49ers picked to finish sixth in MPSF Men's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Dec. 11, 2012
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State men's volleyball team was picked to finish sixth out of 13 teams in the 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Preseason Coaches' Poll the conference office announced Tuesday.
The 49ers received 85 points to finish just ahead of reigning MPSF regular season champion and NCAA finalist USC (83 points).
Defending national champion UC Irvine was tabbed as the preseason favorite as it collected 11 first-place votes and 143 total points. BYU came in second with the remaining two first-place nods and 134 points.
Pepperdine (113 points), Stanford (110) and UCLA (94) were also predicted to place ahead of the 49ers.
LBSU welcomes back nine letterwinners and three starters from last year's squad that went 15-15 and advanced to the MPSF quarterfinals. Junior outside hitter Taylor Crabb is Long Beach State's top returner after averaging 2.75 kills and 1.91 digs per set. He garnered second-team All-MPSF honors and was named a Volleyball Magazine third-team All-American in 2012.
In addition, the 49ers bring back senior outside hitter Trevor Crabb (2.00 kills/set), junior middle blocker Jeff Ornee (1.65 kills/set, 1.04 blocks/set), senior middle blocker Colten Echave (1.43 kills/set) and junior setter Connor Olbright (10.40 assists/set).
Alan Knipe will also resume his duties as LBSU's head coach after taking a leave of absence to coach the U.S. Men's National Team. Knipe led the United States 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. The 2013 campaign will mark Knipe's 10th year at the helm of the 49er program.
Long Beach State officially begins the season at the annual UCSB/asics Invitational in Santa Barbara (Jan. 4-5). The 49ers will open the tournament with a 10 a.m. match against Loyola-Chicago on Friday, Jan. 4. They then return to the court later that evening to take on either UC Irvine or Cal Baptist at 7:30 p.m.
2013 MPSF Men's Volleyball Preseason Poll 1. UC Irvine (11) 143 2. BYU (2) 134 3. Pepperdine 113 4. Stanford 110 5. UCLA 94 6. Long Beach State 85 7. USC 83 8. Cal State Northridge 61 9. UC Santa Barbara 55 10. Cal Baptist 49 11. Pacific 35 12. Hawaii 30 13. UC San Diego 22