LBSU Heads East To Take On Harvard, George Mason

  0 volleymob | February 07th, 2018 | College - Men's Indoor, MPSF, News

Press Release courtesy of LBSU Athletics

No. 1 Long Beach State (10-0) at Harvard (1-3)

Date: Thursday, Feb. 8
Time: 4 p.m. (PT)
Arena: Malkin Athletics Center (1,000)
Location: Cambridge, Mass.
Live Stats:
Live Stream:

No. 1 Long Beach State (10-0) at George Mason (3-6)

Date: Saturday, Feb. 10
Time: 4 p.m. (PT)
Arena: RAC Gym (1,550)
Location: Fairfax. Va.
Live Stats:
Live Stream:

Complete LBSU Match Notes

No. 1 Long Beach State Travels East to Take on Harvard, George Mason
The top-ranked Long Beach State men’s volleyball team will take its unblemished record of 10-0 on the road this week. The Beach travel to the East Coast to go up against Harvard and George Mason. Long Beach State will go head-to-head with Harvard on Thursday, February 8 in Cambridge, Mass. The match is set for 4 p.m. (PT). Following their match in Massachusetts, the Beach will travel south to play at George Mason on Saturday, February 10 in Fairfax, Va., at 4 p.m. (PT).

About The Beach

• Long Beach State owns a 10-0 record becoming just the third LBSU men’s volleyball team in program history to start the year with 10 straight wins joining the 1999 and 1991 squads.
• The Beach are now the only remaining unbeaten team in Division I-II.
• LBSU has won all but one match in three sets thus far. The Beach have now won 29-straight sets dating back to Jan. 5.
• As a team, Long Beach State is leading the Big West four statistical categories. The Beach lead the league in hitting percentage (.415), opponent hitting percentage (.145), assists per set (12.45), and blocks per set (2.56).
• In addition to leading the Big West, the Beach also lead the nation in hitting percentage and assists per set.
• Junior outside hitter TJ DeFalco became just the 21st player in Long Beach State men’s volleyball program history to reach the 1,000 kill mark after recording eight kills against Stanford last week. DeFalco has now accumulated 1024 career kills to rank 19th all time at LBSU.
• Junior setter Josh Tuaniga has now racked up 2,798 career assists and is ranked seventh all time at Long Beach State.
• Junior opposite Kyle Ensing has led the Beach in kills in seven of 10 matches thus far. Ensing currently leads the team with 105 kills to average 3.39 per set which ranks him sixth in the Big West and 17th in the country.

In the Rankings
Long Beach State is currently ranked No. 1 in the country after opening the 2018 season with a perfect 10-0 record.

Neither Harvard nor George Mason are ranked. However, George Mason received five votes in the last AVCA Coaches Poll.

This season, LBSU will take on eight of the 15 nationally ranked teams as the Beach face a very competitive schedule.

Scouting The Crimson
Harvard brings a 1-3 record into the match against top-ranked Long Beach State. The Crimson’s lone win on the year came in conference play when they defeated Sacred Heart, 3-0.

Erik Johnsson is the team’s leading scorer as he has knocked down a team-high 31 kills on the year to average 2.21 per set.

At setter, Marko Kostich and Matthew Ctvrtik split duties as Kostich averages 5.44 assists per set, while Ctvrtik averages 4.12.

Defensively, Chase Howard paces the backrow with a team-best 2.44 digs per set, while Trevor Dow locks down the net with 1.00 blocks per set.

Series vs. Harvard
Long Beach State and Harvard will meet for just the fifth time in program history and the Beach lead the all-time series 4-0. Thursday’s match will be the first contest between the two teams since 2015 and it will mark the first time they’ve ever met in Cambridge, Mass. Previously, Long Beach State and Harvard played in Long Beach, Calif. three times and in Santa Barbara, Calif., at a tournament, once.

Scouting The Patriots
George Mason comes into the match against No. 1 Long Beach State with a 3-6 overall record. Their three victories this season came against Limetone (3-0), Mount Olive (3-1), and then-No. 14 Ball State (3-1).

The Patriots are led offensively by Hayden Wagner and Christian Malias. Wagner averages 3.33 kills per set, while Malias averages 3.30.

Brian Negron is George Mason’s primary setter as he averages 7.81 assists per set, while Luis Velez has seen action in 17 sets and averages 4.00 assists per set.

At the net, Jack Reese is the Patriots leader in blocks with 1.19 per set.

Meanwhile, Johnny Gomez has racked up a team-best 80 digs to average 2.58 per set in the backrow.

Series vs. George Mason
Long Beach State and George Mason will meet for just the seventh time in program history and the Beach lead the all-time series 5-1. The two teams played each other a year ago inside the Pyramid and Long Beach State came away with a 3-0 victory to extend its winning streak to five matches over GMU. The Patriots are looking for their first win over the Beach since 1984 – the team’s first meeting. Saturday’s contest is the first in the all-time series to be played in Fairfax, Va.

Up Next
Following the pair of matches on the East Coast, Long Beach State will return to the Walter Pyramid and host No. 2 UCLA on Saturday, February 17 at 7:30 p.m.

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