Time to say goodbye to the regular season and get ready for tournament play. I’ll save you from the suspense: Stanford won their conference, but it was a close thing. Who joins them in the postseason, and whose season is over?
First a quick word about Stanford. They lost a five game match to UCLA on Friday night, putting their chances of winning in serious jeopardy. But Saturday brought a hard-fought, five game victory over No. 7 UC Irvine, and that win combined with a No. 2 BYU loss to No. 3 Cal State Northridge gave the Cardinal its first conference victory since 1997.
They meet UC Irvine again this weekend in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. In other MPSF quarterfinal matchups: No. 5 Pepperdine at No. 4 Hawaii, No. 6 USC at No. 3 Cal State Northridge, and No. 7 UCLA at No. 2 BYU. The winner of this tournament gets the only automatic spot in the NCAA tournament.
Ohio State won the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, giving them a quarterfinal bye this weekend. Penn State won the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association conference and also has a first-round bye in their conference tournament.
Teams whose hopes are done:
This weekend’s tournaments will be the final pieces in the puzzle of who will make it to the NCAA tournament in May. Stanford’s top seed in the MPSF ensures that they won’t be leaving home at all in the post season, a situation that only improves their chances of bringing it all home. But Friday’s loss to UCLA proves that the Cardinal isn’t invincible and it’s still anybody’s tournament to win.
Come back to Volleyball-life.com next week for more NCAA men’s volleyball news.