Women's Volleyball Visits Hawai'i for Final Road Test
LBSU will look to build on its sweep of UC Irvine, traveling to take on Hawai'i this Saturday at 10 p.m. PT.
Saturday, Nov. 4
Long Beach State at Hawai'i
Time: 10 p.m. PT
Location: Honolulu, Hawai'i
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LAST TIME OUT
LBSU split a pair of home matches against UC Davis and UC Irvine last weekend, winning the first set in each match. The Beach couldn't hang on in a 3-1 loss to the Aggies, but put together a more complete effort the following night to sweep the Anteaters 25-22, 25-21, 26-24.
Sophomore Hailey Harward posted a pair of double-doubles over the weekend, leading the Beach in both kills and digs in each match. In her last six matches, since her move to outside hitter full-time, Harward is averaging 3.43 kills and 3.05 digs per set to lead the Beach in both categories. She has also taken a team-high 199 swings and is hitting .206 in that span.
Fellow sophomore YiZhi Xue was in good form as well, finishing second on the team in kills in each match, averaging 2.71 kills/set for the weekend with an impressive .531 hitting percentage. She also led the team with seven blocks.
Redshirt senior Rachel Nieto had six aces in seven sets last weekend, setting a new career high with four against UC Davis last Friday. As a team, the Beach averaged 1.71 aces per set.
SCOUTING THE RAINBOW WAHINE
Hawai'i is firmly established in second place in the Big West, with both losses coming against unbeaten Cal Poly. After a 2-5 start to the season, the Rainbow Wahine have won 14 of their last 16 contests, with eight of those wins being sweeps. UH is coming off a 1-1 road trip that included a second five-set loss to Cal Poly, followed by a 3-1 win over UC Santa Barbara.
Junior OH McKenna Granato is the leading target for Hawai'i, averaging 4.09 kills/set this season to go with 2.57 digs/set. Middle blocker Emily Maglio leads the conference and ranks 11th nationally with 1.52 blocks/set. The senior leads the team with a solid .393 percentage, producing 3.27 kills/set. Sophomore setter Norene Iosia averages 10.30 assists, 0.36 aces, 2.74 digs and 0.64 blocks per set on the year.
Hawai'i picked up a 16-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-22 victory in the Oct. 13 meeting between these teams at Walter Pyramid. Megan Kruidhof led the Beach with 14 kills while Hailey Harward produced a double-double with 12 kills and 16 digs. It was Maglio leading the way for the Rainbow Wahine with 14 kills and 10 blocks.
Long Beach State's last win in Honolulu came on Nov. 7, 2014 as part of LBSU's unbeaten Big West title campaign.
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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