NCAA Men's Volleyball Opening Weekend Highlights

Lewis Athletics Mitch Perinar Lewis men's volleyball

Men's college volleyball season is here! A few programs kicked off their 2017 competition with matches over the weekend and earlier this week, but the real action starts Thursday. Four major preseason tournaments are taking place across the country, with a handful of single-match highlights sprinkled in as well.

Here's what you need to know.

AVCA Showcase: Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge at Ohio State

Teams attending: Ohio State, Penn State, UCLA, USC

The biggest matches of the opening weekend of NCAA DI-II men's volleyball competition will take place in St. John Arena on the campus of Ohio State University, and of those four matches, the highlight is sure to be No. 1 Ohio State versus No. 3 UCLA (Saturday, Jan. 7, at 6 PM ET).

The reigning national champion Buckeyes only lost one impact player from their 2016 squad, outside hitter Christian Franceschi, and explosive freshman Reese Devilbliss seems ready to step up and fill his shoes. UCLA graduated none of its starters from last year, a season in which it made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006.

Outrigger Invitational at Hawaii

Teams attending: Hawaii, Princeton, Ball State, Erskine

The strength of the field at the 23rd annual Outrigger Invitational is not quite what it's been in years past; however, all four teams in attendance will likely benefit from playing key out-of-conference matches. No. 7 Hawaii will face-off against AVCA No. 15 Ball State Saturday, January 7, at 7 PM HT (12 AM ET), in what should be the most competitive match of the tournament.

UCSB ASICS Invitational at UC Santa Barbara

Teams attending: UCSB, CSUN, IPFW, Long Beach State, McKendree, Mount Olive, Quincy, Saint Francis, Stanford

Top-10 ranked Long Beach State and Stanford headline the largest tournament of opening weekend, along with host team UC Santa Barbara, which ranks 12th in the AVCA preseason poll. None of the ranked teams will play each other this weekend, however. Instead, we'll see plenty of East Coast/West Coast battles and get a feel for the strength of the MIVA, EIVA, and Conference Carolinas conferences.

CBU Ayers Hotel Invitational at Cal Baptist

Teams attending: Cal Baptist, Saint Francis, Concordia-Irvine, Lindenwood

Although not the strongest competition of opening weekend, the CBU Invitational is the only tournament this weekend streaming every single match, so this is a good opportunity to get your men's volleyball fix.

Additional Highlights


BYU at Lewis
Saturday, Jan. 7, at 8 PM ET

Two of the strongest teams in their respective conferences will face off in Romeoville, Illinois, to open their seasons. Lewis came in at No. 2 in the MIVA preseason poll, behind only defending champion Ohio State and has one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. BYU topped the MPSF preseason poll, despite ranking behind UCLA in the AVCA preseason poll and boasts a deep roster with a combination of veterans and newcomers.

McMaster at Pepperdine
Thursday, Jan. 5, at 5 PM ET, and Friday, Jan. 6, at 10 PM ET

After easily dispatching Ohio State last week, Canadian powerhouse McMaster is visiting other top American programs. This week, the Mauraders will stop at Concordia-Irvine before heading north to play No. 5 Pepperdine two nights in a row. See if Pepperdine can do what Ohio State could not and at least take a set off of McMaster.

Complete Opening Weekend Schedule


Thursday, Jan. 5

Team A Team B Time Location Stream
Pepperdine McMaster 5 PM ET Malibu, California WCC Sports Stream
Loyola-Chicago NJIT 8 PM ET Chicago, Illinois
Princeton Ball State 9 PM ET Honolulu, Hawaii
UCSD UC Irvine 10 PM ET Irvine, California
Hawaii Erskine 12 AM ET Honolulu, Hawaii

