#3 Long Beach State Opens MPSF Play With USC, Cal Baptist

  0 volleymob | January 11th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, MPSF, News

No. 3 Long Beach State (3-0) at USC (1-2)

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 11
Time: 7 p.m. (PT)
Arena: Galen Center (10,258)
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.

Live Stats: USCTrojans.com
Radio: None
Radio Talent: N/A
Webcast: Pac-12 Network

No. 3 Long Beach State (3-0) at Cal Baptist (1-2)

Date: Friday, Jan. 13
Time: 7 p.m. (PT)
Arena: Van Dyne Gym (1,100)
Location: Riverside, Calif.

Live Stats: CBULancers.com
Radio: None
Radio Talent: N/A
Webcast: CBULancers.com

The third-ranked Long Beach State men’s volleyball team opens Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) action on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at USC at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center. The Beach continue conference play as they travel to Riverside, Calif., to take on Cal Baptist on Friday, Jan. 13 at Van Dyne Gym.

• The Beach opened the season last week at the UCSB Tournament where they swept Fort Wayne, McKendree and Quincy to start the year with a 3-0 record. Long Beach State has now won nine straight season openers.
• Long Beach State started the year ranked fourth in the AVCA poll, but moved up to No. 3 after its three sweeps at the UCSB Tournament.
• LBSU is coming off of a 25-8 season in which the Beach tallied their 17th 20-win season in program history and sixth under head coach Alan Knipe.
• Senior libero Andrew Sato is ranked sixth in the Long Beach State career records with 751 digs. He also owns the record for most matches with 10 or more digs with 44.
• Senior middle blocker Bryce Yould has moved his way into seventh all-time at the Beach with a .429 career hitting percentage (349-90-604).
• Sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga is just 267 assists away from cracking into the Long Beach State Top 10 with a total of 1,439.
• 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.

Long Beach State was ranked fourth in the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Preseason Poll. The Beach have moved up to third in the rankings after collecting a trio of sweeps to open the season at the UCSB Tournament. 

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. 

USC opens its conference season against Long Beach State and the Trojans bring a 1-2 record into the match against the 49ers. USC opened the 2017 season with a 3-1 win (30-28, 23-25, 25-13, 25-18) at Concordia, but dropped a pair of matches to No. 1 Ohio State, 3-1 (25-22, 25-27, 18-25, 16-25), and No. 13 Penn State, 3-2 (32-30, 14-25, 25-21, 23-25, 11-15), at the AVCA Showcase-Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge.

The Trojans are hitting .242 as a team and averaging 11.15 kills per set, with 10.62 assists per set. Defensively, USC has done a good job at the net, posting 2.5 blocks per set and collecting 6.54 digs per set.

Lucas Yoder leads the team with 4.38 kills per set, while Lisha Gert is the Trojans’ setter with 9.31 assists per set. Yoder is also the team leader in digs with 22 to average 1.69 per set. Andy Benesh leads the squad at the net with 17 total blocks (3 solo, 14 assists) to average 1.31. per set.

Although USC leads the all-time series 57-47, Long Beach State has won the last two meetings with a pair of victories last season. 

Cal Baptist is 1-2 on the year after opening 2017 with a five-set victory over Lindenwood, before falling to Saint Francis (Pa.), 3-0, and Concordia, 3-2.

The Lancers are hitting .248 (131-57-298) on the season, while allowing opponents to average 10.5 kills per set with a .301 attack percentage (136-54-272). 

Rohit Paul and Luis Palos lead CBU with 31 kills each to average 2.38 kills per set. Cody Jackson is the Lancers’ setter as he has dished out 99 assists for an average of 7.62 per set. Emmett Enriques leads the team in the back row with 2.08 digs per set, while Caleb Miller’s 9.0 blocks are good for 0.9 per set.

Long Beach State and Cal Baptist will meet for the 19th time in program history and the Beach leads the all-time series 17-1. The 49ers have won their last nine meetings against the Lancers. CBU is looking for its first victory over LBSU since the Lancers edged the Beach, 3-2, on Jan. 7, 2010 in Riverside, Calif.

News courtesy of Long Beach State Athletics.

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