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Men's Volleyball

Long Beach State Gears Up For Title Rematch



2019 Men's Volleyball Release No. 3


Big Start Continues For Big West
The Big West followed up an 11-3 record in week one with another dominating week two.  The six conference members combined to go 11-2 for a cumulative record of 22.5.  The Big West boasts 10 victories against teams ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association top 15.  CSUN provided the most impressive of the bunch with a sweep of then-No. 2 UCLA at home, the first win over the Bruins inside the Matadome since 2014.  UC Irvine also improved to 3-0 over ranked teams with a win over No. 14 Ball State.  Long Beach State, UC Irvine and Hawai‘i are a combined 13-0.

National Title Rematch

A formidable week of competition awaits the Big West as all 10 matches on tap are against teams ranked in the AVCA top 15.  None can be more hyped than Saturday’s tilt between Long Beach State and UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, site of the 2018 national championship match which the Beach won in five sets and secured the program’s second title.  A crowd of 7,248 witnessed LBSU rebound from its first 2-1 deficit all year with gritty set 4 and 5 victories.  The final pitted No. 1 LBSU against No. 2 UCLA.  On Saturday, LBSU enters as the nation’s top-ranked team, while the Bruins come in at No. 6 after falling four spots.

Not only are all 10 contests this week against nationally ranked teams, all 10 also are taking place on the road.  The Big West is 8-3 in true road matches, and 14-4 overall if counting neutral site matches.  UC Santa Barbara also plays at No. 6 UCLA.  UC Irvine has a doubleheader at No. 9 Stanford.  CSUN and UCSB switch off playing No. 13 Purdue Fort Wayne and No. 14 Ball State.  UC San Diego, which won twice last week, continues a six-match roadtrip with battles at No. 8 Lewis and No. 7 Loyola-Chicago.

Poll Position
Long Beach State held its No. 1 position in Monday’s AVCA top 15 poll release, and have held that distinction since Jan. 15, 2018, a span of 16 consecutive weeks.  UC Irvine and Hawai‘i remained No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, giving the Big West a 1-2-3 stranglehold in the poll.  CSUN moved up two spots to No. 10 following its big win over UCLA, while UC Santa Barbara dropped two to No. 12.  UC San Diego began receiving votes in the poll for the first time this year.

Number One In All The Land
It’s early in the season, but Big West schools are making their mark in the national stats.  In the team categories, Hawai‘i is No. 1 in hitting percentage (.493) and kills per set (14.78), while Long Beach State is tops No. 1 in assists per set (13.73).  Individually, LBSU senior setter Josh Tuaniga is first in assists per set (11.73).

Long Beach State To Host Final Four
Long Beach State’s quest to repeat as national champion in 2019 will run straight through the Walter Pyramid, the home court of the Beach.  The program has won 29 straight contests in the ‘Mid dating back to April 16, 2016.  The school record is 32 consecutive wins at home.