Friday, Jan. 6

Team A Team B Time Location Stream
Long Beach State IPFW 1 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
UCSB McKendree 1 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
CSUN Quincy 1 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
Mount Olive Stanford 1 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
Saint Francis Concordia 1 PM ET Riverside, California CBU Live Stream
Lindenwood Cal Baptist 3:30 PM ET Riverside, California CBU Live Stream
Penn State UCLA 5 PM ET Columbus, Ohio
Ohio State USC 7 PM ET Columbus, Ohio Buckeye Vision
Belmont Abbey George Mason 7 PM ET Belmont, North Carolina
North Greenville Lincoln Memorial 7 PM ET Tigerville, South Carolina
Lewis BYU 8 PM ET Romeoville, Illinois Lewis Live Stream
Concordia Lindenwood 8 PM ET Riverside, California CBU Live Stream
Erskine Ball State 9 PM ET Honolulu, Hawaii
Long Beach State McKendree 10 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
Pepperdine McMaster 10 PM ET Malibu, California WCC Sports Live Stream
UC Irvine Grand Canyon 10 PM ET Irvine, California
Quincy Stanford 10 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
UCSB Mount Olive 10 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
CSUN IPFW 10 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
Princeton Hawaii 12 AM ET Honolulu, Hawaii

Saturday, Jan. 7

Team A Team B Time Location Stream
Emmanuel (Ga.) Lincoln Memorial 11 AM ET Franklin Springs, Georgia
Lindenwood Saint Francis 12 PM ET Riverside, California CBU Live Stream
Emmanuel (Ga.) Rust 1 PM ET Franklin Springs, Georgia
Mount Olive CSUN 2 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
Penn State USC 3 PM ET Columbus, Ohio BTN2Go
Cal Baptist Concordia 3:30 PM ET Riverside, California CBU Live Stream
McKendree Stanford 4:30 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
Ohio State UCLA 6 PM ET Columbus, Ohio BTN
Long Beach State Quincy 7 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
Limestone George Mason 7 PM ET Gaffney, South Carolina
UC San Diego Grand Canyon 8 PM ET La Jolla, California UCSD Live Stream
Loyola-Chicago BYU 8 PM ET Chicago, Illinois ESPN3
Lewis NJIT 8 PM ET Romeoville, Illinois Lewis Live Stream
Princeton Erskine 9 PM ET Honolulu, Hawaii
USCB IPFW 10 PM ET Santa Barbara, California
Hawaii Ball State 12 AM ET Honolulu, Hawaii


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Courtesy Chantelle Steiner Raegan Steiner

Yes, they play volleyball in Montana.

No, they don’t ride horses to volleyball practice.

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Courtesy Chantelle Steiner Raegan Steiner

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Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Emma Schriner

Jamestown Volleyball | Twitter Emma Schriner

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Last Four Teams Standing Book Their Tickets To Kansas City

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On Saturday night, the eight remaining teams in the 2017 NCAA Division I women’s volleyball tournament faced off to determine which four would advance to the Final Four in Kansas City next week. 

Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Adanna Rollins

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Adanna Rollins led Hebron High School to the 6A Texas state championship last year as a junior and was named the MVP of the tournament. This fall, Hebron, missing graduated setter and reigning Texas Gatorade Player of the Year Kylee McLaughlin, wasn’t expected to repeat, but with some inspired play from Rollins, they did just that.

Regional Hosts Survive Sweet 16 Tests

Matt Pendleton/UAA Communications Rhamat Alhassan

The regional semifinal rounds of the 2017 NCAA Division I women’s volleyball tournament wrapped up last night, leaving only eight teams remaining in the hunt for the championship. 

Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Ella May Powell

Courtesy AVCA Ella May Powell.jpg

The list of colleges Ella May Powell considered before making her commitment to Washington features some of the most decorated women’s volleyball programs in NCAA history: Stanford, UCLA, Florida, and Nebraska.

This Week's College Commits: 12/8/17

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A Texas high school state champion from the class of 2020 made her verbal commitment to Florida this week, Florida State added a 2021 libero from Walton High School in Georgia, and the beach programs of Missouri State and TCU celebrated the addition of talent to their 2019 teams.

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Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Jonni Parker

Courtesy AVCA Jonni Parker.JPG

Miami East senior Jonni Parker led the 2017 Viking squad with 449 kills and 315 assists, but perhaps the most impressive line item on her stats sheet is the 153 aces; that mark ranks her fifth in state history for aces in a single season, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association website.

Meet The 2017 Under Armour All-Americans: Ade’ Owokoniran

Courtesy Triangle Volleyball Club IMG_0251.JPG

To get an idea of what Ade’ Owokoniran’s contributions at the collegiate level might be like when she makes her debut at Duke next fall, think of Danielle Cuttino of Purdue. Like Cuttino, Owokoniran is a middle blocker with the skill and athleticism to play on the outside, while putting on a display of explosive power when in the middle.