Top-Ranked Long Beach State Battles No. 3 UCSB in Men's Volleyball
2019 Men's Volleyball Release No. 11
Big West Showdown On Tap This Week
No. 1 Long Beach State and No. 3 UC Santa Barbara tangle in a two-match conference series to highlight this week’s men’s volleyball schedule.
Both squads are 2-0 in Big West play and sport extensive winning streaks. The Beach remain undefeated at 17-0 and have won 21 straight matches dating back to last season. The Gauchos have won a school rally-scoring era record 12 consecutive contests.
LBSU occupied the top spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll – a perch the Beach have sat on since Jan. 15, 2018. The Gauchos crept up one spot to No. 3, the highest ranking of the season and for the program overall since rising to No. 3 back in the 2015 season.
LBSU hosts round one at the Walter Pyramid on Thursday. The Beach look to keep their program-record 36 straight home match winning streak going, having not suffered a loss at home since March 26, 2016. The Gauchos last won in the ‘Mid during the 2015 season.
UCSB entertains LBSU for round two on Friday.
Hawai‘i held down the No. 2 spot in the AVCA poll after winning its ninth Outrigger Resorts Invitational title last week. The Warriors are 6-0 against AVCA ranked opponents and the 15-0 overall start is the best in program history, bettering the previous best of 13-0 in 1996. In addition, UH extended its NCAA-record set win streak to 45 after sweeping past King, No. 15 Ball State and No. 6 Pepperdine last week.
CSUN visits the Stan Sheriff Center for two matches on Friday and Saturday. The Matadors are ranked No. 12 nationally, and features senior Dimitar Kalchev, who became the school’s career leader in aces last week.
The Big West occupies the top four of the top five spots in both the American Volleyball Coaches Association and Off The Block in this week’s national rankings.
LBSU, UH and UCSB are ranked 1-2-3 in the poll, while UC Irvine is fifth overall.
Tuaniga Named AVCA National Player of the Week
For the third time this season, a Big West representative was tabbed AVCA National Player of the Week. Long Beach State senior setter Josh Tuaniga received this week’s honor after piloting the offense to a program-record attack percentage. The Beach hit .655 against Stanford on Friday, the third-best single-match attack percentage in the NCAA record book, and became just the fifth player in LBSU history to eclipse the 4,000-career assist plateau. Tuaniga directed the offense to a .471 hitting percentage in a victory over Saint Francis (Pa.) the next night. UC Santa Barbara’s Corey Chavers (Jan. 29) and Hawaii’s Rado Parapunov (Mar. 5) also have won the award this season.