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LBSU Begins Eight-Match Homestand Against UC Irvine, UC San Diego This Week

The 49ers will host No. 7 UC Irvine in a Black & Blue Rivalry Series Match on Wednesday.

Feb. 18, 2014

No. 7 UC Irvine (9-7, 6-6 MPSF) at
No. 6 Long Beach State (7-4, 6-4 MPSF)
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Time: 7 p.m. (PST)
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Arena: Walter Pyramid
Follow Your 49ers: Live Stats | Twitter

UC San Diego (0-13, 0-12 MPSF) at
No. 6 Long Beach State (7-4, 6-4 MPSF)
Friday, Feb. 21
Time: 7 p.m. (PST)
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Arena: Walter Pyramid
Follow Your 49ers: Live Stats | Twitter

The Last Meeting
Long Beach State3
UC Irvine2
April 25, 2013
Provo, Utah
49ers Advance to MPSF Finals With Thrilling Five-Set Win Over UC Irvine
The fourth time was the charm. After coming up short against defending national champion UC Irvine three times during the regular season, the third-seeded Long Beach State men's volleyball team got the win when it mattered most, defeating the second-seeded Anteaters, 25-22, 22-25, 20-25, 25-15, 22-20, in the MPSF Tournament semifinals Thursday evening at Smith Fieldhouse.

The Last Meeting
UC San Diego0
Long Beach State3
March 6, 2013
Walter Pyramid
Crabb leads 49ers to sweep over UC San Diego
Junior Taylor Crabb set a new career high, hitting .696 with no errors, finishing with 16 kills as Long Beach State defeated UC San Diego in straight sets 25-15, 28-26, 25-20. Overall, the 49ers hit .507 and had three hitters without an error on Wednesday night.

Long Beach State Match Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The sixth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team returns to the friendly confines of the Walter Pyramid for the first time in nearly a month as it begins a season-long eight match homestand by hosting No. 7 UC Irvine and UC San Diego this week.

The 49ers are set to entertain the Anteaters on Wednesday, Feb. 19, before returning to the court on Friday, Feb. 21, when they square off against the Tritons. Both matches are slated for a 7 p.m. start at the Walter Pyramid.

Wednesday's match featuring LBSU and UCI will be part of the Black & Blue Rivalry Series Presented by Duke's. The 49ers currently lead the annual contest, 17-7.

Long Beach State remained at No. 6 in this week's AVCA poll released on Feb. 17. Loyola-Chicago held on to the No. 1 spot, and was followed by BYU, UCLA, Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara.

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 claiming the top spot in the AVCA poll since the 2006 season.

Eleventh-year head coach Alan Knipe secured his 200th career win with the 49ers' 3-1 victory at No. 2 UCLA on Feb. 12. In his 10-plus years at the helm, Knipe has compiled a 200-115 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.

Two-time defending national champion and seventh-ranked UC Irvine (9-7, 6-6 MPSF) evened its conference record with a couple of big wins last week as it defeated No. 5 USC, 3-2, before sweeping No. 3 Pepperdine. Zack La Cavera leads the Anteaters with 3.58 kills per set. Collin Mehring is also averaging 1.48 kills and 1.19 blocks per set, while Michael Brinkley has registered a team-best 2.23 digs per set.

Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with UC Irvine, 39-21. The 49ers snapped an eight-match losing streak to the Anteaters with a thrilling five-set win in last year's MPSF semifinals in Provo, Utah. LBSU owns a 19-6 home record against UCI.

UC San Diego (0-13, 0-12 MPSF) is still searching for its first win of the season after being swept by No. 3 Pepperdine and No. 5 USC last week. Nick Iorfino has paced the Tritons with 2.33 kills per set, while Mike Brunsting is also averaging 2.11 kills and a team-best 1.87 digs per set.

Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with UC San Diego, 57-5. The 49ers, who have won three in a row, swept the regular-season series last year with a 3-1 victory in La Jolla and a 3-0 triumph in Long Beach.

