No. 2 Long Beach State (23-3, 15-2 MPSF) vs. No. 14 CSUN (12-14, 5-12 MPSF)
Date: Saturday, April 8
Time: 7 p.m.
Arena: Walter Pyramid (4,200)
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Live Stats: BeachLiveStats.com
Top-Ranked Beach Closes Out Regular Season Against No. 14 CSUN
The No. 1 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team wraps up the regular season on Saturday, April 8, when they host No. 14 CSUN at 7 p.m., inside the Walter Pyramid. A Beach win earns LBSU the No. 1 seed and home court advantage in the MPSF Tournament. It is also senior day, as Long Beach State will honor its nine seniors in Eric Ensing, Amir Lugo-Rodriguez, Ryan Manoogian, Andrew Sato, Curtis Stallings, Scott Stephanoff, Jeff Utupo, Andrew Whitt, and Bryce Yould.
About The Beach
• The Beach moved back into the No. 1 spot in the AVCA National Rankings after sweeping Concordia (Irvine) in a non-conference contest.
• Senior libero Andrew Sato continues his prowess in the backrow as he owns a total of 943 digs becoming just the 15th player in MPSF history to reach the 900-dig plateau. He is also Long Beach State’s all-time digs leader.
• Senior middle blocker Bryce Yould has been hot offensively as he owns a .500 (143-24-238) attack percentage all the while upping his career hitting percentage to .445 (476-112-818) to rank third all-time at Long Beach State.
• Sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga has totaled 963 assists for an average of 11.33 to lead both the MPSF and the nation. Tuaniga has now accumulated a total of 2,327 assists in his career to move into ninth place in the Long Beach State career records.
• With the regular season coming to an end, Long Beach State’s Amir Lugo-Rodriguez’s attack percentage of .516 ranks No. 1 among LBSU players in a single-season. Meanwhile, Yould’s clip of .500 ranks him fifth in the single-season record book.
• LBSU has three players currently leading the MPSF in their respective statistical categories. Sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga’s 11.33 assists per set lead not only the MPSF, but the nation. Seniors Andrew Sato and Amir Lugo-Rodriguez also lead the league with 2.51 digs per set and 1.22 blocks per set, respectively.
• The Beach lead the nation in a pair of statistical categories. Long Beach State sets the standard in hitting percentage (.376) as well as blocks per set (2.70).
• Long Beach State was chosen to finish third in the MPSF Preseason Coaches’ Poll with 103 total points. The Beach were picked to come in behind BYU (119 points), which garnered nine first-place votes, and UCLA (111 points), which tallied three first place votes.
In the Rankings
Long Beach State’s moved back into the No. 1 spot in the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Volleyball Poll after earning a three-set sweep over Concordia (Irvine) in a non-conference contest last week.
CSUN holds steady in the No. 14 spot in the rankings after having dropped a pair of matches at No. 4 Hawaii last week. The Matadors were swept in the first match, and fell in four sets in the second.
This season, Long Beach State will face 12 of the 15 ranked teams, while taking on the top three finishers from a year ago (Ohio State, BYU, UCLA) on the road.
Scouting The Matadors
No. 14 CSUN brings a 12-14 overall record into the Walter Pyramid for the final match of the regular season. The Matadors are 5-12 in MPSF action and 2-6 when playing on the road this season.
CSUN is looking to snap an eight-match losing streak which dates back to March 3. The Matadors’ last victory came at home against UC San Diego when they earned a 3-1 win over the Tritons.
This season, CSUN is 9-5 in three-set matches, 2-3 in four-set matches, and 1-6 in five-set contests.
CSUN’s leading scorer is Arvis Greene who has accumulated 356 kills for an average of 4.09 kills per set on .313 hitting. He also adds 0.83 digs per set and 0.57 blocks per set. Dimitar Kalchev is the team’s second leading scorer with 3.49 kills per set and 1.27 digs per set. He also leads the conference with 63 service aces (0.65 per set).
Sam Porter is the Matadors’ setter as he leads the team with 10.30 assists per set, while adding 1.06 digs per contest. CJ Suarez sets the tone in the back court with a team-leading 2.32 digs per set.
Series vs. CSUN
Long Beach State and CSUN will meet for the 78th time in program history and the Beach lead the all-time series 44-33. LBSU has won nine out of its last 10 meetings with CSUN, as the Matadors’ only win since 2012 came a year ago when they defeated the 49ers in five sets in Northridge, Calif. Long Beach State leads the series 20-10 when hosting CSUN at the Walter Pyramid.
The MPSF Tournament is next on the schedule for Long Beach State. A win over CSUN today, earns the Beach a No. 1 seed and home court advantage throughout the tournament. The MPSF tournament begins on Saturday, April 15 with the First Round. The semifinals will take place on Thursday, April 20, and the finals will be played on Saturday, April 22.
News courtesy of Long Beach State Athletics.