Feb. 11, 2014
No. 6 Long Beach State (6-3, 5-3 MPSF) at
No. 2 UCLA (10-2, 7-1 MPSF)
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 12
Time: 7 p.m. (PST)
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Arena: Pauley Pavilion
TV: Pac-12 Network
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No. 6 Long Beach State (6-3, 5-3 MPSF) at
No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (6-3, 5-3 MPSF)
Date: Friday, Feb. 14
Time: 7 p.m. (PST)
Location: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Arena: Rob Gym
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Long Beach State Match Notes
The sixth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team jumps right back into its tough MPSF slate after a bye week as the 49ers head to No. 2 UCLA on Wednesday, Feb. 12, and No. 7 UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Feb. 14. First serve for both matches is 7 p.m.
The LBSU-UCLA match will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network.
IN THE POLLS
Long Beach State remained at No. 6 in this week's AVCA poll released on Feb. 10. In the six regular-season polls this year, five different teams have claimed the top spot. Loyola-Chicago is the most recent No. 1 as it bumped UCLA down one slot to No. 2. The 49ers were the first team to earn the No. 1 ranking this season after winning the UCSB Asics Invitational. It was their first time holding the top spot in the AVCA poll since the 2006 season.
GOING FOR 200
Eleventh-year head coach Alan Knipe is one win away from reaching the 200-victory milestone. In his 10-plus years at the helm, Knipe has compiled a 199-114 overall record. In 2013, he directed the 49ers to their best season in five years as they went 24-8 and advanced to the MPSF Tournament finals. During his tenure, Knipe has led LBSU to nine MPSF Tournament appearances, two NCAA Tournament bids and five 20-plus win seasons.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS
No. 2 UCLA (10-2, 7-1 MPSF) saw its nine-match win streak snapped last week with a 3-0 loss at No. 3 Pepperdine, but bounced back with a sweep at cross-town rival and fifth-ranked USC. Robart Page leads the Bruins with 4.19 kills per set, while Gonzalo Quiroga is averaging 3.56 kills and 1.81 digs per set. Quiroga also has a team-leading 22 aces.
Long Beach State trails in its all-time series with UCLA, 33-47. The two teams split the regular-season series last year with the 49ers winning 3-1 on the road, before dropping a five-set decision at home.
A GLANCE AT UC SANTA BARBARA
No. 7 UC Santa Barbara (6-3, 5-3 MPSF) fell at fifth-ranked USC, 3-2, before pulling off a 3-2 upset win at No. 3 Pepperdine last week. Austin Kingi leads the Gauchos with 2.82 kills and 1.45 digs per set. Jonah Seif, who was tabbed the MPSF Player of the Week on Monday, Feb. 10, is also averaging a team-best 9.79 assists and 1.82 digs per set.
Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with UC Santa Barbara, 46-37. Last year, the 49ers dropped their MPSF opener to the Gauchos in Santa Barbara, but came back to top UCSB, 3-0, at the Walter Pyramid.
49ERS IN THE RANKINGS
Four 49ers rank among the top-15 in all of NCAA Division I-II in six different statistical categories. Taylor Crabb leads the nation in kills (4.83/set) and points (5.31/set). He also ranks 11th in hitting percentage (.356) and 13th in digs (2.20/set). Connor Olbright is second with 11.69 assists per set, while Andrew Sato is second with 2.77 digs per set. In addition, Jeff Ornee ranks 10th in blocks (1.32/set).
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Seniors Taylor Crabb and Connor Olbright continue to move up the 49er career charts. Crabb recently passed LBSU great and four-time U.S. Olympian Tom Hoff to rank 11th with 1,270 kills. He is also seventh in total attempts (2,915) and 10th in digs (654), while Olbright is No. 5 in assists (3,320).
BACK TO BUSINESS
Reigning AVCA National Player of the Year Taylor Crabb (Honolulu, Hawaii) has met and even exceeded early expectations in his final season as a 49er. The six-foot outside hitter, who is already a two-time MPSF Player of the Week honoree, has reached double figures in kills in every match, including four 20-plus kill performances and three double-doubles. His best showing to date came at No. 7 Stanford (Jan. 31) where he notched a career-high 29 kills to go along with 12 digs and two aces. Crabb also finished with 24 kills and 13 digs in a five-set win over No. 1 Pepperdine, while his first double-double of the year came at No. 10 Hawai'i (Jan. 17), where he compiled 22 kills and 10 digs. In addition, he had 22 kills at ninth-ranked BYU, 19 vs. Harvard, 15 at Pacific, 15 at Cal Baptist, 12 at Hawai'i (Jan. 16) and 11 vs. USC. Crabb is averaging a nation-best 4.83 kills per set and has registered a .356 hitting percentage. He is also second on the squad with 2.20 digs per set.
SATTERFIELD DOUBLES UP
Senior Ian Satterfield (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), who entered the starting lineup at the opposite position late in the season last year, has continued his role as a starter, averaging 2.74 kills, 1.51 digs and 0.80 blocks per set. Satterfield, who has reached double figures in kills in three-straight matches, recently finished with a season-best .565 hitting percentage as he had 13 kills and no errors on 23 swings at Pacific. He also notched a career-high 19 kills, to go along with six digs and six blocks, in a 3-2 win over top-ranked Pepperdine. In addition, Satterfield had his first career double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs at Hawai'i on Jan. 17.
OLBRIGHT WITH THE DISH
Senior All-American setter Connor Olbright (Orange, Calif.) ranks second in the nation with 11.69 assists per set. He has registered at least 50 assists three times, including a season-high 56 in a win over top-ranked Pepperdine. Olbright also started the 2014 campaign with 55 helpers in a 3-1 victory over Harvard at the UCSB Asics Invitational, where he earned all-tournament honors for the second year in a row. In addition, he dished out 52 assists and amassed a career-high 17 digs at No. 7 Stanford, marking his 15th career double-double.
RETURN TO THE MIDDLE
Senior Jeff Ornee has started all nine of LBSU's matches at middle blocker after playing most of the 2013 season at opposite. The Cypress, Calif., native has worked his way back into his original position nicely as he leads the team and ranks 10th in the nation with 1.32 blocks per set. Ornee had a career-high 13 blocks against top-ranked Pepperdine. It was the second time in his career that he reached double figures in blocks as his previous best was 10 vs. UC San Diego on Jan. 5, 2013.
CRABB EARNS BACK-TO-BACK MPSF WEEKLY HONORS
Senior Taylor Crabb earned back-to-back MPSF/Molten Player of the Week honors on Jan. 27 and Feb. 3. His first award of the season came after he led Long Beach State to a thrilling 3-2 victory over then No. 1 Pepperdine (Jan. 24). Crabb finished with 24 kills, a season-best 13 digs, five blocks and a match-high .365 hitting percentage. The following week, Crabb paced the 49ers in wins over No. 7 Stanford and Pacific. After dropping the first two sets against the Cardinal, he was a key factor in bringing LBSU back for the 17-25, 25-27, 25-18, 25-18, 15-11 triumph. Crabb delivered a career-high 29 kills, including seven in the fifth and decisive set. He added 12 digs to complete his third double-double of the year. At Pacific, Crabb registered a match-best 15 kills and hit .400 in a quick 3-0 victory. Crabb, the reigning AVCA National Player of the Year, has been selected as the MPSF Player of the Week three times in his career.
Long Beach State begins a season-long eight-match homestand next week when it plays host to UC Irvine (Feb. 19) and UC San Diego (Feb. 21).