LBSU to end road trip at UC Irvine and UCSD

The 49ers will try to bounce back from two losses last weekend.

Anita Wang, Assistant Sports Editor

The Long Beach State men’s volleyball team started its last month of conference play with a pair of losses and will close out its four-match road swing against UC San Diego and UC Irvine this weekend.

The 49ers (15-6, 12-6 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) had seen much success before falling to Southern California and Pepperdine last week, as they racked up eight consecutive victories prior, including one against two-time defending national champion UC Irvine.

LBSU made the Anteaters (14-9, 11-8 MPSF) eat their hearts out with a sweep during their last meeting to show who reigned in the Black and Blue Rivalry Series. But the ‘Eaters immediately redeemed themselves with a five-match winning streak before falling to Brigham Young two weeks ago.

The Anteaters will be coming off from an 11-day break from matches and have home-court advantage for the rivalry game. They are led by Jeremy Dejno with 245 kills and Zack La Cavera with 3.51 kills per set and 28 service aces.

UC San Diego (2-19, 1-18 MPSF) has been on the other side of the spectrum, as it rarely sees wins on its record. Last week it picked up its first MPSF win in a five-set decision against Cal Baptist.

The Tritons are led by Mike Brunsting, who has been carrying his team all season with a team-leading 158 kills and team-leading 116 digs.

The 49ers dropped two spots in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association poll after falling to USC and No. 3 Pepperdine last week, allowing Pepperdine to jump ahead of them.

The ‘Niners are led by Taylor Crabb with a nation-leading 378 kills and 4.85 kills per set. Dalton Ammerman contributed 187 kills and 2.63 kills per set while Connor Olbright has 921 assists, good for second in the nation.

LBSU will face UCSD on Thursday and UCI on Friday. Both are road matches and will begin at 7 p.m.

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