April 24, 2013
No. 45 Long Beach State will travel to Indian Wells, Calif. for the 2013 Big West Tournament with its first match being played on Friday at 8 a.m. The second-seeded 49ers await the winner of Wednesday's match between No. 7 seed UC Davis and No. 10 seed UC Riverside.
Breaking Down the Tournament:
UC Irvine is the top seed after having a perfect 9-0 record in conference play. Long Beach State is the second seed, going 8-1 in conference play with its only loss coming on March 2 in a closely contested 4-3 affair at UC Irvine. Since then, the 49ers haven't lost and put together a 10-match winning streak. UC Santa Barbara is the third seed, going 5-3 in Big West play, losing to LBSU, UCI and Pacific. The Gauchos are matched up to play sixth-seeded Cal State Northridge on Friday. Fourth-seeded Hawai'i owns a 4-4 conference record and will face No. 5 seed Cal State Fullerton also on Friday.
Pacific and Cal Poly will face each other on Thursday in the No. 8/9 match-up, with the winner facing UC Irvine on Friday while seventh-seeded UC Davis will play No. 10 UC Riverside on Thursday and the winner advancing to play LBSU the next day.
Past 49er Success in Tournament:
Long Beach State has dominated the conference tournament for the past decade, winning it each year since 2004. During the past year, the 49ers have lost just one conference tournament title (2010). The team has advanced to 12 straight championship matches, winning nine of them, including the past two.
LBSU as the No. 2 Seed:
The 49ers have not been the No. 2 seed in the Big West Tournament since 2007. Since 2002, the 49ers have been the second seed three times, winning the title twice: in 2002 with a 4-2 upset of top-seeded UCI and again in 2007 with a 4-0 win over fifth-seeded Cal Poly.
Big West Teams in the Rankings:
LBSU is joined in the national ITA rankings this week by #31 UC Irvine. The 49ers, continuing their streak of being ranked every week this season, lay claim to the No. 45 spot.
What's at Stake:
The 49ers must win the conference tournament in order to secure a bid to their third straight NCAA Tournament. The last time LBSU failed to advance from the Big West Tournament was in 2010 when the 49ers lost 4-1 to UC Irvine and ended the season ranked. No. 41.
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