Last week the MIVA Tournament started and we gave our MIVA Tournament preview for the start of everything and in the quarterfinal round. Now that we have progressed to the last four teams in the semifinal round, we give out a new preview getting you ready for a clash of a quartet of top 10 teams competing for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
*Teams do NOT reseed following the quarterfinals
No. 8 Quincy at No. 1 Ohio State (OSU 3-0)
No. 7 Lindenwood at No. 2 Loyola (LUC 3-0)
No. 6 McKendree at No. 3 Ball State (BSU 3-0)
No. 5 Fort Wayne at No. 4 Lewis (LEW 3-0)
4-seed/#8 Lewis (19-10, 9-5) at 1-seed/#6 Ohio State (21-5, 11-3)
- Season series: Tied, 1-1 (Lewis 3-0 vs. OSU; OSU 3-0 vs. Lewis)
- Neither of these offenses struggled in either meeting with each other, but the serve differential was likely the difference. It makes sense considering Ohio State’s bugaboo this season has been serve receive, but they’ve also shown the ability to provide a wealth of pressure on their opposition with their own serve. In the Lewis sweep, the Flyers hit .373 and Ohio State had just one ace while Ohio State hit .338 and Lewis had five aces. When Ohio State earned a sweep the Buckeyes hit .417 and Lewis was knocked down to just two aces while the Flyers hit .260 as Ohio State had 10 aces. It seems serve reception and pressuring the opponent will be the key again.
3-seed/#10 Ball State (18-11, 10-4) at 2-seed/#7 Loyola Chicago (22-6, 11-3)
- Season series: Tied, 1-1 (BSU 3-1 vs. Loyola; Loyola 3-0 vs. BSU)
- In examining the two previous tilts, there was a few subtle aspects of the match that swung the results. The winning team in both had a slight advantage in aces, although it wasn’t a big enough number either way to draw a sweeping conclusion. Maybe the most important factor was that Ball State’s offense hit .138 in a loss vs. hitting .291 in the win while Loyola was around the same both times (.325 & .287). The Cardinals haven’t been as consistent offensively as the Ramblers all year long, so it would make sense, but they’ll need to avoid the Loyola block and garner more points off of their own strong block than they did in the second match. For Loyola, they’ll just look to play their game and continue strong serve receive like they had in the last match with Ball State.