With Long Beach State having secured the men's volleyball regular season title, teams are jockeying for seeding position for next week's Big West Tournament.
Long Beach State Clinches Inaugural Title
Long Beach State won a pair of contests last week against UC San Diego to move to 8-0 in Big West play, and secured the inaugural regular season championship with two matches still to go.
The nation’s only remaining undefeated Division I-II squad, the Beach also improved to 23-0 overall. The 23 straight wins represents an LBSU program record for longest winning streak, eclipsing the 22 straight the 1991 and 1992 teams procured over two seasons.
Ranked No. 1 in the AVCA poll for 13 straight weeks, Long Beach State attempts to close out an undefeated regular season this weekend. However, the opponent is No. 6 Hawai‘i, and the Beach will need to win on back-to-back nights in Honolulu to secure that unblemished mark.
UH is 12-3 at the Stan Sheriff Center this year, with losses coming to No. 2 UCLA, No. 5 UC Irvine and No. 3 BYU. The Rainbow Warriors are trying to secure the No. 2 seed in next week’s Big West Tournament which would afford them a first round bye, and to improve their at-large chances for NCAA Tournament inclusion should they not win the conference tournament.
Knipe Earns Win No. 300
LBSU head coach Alan Knipe earned career win No. 300 last Friday in a 3-0 triumph at UC San Diego. Following a win against the Tritons on Saturday, Knipe is now iss now 301-146 in his 15th season at LBSU.
And The No. 2 Seed Will Be?
Hawai‘i and UC Irvine enter the final week of Big West play tied for second place at 5-3. UH hosts LBSU for two matches, while UCI plays a home-and-home against UC Santa Barbara. Either club could end up in second place at week’s end depending on the results of their final two matches. The possibility of a four-way tie at 5-5 exists. UH and UCI would both have to lose twice, and CSUN would need to sweep UC San Diego. Big West tiebreaker rules look at head-to-head matchups between tied teams first. In that scenario, CSUN, UCI, UCSB and UH would all be 3-3 against each other. The next tiebreaker examines which team won the highest percentage of conference sets between the tied teams. CSUN is 12-10 (.545) in sets won and lost, the best of the four. UH is 10-11, while UCI (10-6) and UCSB (5-10) can’t do better than CSUN regardless of this week’s results. CSUN would be the No. 2 seed in a four-way tie.
‘Eaters Seek 20 Wins
UC Irvine enters the week with a 19-7 record, needing one win to reach the 20-win plateau for the third time in the last four seasons. The ‘Eaters have won eight matches against teams ranked in the AVCA top 10 at the time of the contest.
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.