Here are the team profiles for the 2013 men's volleyball playoffs by conference. The winner of each conference tournament will earn a spot in the Final Four along with one at-large bid team that will be decided at the conclusion of conference tournament play.
Brigham Young University
The Final Four teams are set for the 2013 national championship and this year is shaping up to be one of the most competitive that we’ve seen in the recent past. BYU, Loyola-Chicago and Penn State won the automatic bids by winning their respective conference tournaments. The at-large bid came down to Long Beach State and UCI. In the end the committee voted for the Anteaters. So the defending champs will have a chance to be the first men’s team to repeat as champion even thought they lost to Long Beach State in the marathon semifinal last weekend. Check out each of the teams competing for the 2013 National Championship, who they beat to get in and what their prospects are for making the final.
The MPSF is traditionally the strongest conference in the nation in men's volleyball. 2013 continued that tradition as the top eight teams in the nation in the AVCA's final poll and ten of the top 15 teams hailed from the MPSF. For that reason, the MPSF is the most likely to receive the single at-large bid, the final spot in the Final Four that is chosen by a selection committee after the conclusion of the conference tournaments. This year's MPSF Conference Champion, BYU, earned the automatic bid and No. 2 ranked UCI was selected as the at-large bid over Long Beach State because of the body of work they put together this season. Read more about each of the four semifinalists in the MPSF tournament - BYU, UCI, Long Beach State and UCLA.
The MIVA Conference had an incredible year in 2013, with several of its teams showing themselves as competitive with the best in the nation. There was no run away favorite in this year's tournament as three teams put together great seasons. Lewis, Loyola Chicago and Ball State all had a shot at the conference title and it was impossible to predict who would win. The fourth team in the MIVA tournament won in an upset - Grand Canyon took out Ohio State in the quarterfinals, but were no match for No. 1 Lewis in the semis. In the end, Loyola Chicago upset No. 1 Lewis for the conference championship and earned the automatic bid to the Final Four in Los Angeles. It is the first Final Four appearance in program history and with a strong squad they will be no easy win for semifinal opponent UCI.
The EIVA was this year's weakest conference, but the usually untouchable Penn State team stumbled a bit this season. They struggled against MIVA teams and lost in three sets to fellow EIVA team, Harvard during the regular season. But the Nittany Lions turned it on in the conference tournament, beating both opponents in an easy three sets to earn the fourth seed in the Final Four. Penn State has its work cut out though, as they will play No. 1 BYU in the semifinals. Penn State will have to put together quite a match to upset the Cougars, who have amongst the starters the MPSF Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.