#4 Long Beach State Set For Home Opener Against #5 Hawaii

  0 volleymob | January 18th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, MPSF, News

No. 4 Long Beach State (4-1, 1-1 MPSF) vs. No. 5 Hawaii (5-0, 0-0 MPSF)

Dates: Wed., Jan. 18 & Fri., Jan. 20
Time: 7 p.m. (PT)
Arena: The Walter Pyramid (4,200)
Location: Long Beach, Calif.

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

The fourth-ranked Long Beach State men’s volleyball team will host No. 5 Hawaii in the home opener at the Walter Pyramid on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. The Beach will take on the Warriors again on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. Wednesday’s contest marks Hawaii’s MPSF conference opener.

• The Beach opened the season 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 opened MPSF conference action last week as the Beach dropped a four-set decision at USC, before defeating Cal Baptist on the road, 3-1.
• Senior libero Andrew Sato is ranked sixth in the Long Beach State career records with 763 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 (361-92-627).
• Sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga is just 183 assists away from cracking into the Long Beach State Top 10 with a total of 1,523 helpers.
• As a team, the 49ers are ranked in the top five in the nation in three categories. The Beach are fourth in assists per set (12.71) and hitting percentage (.354), and fifth in kills per set (13.36).
• 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 is ranked fourth in the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Preseason Poll after posting a 4-1 overall record and a 1-1 MPSF mark.

Hawaii comes into the Walter Pyramid with a No. 5 ranking after starting the season 5-0. The Warriors will open conference action at Long Beach State.

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. 

No. 5 Hawaii owns a 5-0 record after having defeated Erskine (3-0), Princeton (3-0) and then-No. 15 Ball State (3-1), before sweeping Grand Canyon on two occasions. The Warriors come into the Pyramid having not lost a match since April 16, 2016 when they fell in four sets to UCLA at the MPSF Quarterfinals to end their season. 

The Warriors are hitting .337 as a team and averaging 13.5 kills per set on 12.7 assists per set. They have posted 44.0 total blocks to average 2.8 per set, while holding opponents to just .129 hitting and 9.1 kills per set.

Stjin van Tilburg leads the Warriors’ offense with 62 kills (4.43 per set), while hitting .344 (62-20-122). Austin Matautia is behind him with 40 kills (3.33 per set) for an attack percentage of .354 (40-12-79). Jennings Franciskovic is Hawaii’s setter as he has dished out 132 assists to average 10.15 helpers per set. He is also second on the team in blocking with 1.08 blocks per set to come in just behind Patrick Gasman’s 18 blocks (1.29 per set).

The all-times series between Long Beach State and Hawaii is a tight one. The Warriors own a 41-40 edge over the Beach in program history. However, the 49ers have won the last two meetings. When playing at the Pyramid, Long Beach State owns a 20-17 advantage.

After the pair of matches against Hawaii, Long Beach State heads to Columbus, Ohio to take on Saint Francis (Pa.) on Friday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. in a neutral site, non-conference match. Following the contest against the Red Flash, the Beach will go up against top-ranked Ohio State on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m.

News courtesy of Long Beach State Athletics.

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