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Eric Vander Voort | NCAA.com | January 31, 2014

DIII Top 10 Preview: Nazareth, Rivier host marquee tournaments

Nazareth, the 2013 national runner-up and ranked second in the AVCA coaches’ poll, will host the Golden Flyer Tournament this weekend. Several ranked teams will be participating, making for a schedule filled with marquee matchups.

The most highly-anticipated may be a match between the hosts and No. 3 Juniata, which will be played at 6:30 p.m. EST on Saturday. Nazareth started its season on Wednesday against D’Youville, and Juniata comes in to the tournament with six games already under its belt. Nazareth boasts two Preseason First-Team All-Americans in junior Luke Lawatsch and sophomore Tim Zyburt, while Juniata’s Joe Bortak was named to the team. Eagle sophomore Matthew Kinnebrew notched a career-high 18 kills last weekend against Hunter.

The Golden Flyers will then play against UC Santa Cruz, which is tied for fifth in the poll, on Sunday. The Banana Slugs will have taken on No. 13 Elmira on Thursday before entering tournament play. They went into that game 2-0 in Division III games, with three losses against non-Division III teams.

Seventh-ranked Carthage will also be at the Golden Flyer Tournament. It will play against each of the other four participants in No. 15 Medaille, Hilbert, No. 13 Elmira and Thiel. Carthage is coming off losses to Quincy and Lindenwood last weekend.

No. 8 Rivier is hosting another weekend tournament, the “Live Free or Die Invitational,” which will include No. 1 Springfield, No. T5 Baruch, Endicott, Newbury, Johnson & Wales and Daniel Webster. …  The invitational will commence Rivier’s season. … Top-ranked Springfield bounced back from an 0-3 start with three sweep wins at home, including one against No. 9 New York University. … No. 4 New Paltz State is coming off winning the Roadrunner Invitational and has three games this week. … No. 10 Stevenson was the only team to join the top 10 this week after a 4-1 start to the season.