#2 Long Beach State Hosts Asics Tournament This Weekend

  0 volleymob | March 09th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, EIVA, MIVA, MPSF, News

No. 2 Long Beach State (17-2, 13-1 MPSF) vs. George Mason (7-9, 2-5 EIVA)

Date: Friday, March 10
Time: 7 p.m. (PT)
Arena: Walter Pyramid (4,200)
Location: Long Beach, Calif.

Live Stats: BeachLiveStats.com
Radio: KBeach.org
Radio Talent: Jay Holloway
Webcast: LongBeachState.com

No. 2 Long Beach State (17-2, 13-1 MPSF) vs. Loyola (10-6, 6-3 MIVA)

Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 7 p.m. (PT)
Arena: Walter Pyramid
Location: Long Beach, Calif.

Live Stats: BeachLiveStats.com
Radio: KBeach.org
Radio Talent: Jay Holloway
Webcast: LongBeachState.com

No. 2 Long Beach State Hosts ASICS Tournament At The Walter Pyramid This Weekend
The second-ranked Long Beach State men’s volleyball hosts the annual ASICS Tournament this weekend. The Beach welcome No. 10 Loyola, No. 11 CSUN, and George Mason to the Walter Pyramid. Loyola and CSUN will open the tournament on Friday, March 10 at 5 p.m., followed by George Mason and Long Beach State at 7 p.m. The tournament will conclude on Saturday with a pair of matches as George Mason and CSUN battle it out at 5 p.m., and Loyola faces LBSU at 7 p.m.

ASICS Tournament Schedule
Friday, March 10
Loyola vs. CSUN – 5 p.m.
George Mason vs. Long Beach State – 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 11
George Mason vs. CSUN – 5 p.m.
Loyola vs. Long Beach State – 7 p.m.

About The Beach
• The Beach bring a 10-match winning streak into the ASICS Tournament and are 8-0 when playing at the Walter Pyramid.
• Senior libero Andrew Sato had a big week as he totaled 20 digs en route to bringing his career total to 893 which is a new program record. Sato needs just seven digs to become the 15th player in MPSF history to reach 900 career digs. His top-notch performance earned him MPSF Player of the Week honors, marking the first time in more than two years a libero won weekly accolades in the MPSF. 
• Senior middle blocker Bryce Yould has been hot offensively as he leads the Beach with a .506 attack percentage (104-19-168) all the while upping his career hitting percentage to .441 to move into fifth-place all-time at Long Beach State.
• Sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga has totaled 717 assists for an average of 11.56 to lead both the MPSF and the nation. As a team, the Beach are averaging 12.86 assists per set which is also tops in the country and conference.
• The Beach’s offense is averaging 13.72 kills per set which puts them in first in the NCAA and MPSF. Sophomore TJ DeFalco leads the team with 4.12 kills per set which is good for fifth in the conference and eighth in the country.
• Long Beach State also leads the nation in attack percentage with a clip of .380.
• LBSU has three players leading the MPSF in statistical categories. Josh Tuaniga (11.56 assists per set) leads the nation, while Amir Lugo-Rodriguez (1.31 blocks per set) and Andrew Sato (2.63 digs per set) lead the league.
• 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 10-match winning streak has kept the Beach in second in the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Volleyball Poll. With a 13-1 MPSF record, the Beach are tops in the league and have officially punched their postseason ticket into the eight-team MPSF Tournament and have clinched home court for the MPSF Quarterfinals on April 15.

Loyola dropped from No. 9 in the rankings to 10 and own a 10-6 overall record, while posting a 6-3 MIVA ledger.

George Mason is not ranked. The Patriots have a 7-9 overall mark and are 2-5 in the EIVA.

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 Patriots
George Mason snapped a four-match losing streak with a pair of victories over McKendree (3-0) and Coker (3-1) last week. The Patriots are 7-9 on the year and 2-5 in the EIVA.

This season, the Patriots are hitting .273 and averaging 11.7 kills per set on 10.8 assists per set. On defense, they have collected 6.6 digs per set and 2.4 blocks per game.

Jack Wilson is GMU’s leading scorer as he averages 3.44 kills per set to go along with 0.60 blocks per set. The Patriots have two setters that share duties in Brian Negron (9.57 assists per set) and Justin Coleman (7.00 per set), while Seth Blevins leads the team with 2.04 digs per set.

Series vs. George Mason
Long Beach State and George Mason will meet for the sixth time in program history and the Beach leads the all-time series 4-1. The meeting on Friday marks the first time the two teams will go head-to-head since 2013. George Mason won the very first contest between the two teams, 3-1, in 1984, but since then LBSU has won the last four meetings.

Scouting the Ramblers
No. 10 Loyola comes into the ASICS Tournament with a 10-6 overall record and a 6-3 MIVA ledger. The Ramblers went 1-1 last week after defeating Quincy, 3-1, and falling to Lindenwood in four-sets.

The Ramblers average 11.6 kills per set for a .285 attack percentage. They have posted 2.4 blocks per set and 8.8 digs per game.

Ben Plaisted leads Loyola with 2.67 kills per set to go along with 1.53 digs per set, while Jeff Jendryk owns a .476 (135-17-248) hitting percentage. Ian Cowen is the Ramblers’ setter as he averages 9.39 assists per set. At the net, Jendryk has put up 73 total blocks for an average of 1.20 per set.

Series vs. Loyola
Long Beach State and Loyola will face each other for just the fourth time in program history and the Beach leads the all-time series 3-0 as the Ramblers are looking for their first-ever win over LBSU. The fairly new series began in 2010 when the Beach defeated the Ramblers in four at the Pyramid, then Long Beach State earned back-to-back sweeps over Loyola in 2012 and 2013 in Santa Barbara, Calif., at a neutral site tournament.

Up Next
Following the ASICS Tournament, Long Beach State plays at CSUN on Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m., before hosting Sacred Heart in a non-conference contest on Saturday, March 18 at 7 p.m. in the Gold Mine on the LBSU campus.

News courtesy of Long Beach State Athletics.

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