-match series against Pepperdine with a four game victory Friday to extend its winning streak to six matches. Outside attacker Taylor Sander had a match-high 20 kills in the victory as the Cougars out-hit the Waves .363 to .295. With the loss Pepperdine is on a three match losing streak and is 1-3 since its athletics department banned the team from the postseason this year because of NCAA violations.

5. No. 4 UC Irvine (16-11, 12-8 MPSF) vs. Cal State Northridge (7-20, 5-15 MPSF)
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Northridge, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker
What to know: The Anteaters can move one step closer to clinching the No. 4 seed and a home match in the first round of the MPSF Tournament with a win tonight. UC Irvine is on a four match winning streak and is a half-match behind Hawai’i for the fourth place in the MPSF, the lowest seed that hosts a MPSF Tournament quarterfinals match. Cal State Northridge has been eliminated from the postseason and was on a five match losing streak before defeating UC San Diego on Thursday. For on this match and UC Irvine, check out Off the Block’s interview with Anteaters coach John Speraw.

Best of the rest
No. 5 Long Beach State vs. UC San Diego
Match vitals:
7 p.m. in Long Beach, Calif.
Follow live: Gametracker
What to know: This is a near must-win for Long Beach State if it wants to avoid dropping any further in the conference standings. The 49ers have clinched a spot in the postseason but are on a three-match losing streak and moved back to seventh place in the MPSF. UC San Diego was eliminated from the postseason with its loss to Cal State Northridge on Thursday. In the last few weeks, though, UC San Diego pulled off upsets against then-No. 2 Ohio State and then-No. 5 UCLA.

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