Beach Hosts Hawai'i in Friday Whiteout Match on ESPNU
LBSU takes on rivals Hawai'i at 7 p.m. inside Walter Pyramid. The match will be shown live on ESPNU.
Friday, Oct. 13
Long Beach State vs. Hawai'i
Time: 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Location: Walter Pyramid
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LAST TIME OUT
Long Beach State dropped a pair of conference matches on the road last week, losing in four sets at UC Irvine and UC Davis. The loss against the Aggies was LBSU's first ever loss to Davis, after winning the first 25 meetings in the series.
Redshirt junior Emma Kirst moved to the middle last week and did a nice job in her new position, hitting .500 in each match. After posting seven kills and seven digs against UCI, Kirst had her best match of the season in Davis, collecting eight kills on just 14 swings while adding seven digs and six blocks on the night.
Junior outside Megan Kruidhof was a consistent scorer for the Beach, putting up 13 kills at UCI then leading the team with 14 kills against UC Davis. She is leading the Beach with 3.62 kills per set in conference play, hitting at a .255 clip.
Freshman setter Mina Andjelkovic got her biggest opportunity of the season in Saturday's match vs. UCD, playing in all four sets and leading the team with 30 assists. She also chipped in personal bests with three digs and three blocks in the match.
Interestingly, Long Beach State's last six losses have all been in four sets, and the Beach is now 0-9 in four-set matches this season.
Brian Gimmillaro RECOGNITION
During the intermission after set two, Long Beach State will honor former head coach Brian Gimmillaro with a special on-court ceremony. LBSU Athletics Director Andy Fee will be in attendance to help celebrate Gimmillaro's numerous accomplishments during his tenure as LBSU's head women's volleyball coach.
Gimmillaro won 835 games during his 32-year career as head coach, retiring following the 2016 season. He won three NCAA Division I national championships at the Beach (1989, 1993, 1998), with eight Final fours and 27 NCAA Tournament appearances.
SCOUTING THE RAINBOW WAHINE
Hawai'i enters the match coming off a rare home defeat in conference play. UH won the first two sets against Cal Poly but couldn't finish the Mustangs off in a 16-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-22, 15-9 loss. It's the first time a Big West team has won in Honolulu since Long Beach State won 3-2 on Nov. 7, 2014.
Hawai'i is led by junior OH McKenna Granato, who averaged 4.11 kills/set to go with 2.33 digs. Senior Emily Maglio is a force in the middle, averaging 1.48 block/set to lead the Big West by a wide margin. She is also hitting .383 with 2.95 kills/set. Sophomore setter Norene Iosia is a strong all-around contributor, averaging 10.23 assists, 0.38 aces, 2.72 digs and 0.69 blocks per set while leading the offense to a .253 team hitting percentage.
These teams split the two meetings in 2016, with the home team winning each time. Hawai'i leads the all-time series 31-18-1 and the Beach and Rainbow Wahine have each gone 3-3 in the last six meetings.
A NEW ERA
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.
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.
WATCH & LISTEN
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 KBeach.org or via the free KBeach Radio app.
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