No. 1 Undefeated Long Beach State Hosts UCLA In Saturday Showdown
2018 Men's Volleyball Release No. 7
Long Beach State (12-0), the nation's No. 1 ranked men's volleyball squad for five straight weeks, hosts second-ranked UCLA at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday seeking to remain unbeaten on the season.
Light Schedule This Week
The Big West is 48-16 against non-conference competition with 29 additional contests scattered throughout the schedule from now through the middle of March.
The schedule might be light this week with just four matches, but the most anticipated matchup of the season is slated for Saturday at the Walter Pyramid. It’s the top two teams in the country in No. 1 Long Beach State hosting No. 2 UCLA. The Beach make a return visit to Pauley Pavilion to face the Bruins on Feb. 21.
Five Big West schools remain ranked in the Sports Imports/AVCA top 15 poll this week. Long Beach State is No. 1 in the country for the fifth straight week. Hawai‘i stays at No. 3 and UC Irvine remains at No. 4, giving the Big West the most impressive trio in all of collegiate men’s volleyball. CSUN checks in at No. 11 and UC Santa Barbara earns a No. 13 ranking.
The Big West is tied with the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation with five schools apiece in the AVCA DI-II top-15. The Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) has four and the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) has one.
UC Irvine returns from a 10-day hiatus to tangle with No. 12 Pepperdine on Wednesday. All six Big West schools boast .500 or better overall records.
Long Beach State is the only remaining undefeated team in the country at 12-0. That distinction will be put to the test as the nation’s top-ranked squad takes on No. 2 UCLA in back-to-back showdowns within a five-day span.
LBSU trails the all-time series against UCLA 51-37, but is 20-15 against the Bruins since 2003. The Beach swept last year’s encounter at Pauley Pavilion.
LBSU’s 12-0 start is the second-best in program history, trailing only the 1992 team, which went 16-0 before losing its first match. The Beach has won 36 of 37 sets this season, including 29 straight.
Inaugural Big West Match Looming
The much anticipated beginning of Big West play is hovering, with the start date Friday, Feb. 23. On that night, Hawai‘i will host UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara will welcome UC San Diego. Each team plays a 10-match double round-robin schedule, with the exception of Hawai‘i, which will play three home doubleheaders (UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Long Beach State) and two away doubleheaders (CSUN, UC Santa Barbara) this year.
Big West Tournament On The Horizon
The first annual Big West Men’s Volleyball Tournament will be held April 19-21 at Long Beach State’s Walter Pyramid. All six teams will compete for the tourney title and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.