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LBSU Men's Volleyball Set for Back-to-Back Home Matches Against Pacific, Stanford

The 49ers will host No. 11 Pacific and No. 3 Stanford in a pair of MPSF matches this weekend.

Feb. 13, 2013

No. 11 Pacific (5-4, 3-4 MPSF) at
No. 4 Long Beach State (9-4, 7-3 MPSF)
Friday, Feb. 15
Time: 7 p.m. (PST)
Location: Walter Pyramid
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No. 3 Stanford (8-4, 5-4 MPSF) at
No. 4 Long Beach State (9-4, 7-3 MPSF)
Saturday, Feb. 16
Time: 7:30 p.m. (PST)
Location: Walter Pyramid
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The Last Meeting
Long Beach State3
April 7, 2012
Stockton, Calif.
Crabb brothers lead 49ers to 3-1 win at Pacific
The No. 8 Long Beach State men's volleyball team avenged its loss to Pacific earlier in the season with a 29-27, 23-25, 25-17, 25-15 victory over the 13th-ranked Tigers Saturday evening at Alex G. Spanos Center.

The Last Meeting
Long Beach State0
April 6, 2012
Stanford, Calif.
49er men's volleyball falls to No. 5 Stanford in straight sets
The eighth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team saw its three-match win streak come to an end Friday night as it was swept by No. 5 Stanford at Maples Pavilion. Set scores were 25-13, 25-16, 25-18.

The fourth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team will welcome No. 11 Pacific and No. 3 Stanford to the Walter Pyramid for a pair of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches this weekend.

The 49ers are set to host the Tigers at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, before returning to the court on Saturday (Feb. 16) for a 7:30 p.m. tilt with the Cardinal.

LBSU dropped one spot to No. 4 in the AVCA national poll released on Feb. 11. The MPSF continued to dominate with 12 of its 13 teams featured among the top-15. The first six spots in the poll were also occupied by MPSF squads.

Tenth-year head coach Alan Knipe returns to the helm of the 49er program after taking a leave of absence to coach the U.S. Men's National Team. Knipe, who has amassed a 178-107 overall record (.625) in his nine-plus years at LBSU, also saw much success with Team USA, guiding them to the quarterfinals of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The Americans advanced to the knockout round after finishing first in Pool B, which also featured Brazil and Russia, who were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, respectively.

No. 11 Pacific (5-4, 3-4 MPSF) split its most recent weekend series, defeating UC San Diego, 3-1, last Friday, before being swept by No. 1 UC Irvine a day later. Outside hitter Taylor Hughes has paced the Tigers with 3.85 kills and 1.55 digs per set. Outside hitter Matthew Houlihan also has a team-best 1.97 digs per set, while middle blocker Tommy Carmody is tops on the squad with 1.32 blocks per set.

Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with Pacific, 32-9, and has won nine of the last 10 meetings. Last year, the Tigers snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory at the Walter Pyramid on Feb. 11. The 49ers would bounce back, however, with a 3-1 triumph in Stockton on April 7.

Third-ranked Stanford (8-4, 5-4 MPSF) also earned a split last weekend with a 3-1 loss to No. 1 UC Irvine and a 3-0 win over UC San Diego. The Cardinal are led by outside hitters Brian Cook (4.11 kills/set) and Steven Irvin (3.23 kills/set). Setter James Shaw has directed the offense to a .297 attack percentage with 10.21 assists per set, while he also owns a team-best 2.00 digs per set.

Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with Stanford, 41-28. After the 49ers won all three meetings against the Cardinal in 2011, Stanford came back to sweep the regular-season series last year with a five-set triumph at the Walter Pyramid (Feb. 10) and a 3-0 victory at Maples Pavilion (April 6).

After just two home matches in the first five weeks of the season, the 49ers return to Long Beach for 12 of their next 13. During that stretch, LBSU has a season-long eight-match homestand (March 1-23) as it will play eight of its 10 contests in the month of March at either the Walter Pyramid or Gold Mine.

Junior outside hitter Taylor Crabb, who has been one of Long Beach State's top performers in each of the last two seasons, has continued his ways in 2013 as he has led the team in kills 11 times. The Honolulu, Hawaii, native has totaled double-figure kills on 12 occasions, and has posted at least 10 in each of the last 11 outings. Crabb also has three 20-plus kill matches on the year with a career-high 23 at Cal Baptist (Jan. 29), 22 vs. Hawai'i (Jan. 18) and 20 vs. USC (Feb. 8). He added a season-best 12 digs against the Lancers for his 14th career double-double. Crabb also had a double-double with 17 kills and 11 digs at No. 5 UCLA. A preseason All-American, Crabb is averaging a team-best 4.12 kills per set and ranks second with 1.84 digs per set.

Junior outside hitter Dalton Ammerman, who sat out last season with an injury, has earned the start on the outside in every match this year. He has reached double-figure kills seven times, including a career-high 21 at top-ranked BYU (Feb. 1). Ammerman finished the match hitting at a .459 clip to lead the 49ers to a 3-2 upset win over the Cougars. In addition, he had a double-double vs. Hawai'i (11 kills, 11 digs) and at Cal Baptist (11 kills, 12 digs). On the season, he ranks second on the team with 2.70 kills per set and is third with 1.66 digs per set.

Junior Connor Olbright, who led Long Beach State in assist average as a freshman and sophomore, ranks fourth in the MPSF with 10.63 assists per set. He had a season-high 50 helpers at UC San Diego (Jan. 26) and again vs. USC (Feb. 8). Under his direction, the 49ers have hit over .300 in seven matches, including a season-high .455 vs. Hawai'i on Jan. 19. The Orange, Calif., native has also registered a team-leading three double-doubles, accomplishing the feat at BYU (49 assists, 10 digs), vs. Hawai'i (41 assists, 11 digs), and at UC Santa Barbara (29 assists, 10 digs). Olbright, who was named to the UCSB/asics Invitational all-tournament team to start the year, currently ranks ninth all-time at Long Beach State with 2,117 career assists.

Redshirt freshman middle blocker Taylor Gregory, who was inserted into the starting lineup three weeks into the season, has stepped up for the 49ers, leading the squad in blocking in eight of the last nine matches. On the year, he is averaging a team-high 1.27 blocks per set. Gregory registered a season-best eight block assists in a 3-2 win over Hawai'i (Jan. 18), and in the second match against the Warriors, he also had six blocks and a .714 hitting percentage (5-0-7). Gregory added a season-high eight kills at UCSD on Jan. 26.

Taylor Crabb ranks among the top-10 in the MPSF in kills (3rd) and points (6th), while Connor Olbright is also fourth with 10.63 assists per set. In addition, Taylor Gregory ranks seventh in blocks and Andrew Sato is ninth in digs.

Long Beach State will travel to Cal State Northridge on Friday, Feb. 22, for its lone match next week. The 49ers then return to the Walter Pyramid for a season-long eight-match homestand.



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