LBSU Men's Volleyball Ranked Fourth in AVCA Division I-II Preseason Poll
Dec. 11, 2013
LONG BEACH - Long Beach State was ranked fourth in the AVCA Division I-II Men's Coaches Top 15 Preseason Poll the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced Wednesday afternoon.
Two-time defending national champion UC Irvine came in at No. 1 and was followed by UCLA, BYU and LBSU. The 49ers received one first-place vote and compiled 218 total points.
Eleven of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation's 13 teams were ranked, with the first six spots going to MPSF squads.
Long Beach State brings back 13 letterwinners, including five starters plus libero, from last year's 24-8 team that advanced to the 2013 MPSF Tournament finals.
Leading a strong group of returnees is senior outside hitter Taylor Crabb, the reigning AVCA National Player of the Year. Crabb is coming off a remarkable junior campaign in which he ranked among the top-10 in the nation in kills per set (4.18), points per set (4.71) and hitting percentage (.353). The Honolulu, Hawaii, native was a first-team AVCA and Volleyball Magazine All-America selection, while also receiving first-team All-MPSF honors.
The 49ers will also welcome back their starting setter in senior Connor Olbright. Olbright was a second-team AVCA and Volleyball Magazine All-America pick and was named to the All-MPSF Second Team last year. In addition, LBSU returns all-conference honorees Dalton Ammerman (Sr., OH), Taylor Gregory (So., MB) and Andrew Sato (So., L).
Long Beach State is set to open the season by hosting three exhibition matches against Canadian teams. The 49ers will be in action on Tuesday, Dec. 31, when they take on Douglas College at 5 p.m. They then welcome UBC Okanagan (11 a.m.) and the UBC Thunderbirds (5 p.m.) to the Walter Pyramid on Thursday, Jan. 2.
LBSU officially begins the 2014 campaign at the UCSB Invitational, Jan. 3-4.