49ers open 2012 season at UCSB/asics Collegiate Invitational this weekend
Jan. 4, 2012
2012 UCSB/asics Collegiate Invitational
No. 6 Long Beach State (0-0) vs.
No. 6 Long Beach State (0-0) vs.
LONG BEACH - The sixth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team officially begins the 2012 season this weekend when it heads to Santa Barbara for the 48th annual UCSB/asics Collegiate Invitational, Jan. 6-7.
The 49ers open the tournament Friday against No. 10 Loyola-Chicago at 10 a.m., before coming back to play either No. 1 BYU or No. 2 UC Irvine at 7 p.m. LBSU will then close out the weekend with one match on Saturday.
IN THE POLLS
The 49ers were also ranked eighth in the Volleyball Magazine Men's Division I-II Top-10 Poll.
SCOUTING THE FIELD
BYU, which was picked to finish first in the MPSF Preseason Poll, returns 10 letterwinners from last year's team that went 20-8 overall. The Cougars welcome back three All-Americans in Robb Stowell (4.08 kills/set), Taylor Sander (3.67 kills/set) and Futi Tavana (2.23 kills/set). Tavana also led the nation with 160 total blocks.
UC Irvine was predicted to finish second in the MPSF Preseason Poll after going 19-12 overall and advancing to the semifinals of the conference tournament in 2011. The Anteaters have 11 letterwinners returning, including two-time All-American Carson Clark. Clark ranked third in the country with 4.54 kills per set last year.
Rounding out the UCSB/asics Collegiate Invitational field are defending national champion Ohio State, Cal State Northridge, UCLA and host UC Santa Barbara.
The 49ers trail in their all-time series with BYU, 23-21. The Cougars have won seven in a row, including a pair of victories in Provo, Utah, last year. The last time LBSU defeated BYU was in 2008.
Long Beach State leads in its series with UC Irvine, 38-15, but has dropped the last two contests. After defeating the Anteaters at the 2011 UCSB Invitational, the 49ers suffered a pair of losses in MPSF action.
UCSB INVITATIONAL REWIND
Outside hitter Brad Hemmerling came on strong midway through his junior campaign. Hemmerling had played in just three of the 49ers' first 12 matches before earning his first career start against Pepperdine. The Yorba Linda native made the most of the opportunity, pounding down 16 kills, while committing just one error. He went on to finish third on the team with 2.59 kills/set.
Middle blocker Ryan Meehan ranked second on the team and fourth in the MPSF with 1.16 blocks per set in 2011. He also compiled 109 kills (1.14/set) and a .428 hitting percentage. The Dana Point native registered a career-best 10 kills vs. USC on Feb. 25.
Srdjan Nadazdin saw limited playing time at opposite last year, but may see more action at outside hitter in 2012. His best match as a 49er came in 2010 when he had a career-high 11 kills vs. St. Francis. Nadazdin also registered four digs and four blocks in that match.
CRABB NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
49ERS GO ABROAD
Sophomore Ian Satterfield placed 19th overall at the FIVB Beach Junior World Championships in Halifax, Canada. Satterfield and his partner opened pool play with an upset win over the tournament's second seed.
Senior Ryan Meehan was also a member of the U.S. Men's A2 National Team that took second at the Pan American Cup in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.