Top-ranked Long Beach State had a dominating offensive performance on Friday in their 3-0 sweep of Stanford on Friday. The team hit .500 as a group, and their star junior TJ DeFalco came away with 8 kills (on just 9 swings). That put him over 1,000 for his career – passing the barrier in the 2nd set on his 3rd kill of the night.
DeFalco hits the plateau earlier in his junior season than any player in program history other than Brent Hilliard – the school’s all-time kills leader. DeFalco is averaging 14.19 kills/game to this point in his career. At that pace, he’s on track to finish with north of 1,700 career kills, which would be enough to put him into the school’s all-time top 5. Dean Bittner scored 1,872 kills from 2007-2010, which ranks 2nd in school history, and as the most in the rally scoring era. While he’d have to pick up his pace to reach that plateau, it is within striking distance.
DeFalco got his first taste of international play with the U.S. National Team this summer, when he went on tour at the FIVB World League. After that, rumors swirled that he’d forgo his last 2 years of collegiate eligibility and turn pro. He’s already put that speculation to rest for not just the remained of this season, but his senior season as well, by declaring his intent to return for his senior season.
Long Beach State is a perfect 8-0 this season. Next up is a home game against USC on Saturday followed by a short week coming up with just 1 game, against Concordia. The team then heads out east to play Harvard and George Mason.
Watch the post-game press conference where DeFalco discusses the accomplishment below: