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Beach Continues Road Trip in Los Angeles, San Diego

Complete LBSU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Thursday, Sept. 7
Long Beach State at Loyola Marymount
Time: 7 p.m. PT
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
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Friday, Sept. 8
Long Beach State vs. Pacific
Time: 4 p.m. PT
Location: San Diego, Calif.
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Saturday, Sept. 9
Long Beach State at San Diego State 
Time: 11 a.m. PT
Location: San Diego, Calif.
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• LBSU struggled last weekend at the Wolverine Invitational at Utah Valley. The Beach went 0-3 on the weekend, with losses to Montana, No. 9 Kansas and the host Wolverines.
• Junior OH Megan Kruidhof was Long Beach State's top performer at the event, earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team. She averaged 4.36 kills and 2.27 digs per set over the weekend, setting her career high in digs twice. First, she had 17 kills against the highly-ranked Jayhawks then improved her career best with 19 kills to go with 12 digs against Utah Valley. Kruidhof has led the Beach in kills and points in every match this season.
• Sophomore libero Hailey Harward posted double-digit digs in all three matches in Utah, including a season-best 22 against Utah Valley. Harward is averaging a team-leading 4.00 digs/set so far this season.
• Fellow sophomore YiZhi Xue has been an efficient attacker in the middle, leading the team with a .429 hitting percentage. She also leads the team with 1.05 blocks/set, led by a six-block performance against Utah Valley.

• The action begins with a trip to LMU, where the Lions also have a first-year head coach in Aaron Mansfield. So far this season, LMU is 3-3 against a challenging schedule. The Lions lost to now-ranked USC in four sets, lost to No. 16 Michigan and took No. 14 Oregon to five sets on the road. Sara Kovac is one of the top weapons for the Lions, averaging 3.09 kills/set with a .298 attack percentage. As a team, LMU has been strong on serve averaging 1.65 aces per set, collecting 38 aces and just 41 service errors.
• Long Beach State holds a 20-4 edge in the all-time series with LMU, including a sweep win last season at Walter Pyramid. LBSU has never lost a road match at LMU, going 8-0 in Los Angeles since the first meeting in 1985.
• The Beach will face Pacific on a neutral court in San Diego. The Tigers are led by Emily Baptista's 3.90 kills/set, while Ashlyn Fleming contributes 1.07 blocks and 3.17 kills per set on .424 hitting.
• LBSU owns a 40-26 all-time record against its former Big West rival and has won eight straight meetings with Pacific dating back to 2009.
• Finally, LBSU will wrap the weekend against San Diego State in a true road match. The Aztecs have been fairly balanced offensively, with six players recording between 32-55 kills this season. Deja Harris leads the way with those 55 kills, averaging 2.89 per set on a solid .433 attack percentage.
• The Beach is 32-26 against the Aztecs all-time, with San Diego State winning 25-19, 25-22, 25-20 in last season's meeting in San Diego.

• For the first time in over three decades, there is a new head coach of the Long Beach State women's volleyball program. Former LBSU setter Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer has returned to the Beach as head coach, and is joined by her husband, associate head coach Matt Fuerbringer on the new coaching staff.
• McKienzie-Fuerbringer won a national championship with Long Beach State in 1993, then returned as an assistant coach following an overseas playing career. She has previous assistant coaching experience at UCLA, where she helped the Bruins to a national championship in 2011. • Fuerbringer was a terrific player at Stanford, where he was a four-time All-American and the career kills leader for the Cardinal. He went on to a professional career indoors and on the beach before spending the last four years coaching with the US Men's National Team. Included in that stretch was a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
• Also new to the Beach is volunteer assistant coach Justine Wong-Orantes, who just completed a stellar career at Nebraska. Wong-Orantes was a two-time AVCA All-American libero for the Cornhuskers, starting all four years and winning a national championship in 2015.
Mike Campbell remains on the coaching staff for his fourth season as assistant coach while remaining the head coach of LBSU's beach volleyball squad.

• There are 10 new players on the Long Beach State roster this season, including a handful of transfers and a crop of local and international freshman talent.
• Senior setter Alexis Patterson comes to Long Beach from UNLV and she will be an immediate contributor in charge of the LBSU attack. Utah transfer Emma Kirst is a redshirt junior who, at 6-foot-4, brings great size to either side of the net. Sophomore Kristyna Adamcikova transfers in from San Francisco and could be headed for a redshirt season as she recovers from injury. JUCO transfer Mary Jo McBride adds depth to the setting ranks after coming over from nearby Long Beach City College, where she played for LBSU great Misty May-Treanor. San Diego transfer Gigi Alex joins the indoor roster after playing beach volleyball at Long Beach State last season.
• Among the incoming freshmen, outside hitter Monika Simkova projects to see the most playing time. Hailing from Slovakia, she is one of three incoming freshman from Europe, along with setter Mina Andjelkovic (Serbia) and middle blocker Radi Marinova (Bulgaria).
• The other two incoming freshmen are local products: outside hitter Gina Lipscomb from Yorba Linda and defensive specialist Fayth Rascon-Ryn from Redondo Beach.

• The Big West Preseason Coaches Poll had Long Beach State slated for a third-place finish in 2017, behind defending champion Hawai'i and Cal Poly.
• Each of the top three teams in the poll received a first-place vote, with Hawai'i leading the way with six, followed by two for Cal Poly and one for LBSU.

• All of Long Beach State's non-televised home matches will be streamed live online and free of charge on BigWest.TV.
• Every LBSU match, home and away, can be heard live on KBeach Radio. Listen in at or via the free KBeach Radio app.



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