With wins this weekend by Long Beach State and USC, the pairing for the 2017 MPSF men’s volleyball tournament opening round are set.
Those two teams as the #1 and #8 seeds will play in the opening round in Long Beach – which marks a treacherous path for the home team. USC is one of only two MPSF teams (USC is the other) to have beaten LBSU this season when they got a 3-1 win on January 11th. Since then, USC has gotten much stronger (and healthier), having won 8 of their last 9 games down the stretch.
#2 seed BYU will play host to the Stanford men, who they’ve beaten 3-1 and 3-0 already this season. 3rd-seeded Hawaii likewise has a 2-0 season advantage over their opening-round opponents from Pepperdine.
The most intriguing matchup, as one might expect, comes in the 4-5 game between UC Irvine and UCLA. The season series is tied 1-1, with UCLA winning the first game very early in the season 3-0, then UCI later winning 3-2 in late February.
Both teams come into the game on hot streaks. Irvine has won their last 8, including an earth-shattering 3-0 sweep over Ohio State on March 11th that ended the Buckeyes’ 42-game winning streak.
UCLA, meanwhile, had national title aspirations early in the year, before a run of injuries derailed them early in the conference season. After getting healthy though, they won 7 straight before dropping back-to-back games against Hawaii to close their season.
For both teams, in spite of their strong last-season pushes, the likely only path to the 6-team NCAA tournament is by winning the MPSF conference tournament.
The hosting sites for each quarterfinal game is decided by whichever team in each pairing has the higher seed. The semi-finals and finals will both be hosted by whichever team is the top-seeded seed after the quarterfinals is.
Saturday, April 15; 7:00 pm Local Time
Match 1- No. 8 seed USC at No. 1 seed Long Beach State
’17 Series: Tied 1-1 (LBSU 3-0 @ LB-F. 24; USC 3-1- @ USC-J. 11)
Match 2- No. 5 seed UCLA at No. 4 seed UC Irvine
’17 Series: Tied, 1-1 (UCI 3-2 @ UCI-F. 24; UCLA 3-0 @ UCLA-J. 12)
Match 3- No. 6 seed Pepperdine at No. 3 seed Hawaii
’17 Series: UH, 2-0 (3-0 @ UH-F. 26; 3-0 @ UH-F. 24)
Match 4- No. 7 seed Stanford at No. 2 seed BYU
’17 Series: BYU, 2-0 (3-1 @ STAN-F. 24; 3-0 @ STAN-F. 23)
Thursday, April 20 (Host: Top Remaining Seed)
Match 5—Match 3 Winner vs. Match 4 Winner
Match 6—Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner
Saturday, April 22 (Host: Semifinal Site)
Match 7—Semifinal Winners