No. 6 Beach Volleyball Closes Regular Season With Three Critical Matches
Long Beach State will play three ranked opponents this week.
Long Beach, Calif. - No. 6 Long Beach State heads into the final week of the regular season, and will play a trio of ranked opponents in the final build-up to the postseason. The Beach will head north to play No. 16 Grand Canyon and No. 5 USC at USC Tuesday afternoon, and then close the regular season at home against No. 1 UCLA at 1 p.m. on Thursday.
The tri-dual at USC kicks off at 2 p.m. as Long Beach State (22-4) faces Grand Canyon (11-14), who stunned the Beach two years ago before LBSU bounced back with a sweep of the Antelopes last season.
Two days later, Loong Beach State will close out the regular season against No. 1 UCLA (30-3). The Bruins won the first meeting between the teams in Westwood.
Rachel Nieto and Megan Kruidhof found plenty of success in their first four matches together, going 4-0 at No. 2 last weekend. The pair both rank in the top 10 in career victories at Long Beach State, with Kruidhof ranking eighth with 53 wins while Nieto recorded her 80th career victory, and now trails only Tyler Jackson on the wins list at the Beach.
The swap at the top of the lineup saw Nele Barber playing with Sasha Karelov, and the new top flight pair went 3-1 last weekend, grabbing three wins before falling in three sets in a tremendous match with Adora Anae and Dani Barton of Utah, 22-24, 21-18, 26-24.
Hannah Matt and Marisa Ramsey continued to find success as well, showcasing Long Beach State’s depth throughout the lineup. The pair improved to 21-2 on the season, moving into the Top 10 in wins for any pair together in Ramsey’s first season at the Beach. Ramsey has 23 wins in total in 2018, the most of any individual on the team.
After the three matches this weekend, Long Beach State will have the weekend off before heading to the islands for the Big West Championship, hosted by No. 3 Hawai’i. Team play will crown a champion on April 27 and 28, and then April 29 will be dedicated to a pairs championship, a new format for the championship in its second season.
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