April 2, 2013
No. 2 Long Beach State (19-7, 15-6 MPSF) at
USC (5-15, 5-15 MPSF)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Date: Thursday, April 4
Time: 7 p.m. (PDT)
Location: Galen Center
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No. 2 Long Beach State (19-7, 15-6 MPSF) at
No. 5 Pepperdine (12-9, 11-9 MPSF)
Date: Saturday, April 6
Time: 5 p.m. (PDT)
Location: Firestone Fieldhouse
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The second-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team is looking to lock-up home court advantage in the MPSF playoffs as it begins the final stretch of the regular season with a pair of road matches at USC and No. 5 Pepperdine this week.
The 49ers are set to face the Trojans at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, before heading to Malibu two days later for a 5 p.m. Saturday showdown against the Waves.
LBSU-USC ON PAC-12 NETWORKS
The LBSU-USC match will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks (Dish Network: Channel 413). It will also be streamed online.
IN THE POLLS
LBSU moved up one spot to No. 2 in the AVCA national poll released on April 1. The MPSF continued to dominate with 10 of its 13 teams featured among the top-15.
Long Beach State has secured an MPSF playoff appearance and could lock up home court advantage for the quarterfinal round with a win at either USC or Pepperdine this week. This marks the 49ers' 18th MPSF Tournament bid.
CLOSING IN ON 20
With one victory this week, Long Beach State will secure its 16th 20-win campaign and first since going 23-7 in 2008.
SCOUTING THE TROJANS
USC (5-15, 5-15 MPSF), which has dropped seven of its last eight matches, suffered a road sweep last weekend, falling at No. 7 Cal Baptist, 3-2, and at No. 1 BYU, 3-0. Tanner Jansen leads the Trojans with 3.82 kills per set, while Robert Feathers is also averaging 2.14 kills and a team-high 0.97 blocks per set. Henry Cassiday has anchored the defense with 2.16 digs per set.
Long Beach State trails in its all-time series with USC, 53-44. The 49ers snapped an eight-match losing streak in the series with a 3-1 win at the Walter Pyramid on Feb. 8. LBSU hit .370 as a team and was paced by Taylor Crabb's 20 kills.
A GLANCE AT PEPPERDINE
Pepperdine (12-9, 11-9 MPSF) also fell at No. 1 BYU and No. 7 Cal Baptist last week. The Waves are currently on a three-match losing streak and will entertain Cal State Northridge on Thursday, April 4, before welcoming Long Beach State to Firestone Fieldhouse. Maurice Torres is tops on the team with 4.19 kills per set, while Matt West has directed the offense to .304 hitting with 11.41 assists per set.
Long Beach State trails in its all-time series with Pepperdine, 39-36. The Waves claimed the first meeting of the regular-season series with a 3-0 victory at the Walter Pyramid on Feb. 6.
CRABB REACHES CAREER MILESTONE
Junior outside hitter Taylor Crabb compiled 32 kills in a pair of wins at Pacific and Stanford last week to put him over the 1,000-career kill mark. In his two-plus years at LBSU, Crabb has totaled 1,015 kills, putting him at No. 19 among the program's all-time leaders.
Junior outside hitter Dalton Ammerman, who sat out last season with an injury, has earned the start in all but one match this year. He has reached double-figure kills 14 times, including a career-high 21 at top-ranked BYU and vs. No. 15 George Mason. Against the Cougars, Ammerman finished with a .459 hitting percentage. In addition, he had a double-double vs. Cal Baptist (12 kills, 12 digs), vs. UC Irvine (13 kills, 12 digs), 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 2.82 kills per set and is fourth with 1.59 digs per set.
OLBRIGHT WITH THE DISH
Junior Connor Olbright, who led Long Beach State in assist average as a freshman and sophomore, ranks third in the MPSF with 10.81 assists per set. He had a season-high 55 helpers at Stanford on March 30. Under his direction, the 49ers have hit over .300 in 11 matches, including a season-best .507 vs. UC San Diego (March 6). The Orange, Calif., native has also registered a team-leading eight double-doubles. Olbright, who was named to the UCSB/asics Invitational All-Tournament Team to start the year, currently ranks sixth all-time at Long Beach State with 2,667 career assists.
NOT JUST A NAME
Freshman Andrew Sato comes from a decorated volleyball family and has kept the tradition alive as he is the 49ers' starting libero and is tops on the team with 197 digs (2.05/set). He has reached double figures eight times and established a season-high 16 digs vs. UCLA on March 13. Sato also had 15 digs at Cal Baptist.
SATTERFIELD STEPS UP
Junior Ian Satterfield earned his third and fourth starts of the season at Pacific (March 29) and Stanford (March 30) last weekend. He didn't disappoint as he began with a career-high 15 kills and nine digs against the Tigers. Satterfield topped that performance the next night with 16 kills and a career-best six blocks.
Long Beach State closes out the regular season at home next week when it hosts Cal State Northridge at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday, April 13. First serve is set for 7 p.m. and the 49ers will honor their two seniors, Trevor Crabb and Colten Echave, on Senior Night.