With national rankings on the line, four of the top five men's college volleyball teams will compete in the Reebok volleyball tournament, which begins tonight at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion.
Top-ranked USC (16-1) leads the entrants. Others are No. 2 Penn State (9-1), No. 4 Pepperdine (5-4) and No. 5 UCLA (17-2).
The Trojans are the only team in the tournament that has not been hurt by injuries. The Bruins dropped from third in the rankings after injuries left them with three holes in their starting lineup. The Nittany Lions' top player, 6-foot 10-inch middle blocker Chris Chase, is out with a leg injury and is doubtful. The Waves are coming off two losses in Hawaii last weekend.
Matches tonight are at 6 and 8. The first match will have Penn State against USC, a rematch of last year's National Collegiate Athletic Assn. semifinal, which the Trojans won. The Nittany Lions return all six starters from that team.
UCLA-Pepperdine, the second match, will decide the season series. The Bruins beat the Waves Jan. 20, and the Waves beat the Bruins Feb. 16.
The final is Saturday at 8 p.m., preceded by the third-place match at 6.