Misty May led the 49ers to a 15-8, 15-5, 15-0 win over Hawaii.
Nov. 1, 1997
Long Beach, Calif. - The LA Times called it the "real christening" of the Pyramid, and with all that was going on that November night in 1997, they couldn't have been more right. The No. 2 49ers and NCAA National Player of the Year candidate Misty May handled perennial powerhouse Hawaii in three sets in front of 5,015 fans -- which at the time was the largest crowd since opening night.
The sellout crowd at the Hawaii match contributed to doubling the overall home attendance numbers from the year before. Meanwhile in the background, the pieces were falling into place for what would prove to be a magical 1998 campaign that would end in an NCAA Championship. A month before the Hawaii game, coach Brian Gimmillaro had moved into his offices in the Pyramid. As the LA Times wrote in December of that year:
"While other Long Beach State coaches sweat it out in portable buildings or cramped physical education offices, Gimmillaro two months ago moved into a new office that looks down on the Pyramid floor ... Gimmillaro's plush new offices in the Pyramid suggest that volleyball rules at The Beach."
Volleyball truly did rule in the Pyramid in '97 and '98 as the 49ers did not loss a match at home -- winning 27 of the 31 home matches by sweep in those two years.
Gimmillaro put it perfectly when asked about the winning streak and his new digs, "I loved the Gold Mine, but the Pyramid is heaven."
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