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No. 3 Long Beach State Hosts No. 9 Pepperdine, No. 7 Stanford This Week

Feb. 1, 2017

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No. 3 Long Beach State (7-2, 3-1 MPSF) vs. No. 9 Pepperdine (4-2, 2-1 MPSF)

Date: Thursday, Feb. 2
Time: 7 p.m. (PT)
Arena: Walter Pyramid (4,200)
Location: Long Beach, Calif.

Live Stats:
Radio Talent: Kesha Coffee

No. 4 Long Beach State (6-1, 3-1 MPSF) vs. No. 7 Stanford (6-2, 3-0 MPSF)

Date: Saturday, Feb. 4
Time: 2 p.m. (PT)
Arena: Walter Pyramid (4,200)
Location: Long Beach, Calif.

Live Stats:
Radio Talent: Jacob Fisk

No. 3 Long Beach State Hosts No. 9 Pepperdine, No. 7 Stanford This Week
The third-ranked Long Beach State men’s volleyball team prepares to host a pair of Top 10 teams this week as LBSU welcomes No. 9 Pepperdine for a Thursday, Feb. 2 match at 7 p.m., and No. 7 Stanford for a Saturday, Feb. 4 matinee at 2 p.m., inside the Walter Pyramid.

Quick Hits
• The Beach is looking to get back on the winning track after dropping a 3-1 contest at top-ranked Ohio State last week. Despite the loss, Long Beach State is just one of three teams to win a single-set against the currently undefeated Buckeyes.
• After a stellar performance against No. 5 Hawaii, sophomore opposite Kyle Ensing was named AVCA and MPSF Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
• Senior libero Andrew Sato recorded a career-high 23 digs against Saint Francis (Pa.) last week and moved into third in the Long Beach State career record book with 811 digs. He also owns the record for most matches with 10 or more digs with 46.
• Senior middle blocker Bryce Yould is now eighth all-time at the Beach with a .423 career hitting percentage (378-99-660).
• Sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga is just two assists away from cracking into the Long Beach State Top 10 with a total of 1,704 helpers. Last week, he dished out a total of 88 assists in a pair of four-set matches in Columbus, Ohio.
• Tuaniga has totaled 340 assists for an average of 11.33 to lead the nation. As a team, the Beach are averaging 12.33 assists per set which is tops the MPSF and is good for second in the NCAA.
• The Beach’s offense is averaging
• As a team, the 49ers are ranked in the top five in the nation in three categories. The Beach are second in assists per set (12.33), third in kills per set (13.18), and fourth in hitting percentage (.344).
• Long Beach State was chosen to finish third in the MPSF Preseason Coaches’ Poll with 103 total points. The Beach were picked to come in behind BYU (119 points), which garnered nine first-place votes, and UCLA (111 points), which tallied three first place votes.

In the Rankings
After going 1-1 in Columbus, Ohio last week with a four-set win over Saint Francis (Pa.) and falling in four set to top-ranked Ohio State, Long Beach State moved from fourth to third in the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Volleyball Poll this week.

This week, the Beach host a pair of nationally ranked opponents in No. 9 Pepperdine and No. 7 Stanford. The Cardinal moved from No. 8 in the rankings last week to seven this week after sweeping USC and Cal Baptist last week.

This season, Long Beach State will face 12 of the 15 ranked teams, while taking on the top three finishers from a year ago (Ohio State, BYU, UCLA) on the road.

Scouting The Waves
Pepperdine comes into the Pyramid with a 4-2 overall record and a 2-1 MPSF mark. The Waves won their last two matches against Cal Baptist (3-1) and USC (3-2) after dropping a four-set match to then-No. 10 Stanford.

The Waves are hitting .293 as a team with 12.44 kills per set on 11.63 assists per contest. Their opponents are hitting .266 wiht 12.74 kills per set. Defensively, Pepperdine has put up 1.96 blocks per game to out-block their counterparts 1.96 to 1.83 blocks per game. However, their opponent hold the edge in digs (270 t0 236) as the Waves have dished out 8.74 digs per set this season.

David Wieczorek is the team’s leading scorer with 3.75 kills per set and a .403 attack percentage (90-17-181). He also adds 0.79 digs per set and 0.46 blocks per game. Joshua Stewart and Soren Dion-Kindem have shared setter duties thus far with Stewart accumulating 199 assists for 9.48 per set, and Dion-Kindem collecting 86 helpers to average 10.75 per set.

Series vs. Pepperdine
The all-times series between Long Beach State and Pepperdine is a tight one as the Waves hold a 43-41 edge in program history. The Beach have won the last three meeting against the Waves as they swept Pepperdine in regular-season action in 2016 and won in straight sets in the MPSF Tournament. Pepperdine is looking to collect its first win over LBSU since a 3-1 win in March 2015. When playing each other at the Pyramid, however, Long Beach State owns a 23-14 advantage.

Scouting the Cardinal
No. 7 Stanford brings a 6-2 overall record into the Pyramid to go along with a perfect 3-0 MPSF ledger. The Cardinal opened conference action on Jan. 20 and has proceeded to collect victories over then-No. 7 Pepperdine (3-1), USC (3-0) and, most recently, Cal Baptist (3-0). Their only two losses of the season came at the hands of top-ranked Ohio State on Jan. 13 and 14 when the Buckeyes swept the Cardinal in Stanford.

As a team, Stanford is hitting .294 on 12.08 kills per set. The Cardinal’s opponents have put together a .209 attack percentage on 11.23 kills per game. The Cardinal leads the conference in aces per set with 1.85. At the net, Stanford boasts 2.42 blocks per set.

Kevin Rakestraw leads the team with a .570 (66-9-100) attack percentage which leads the nation. Rakestraw aslo leads the country in blocks per set (1.23), while adding 2.54 kills per set. Jordan Ewert is the team’s leading scorer with 93 total kills for an average of 3.72 per contest. Paul Bischoff is the Cardinal’s setter with 9.18 assists per game, while Evan Enriques leads the team with 2.19 digs per set.

Series vs. Stanford
Long Beach State and Stanford will meet for the 79th time in program history and the Beach owns the series lead 49-29. However, in their last meeting the Cardinal came away with a four-set win over the 49ers which put an end to an eight-match winning streak by Long Beach State. LBSU is looking to start up another winning steak as they own a 26-11 record over Stanford when hosting the Cardinal in the Pyramid.

Up Next
Long Beach State has a four-match road swing on tap as the Beach will take on No. 6 UC Irvine (Feb. 10), UC San Diego (Feb. 11), No. 11 UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 15) and No. 2 UCLA (Feb. 18) on the road over the next few weeks.

The Last Meeting
Long Beach State3
April 16, 2016
Walter Pyramid
Beach Rolls Past Waves in MPSF Tournament Quarterfinals
The fourth-ranked and third-seeded Long Beach State men's volleyball team earned its 13th sweep of the season as it defeated No. 7 and sixth-seeded Pepperdine, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22, in an MPSF Tournament quarterfinal match Saturday evening at the Walter Pyramid.

The Last Meeting
Long Beach State1
April 2, 2016
Stanford, Calif.
Men's Volleyball Comes up Short at No. 4 Stanford, 3-1
The fifth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team dropped a tough 3-1 decision to No. 4 Stanford in front of a crowd of 1,585 Saturday evening at Maples Pavilion. Set scores were 25-23, 22-25, 29-27, 25-19.



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