Five 49ers rank among the top-20 in all of NCAA Division I-II in six different statistical categories. Taylor Crabb leads the nation in kills (4.98/set) and points (5.53/set). He also ranks 14th in hitting percentage (.359) and 16th in digs (2.35/set). Connor Olbright is first with 11.81 assists per set, while Andrew Sato is fourth with 2.77 digs per set. In addition, Jeff Ornee (1.32/set) and Taylor Gregory (1.16/set) rank 11th and 16th, respectively, in blocks per set.

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, as he moved into the 10th slot with 1,315 kills. Crabb is also seventh in total attempts (3,023) and ninth in digs (678), while Olbright is No. 5 in assists (3,419).

Reigning AVCA National Player of the Year Taylor Crabb (Honolulu, Hawaii) has 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, leads the nation in kills (4.98) and points (5.53) per set. He has reached double figures in kills in all 11 matches, with five of those coming by way of 20-plus kill performances. Crabb also has a team-leading four double-doubles, three of which have come in the last five matches.

Crabb's best showing to date came at No. 2 UCLA, where he matched his career high with 29 kills, while committing just one error on 56 attempts (.500). He added a career best 16 digs to go along with five blocks and one ace against the Bruins. Crabb also had 29 kills, 12 digs and two aces at No. 7 Stanford (Jan. 31). One week earlier, he recorded 24 kills and 13 digs in a five-set win over No. 1 Pepperdine. His first double-double of the year came on Jan. 17 when he compiled 22 kills and 10 digs at No. 10 Hawai'i. On the season, Crabb is averaging 4.98 kills and 2.35 digs per set, and has registered a .359 hitting percentage.

Senior Dalton Ammerman has been a consistent force on the outside for LBSU, reaching double figures in kills six times. Ammerman started the season with back-to-back double-digit kill performances, notching 18 vs. Harvard and 13 at Cal Baptist. The Parker, Colo., native was named the MVP of the UCSB Asics Invitational as he helped the 49ers take first in Pool B, before registering 18 kills, nine digs and three blocks vs. the Crimson in the finals. Ammerman suffered an ankle sprain early in the first set at BYU (Jan. 11), forcing him to miss that match along with the first contest at Hawai'i. He then came back with 10 kills in the second meeting against the Rainbow Warriors and tied for the team lead with 11 kills vs. USC. Ammerman also had 13 kills at UCLA and at UC Santa Barbara. He enters the week ranked second on the team with 2.67 kills per set.

Senior All-American setter Connor Olbright (Orange, Calif.) ranks first in the nation with 11.81 assists per set. He has registered at least 50 assists four 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.

Sophomore middle Taylor Gregory, the 2013 NCAA blocking champion and All-MPSF honorable mention selection, ranks second on the squad with 1.16 blocks per set. The Saugus, Calif., native has four matches with at least six blocks, including a season-high 10 at UC Santa Barbara. He also had a career-best nine kills against the Gauchos. On the season, Gregory is averaging 1.49 kills per set, while hitting at a .352 clip.

Senior Jeff Ornee has started every match 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 11th in the nation with 1.28 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.

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 2.60 kills, 1.56 digs and 0.84 blocks per set. Satterfield had three-straight double-figure kill matches from Jan. 24-Feb. 1 as he finished with a career-high 19 kills vs. Pepperdine, 13 at Stanford and 13 at Pacific. Against the Tigers, he committed no errors on 23 swings for a season-best .565 hitting percentage. In addition, he recorded his first career double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs at Hawai'i on Jan. 17.

Sophomore Andrew Sato comes from a decorated volleyball family and he has kept the tradition alive as he was named to the MPSF All-Freshman Team last year. This season, he has registered seven double-digit dig matches, including a career-high 19 vs. top-ranked Pepperdine. The Calabasas, Calif., native also finished with 14 digs vs. Harvard, 13 at Stanford, 12 at UCLA, 12 at Hawai'i (Jan. 17), 11 at Cal Baptist and 10 at UC Santa Barbara. On the season, Sato is tops on the squad and fourth in the nation with 2.77 digs per set.

Long Beach State returns to the Walter Pyramid next week when it entertains Stanford (Feb. 28) and Pacific (March 1).



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