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LBSU Looks to Continue Winning Ways; Hosts No. 8 Stanford, Pacific This Week

The 49ers entertain No. 8 Stanford on Friday, before returning to the Walter Pyramid on Saturday to take on Pacific.

Feb. 26, 2014

No. 8 Stanford (9-6, 6-6 MPSF) at
No. 5 Long Beach State (9-4, 8-4 MPSF)
Friday, Feb. 28
Time: 7 p.m. (PST)
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Arena: Walter Pyramid
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The Last Meeting
Long Beach State3
January 31, 2014
Stanford, Calif.
Crabb Leads 49ers to 3-2 Comeback Win at No. 7 Stanford
Behind a career-high 29 kills from senior Taylor Crabb, the sixth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team pulled off a 3-2 comeback win at No. 7 Stanford Friday evening at Maples Pavilion. Set scores were 17-25, 25-27, 25-18, 25-18, 15-11.

The Last Meeting
Long Beach State3
February 1, 2014
Stockton, Calif.
Long Beach State Takes Care of Business in 3-0 Win at Pacific
The sixth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team needed just 65 minutes to top Pacific, 25-22, 25-12, 25-16, for its third-straight victory Saturday evening at Alex G. Spanos Center.

Pacific (2-13, 1-11 MPSF) at
Long Beach State (9-4, 8-4 MPSF)
Saturday, March 1
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Long Beach, Calif.
Arena: Walter Pyramid
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Long Beach State Match Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The fifth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team will look to continue its winning ways when it plays host to No. 8 Stanford and Pacific this week.

The 49ers, who have won six of their last seven, are set for back-to-back matches as they tangle with the Cardinal on Friday, Feb. 28, before squaring off against the Tigers on Saturday, March 1. First serve for both matches is slated for 7 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid, but Saturday's match is a doubleheader with women's basketball and will start 90 minutes after the floor is cleared.

Long Beach State moved up one spot to No. 5 in this week's AVCA poll released on Feb. 24. Loyola-Chicago earned the No. 1 ranking for the third-straight week, and was followed by BYU, UCLA and Pepperdine.

The 49ers have been ranked as high as No. 1, claiming the top spot after winning the UCSB Asics Invitational to open the season. It was their first time at No. 1 in the AVCA poll since the 2006 campaign.

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 202-115 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.

No. 8 Stanford (9-6, 6-6 MPSF) rallied from an 0-2 deficit, but was unable to complete the comeback as it dropped a 25-23, 28-26, 20-25, 19-25, 17-15, decision to No. 3 UCLA on Monday. Steven Irvin leads the Cardinal with 3.41 kills per set and a team-high 25 aces. Brian Cook is also averaging 3.33 kills per set, while Grant Delgado has anchored the back row with 2.43 digs per set.

Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with Stanford, 45-28, and has won the last four. The 49ers own a 23-11 home record against the Cardinal.

Behind a career-high 29 kills from Taylor Crabb, sixth-ranked Long Beach State pulled off a 3-2 comeback win at No. 7 Stanford at Maples Pavilion on Jan. 31. Set scores were 17-25, 25-27, 25-18, 25-18, 15-11.

Crabb, whose 29 kills were the most by any player in the MPSF this season, added 12 digs for his third double-double of the year. He also finished with two aces and hit .324. Ian Satterfield contributed 13 kills and nine digs, while Andrew Sato registered his fifth double-figure dig match with 13. Connor Olbright also notched a double-double with 52 assists and a career-high 17 digs.

Pacific (2-13, 1-11 MPSF) is on a four-match skid with its most recent loss coming in straight sets to then No. 2 UCLA on Feb. 23. The Tigers will travel to Cal State Northridge (Feb. 28) before making their way to Long Beach. Thomas Hodges is tops on the squad with 3.10 kills per set, while Tommy Carmody is also averaging 1.68 kills and a team-best 1.57 blocks per set.

Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with Pacific, 35-9. The 49ers have won 13 of the last 14, including four in a row.

No. 6 Long Beach State needed just 65 minutes to top Pacific, 25-22, 25-12, 25-16, at Alex G. Spanos Center on Feb. 1. Ian Satterfield led the way with 13 kills and no errors on 23 swings for a season-best .565 hitting percentage. Taylor Crabb registered a match-high 15 kills to go along with seven digs, while Dalton Ammerman chipped in nine kills, a match-best eight digs and two service aces. LBSU had four players hit at least .400 and finished the night with a .396 team hitting percentage. The 49ers also had a then season-high six aces.

Long Beach State played eight of its first 10 MPSF contests away from the Walter Pyramid as its home opening week was sandwiched in between a pair of four-match road swings. LBSU is now benefitting from its month-long road stretch as it is currently in the midst of an eight-match homestand. The 49ers are set to play 11 of their final 16 matches on their home court.

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 1,344 kills. Crabb is also seventh in total attempts (3,072) and seventh in digs (690), while Olbright is No. 5 in assists (3,489).

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 (4.96/set) and points (5.52/set). He also ranks 12th in hitting percentage (.373) and 18th in digs (2.31/set). Connor Olbright is first with 11.80 assists per set, while Andrew Sato is fifth with 2.61 digs per set. In addition, Jeff Ornee (1.25/set) and Taylor Gregory (1.20/set) rank 12th and 14th, respectively, in blocks per set.

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 (4.96) and points (5.52) per set. He has reached double figures in kills in all 13 matches, with five of those coming by way of 20-plus kill performances. Crabb also has a team-leading four double-doubles.

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 4.96 kills and 2.31 digs per set, and has registered a .373 hitting percentage.

Senior Dalton Ammerman has been a consistent force on the outside for LBSU, reaching double figures in kills seven 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 ranks second on the team with 2.74 kills per set.

Senior All-American setter Connor Olbright (Orange, Calif.) ranks first in the nation with 11.80 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.

Long Beach State is back in the Walter Pyramid next weekend when it hosts league-leading and second-ranked BYU (March 7) and Cal Baptist (March 8) in back-to-back MPSF matches.



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