LBSU WVB Hosts Riverside, Fullerton This Weekend
Long Beach State welcomes in a pair of Big West opponents this weekend, facing UC Riverside on Friday and Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. Both matches will start at 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 10
Long Beach State vs. UC Riverside
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Walter Pyramid
Live Stream | Live Stats | Listen | Tickets
Saturday, Nov. 11
Long Beach State vs. Cal State Fullerton
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Walter Pyramid
Live Stream |Live Stats | Listen | Tickets
LAST TIME OUT
Long Beach State dropped its final road match of the season, losing in three sets at Hawai'i last Saturday night. LBSU stayed even with UH in blocks as both teams had 5.0 for the match, but a .409 hitting percentage from the Rainbow Wahine was too much to overcome.
Sophomore Hailey Harward has led Long Beach State in kills and digs in each of the last four matches. Against Hawai'i, she had a team-best six kills and 14 digs. YiZhi Xue chipped in five kills on .385 hitting and Rachel Nieto added 10 digs.
SCOUTING THE HIGHLANDERS
UC Riverside enters the weekend on a six-match losing streak, including a 3-2 loss at UC Davis last Saturday. The Highlanders are in the midst of a tough stretch on the schedule, playing six of seven matches on the road from Oct. 14-Nov. 11.
Junior OH Kaiulani Ahuna leads UCR with 3.14 kills/set and is adding 2.20 digs/set as well. Sophomore OH Mickayla Sherman averages 2.88 kills/set and is coming off a 16-kill, 16-dig performance at UC Davis. Redshirt freshman MB Yuliya Ushakova leads UCR with 0.90 blocks/set and redshirt freshman libero Nicole Rodriguez averages 4.04 digs/set.
The previous meeting between these teams went to five sets as Long Beach State opened Big West play with a 23-25, 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 17-15 victory in Riverside. Megan Kruidhof set a career high with 21 kills in that match, recording a double-double with 11 digs. Playing libero in that match, Hailey Harward had 19 digs to lead five LBSU players in double-figures. The Beach also had six players with at least six kills in the victory.
LBSU owns a 45-4 advantage in the all-time series with UC Riverside.
SCOUTING THE TITANS
Cal State Fullerton earned its first Big West victory on Oct. 28, defeating UC Riverside at home in four sets. That snapped a 12-match losing streak for the Titans, who have been swept in each of their last four defeats.
Junior OH Madeline Schneider leads the Titans offensively with 3.29 kills/set plus 2.51 digs. Junior MB Summer Kerins hits a team-leading.258 and also averages 0.72 blocks/set.
The Beach earned a sweep at Titan Gym back on Oct. 17, getting 13 kills from Brooke Earkman on an impressive .500 hitting in the win. Emma Kirst added eight kills on .800 hitting to go with five blocks.
Long Beach State is 91-5 all-time against Cal State Fullerton and hasn't lost a home match to the Titans since 1982.
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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