49er Men's Volleyball Hosts Three International Exhibition Matches This Week
Dec. 30, 2013
UBC Okanagan at
UBC Thunderbirds at
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State men's volleyball team will start the 2013-14 season by hosting three exhibition matches against Canadian teams this week.
LBSU will first welcome Douglas College to the Walter Pyramid for a 5 p.m. (PST) showdown on Tuesday, Dec. 31. The 49ers are then back in action with a doubleheader on Thursday, Jan. 2, when they entertain UBC Okanagan at 11 a.m. (PST), and the UBC Thunderbirds at 5 p.m. (PST).
Long Beach State was ranked fourth in the AVCA Division I-II Preseason Poll and was also picked to finish in a tie for first in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Preseason Coaches' Poll. LBSU returns 13 letterwinners and five starters (plus libero) from its 2013 squad that went 24-8 and advanced to the MPSF Tournament finals.
On the outside, the 49ers welcome back both of their starters in seniors Taylor Crabb and Dalton Ammerman. Crabb was named the 2013 AVCA National Player of the Year and was a first-team All-American after averaging 4.18 kills and 1.74 digs per set. Ammerman also garnered All-MPSF honorable mention recognition as he registered 2.85 kills and 1.50 digs per set.
In addition, Long Beach State returns the reigning NCAA blocking champion in sophomore middle Taylor Gregory. Gregory led the nation with 1.47 blocks per set, while also finishing with 130 kills (1.23/set) as a redshirt freshman in 2013.
LBSU also brings back its starting setter and libero from last year. Senior Connor Olbright enters his final season ranked sixth in school history with 2,911 career assists. He was a 2013 AVCA and Volleyball Magazine second-team All-American.
Sophomore libero Andrew Sato is coming off a standout freshman campaign in which he received MPSF All-Freshman Team honors. Sato finished the year with a team-best 209 digs.
Long Beach State officially begins the season this weekend when it heads to Santa Barbara for the annual UCSB Asics Invitational, Jan. 3-4. The 49ers will open the tournament with four pool play matches on Friday, starting with a 10 a.m. contest against UC San Diego.