Daily 49er

LBSU to battle rival CSUN at Northridge

The 49ers strive for consistency as they begin a three game road trip at Northridge.

Long+Beach+State+will+try+to+bounce+back+from+their+loss+to+UCSB%2C+as+they+travel+to+face+Cal+State+Northridge+on+Friday.
Long Beach State will try to bounce back from their loss to UCSB, as they travel to face Cal State Northridge on Friday.

Long Beach State will try to bounce back from their loss to UCSB, as they travel to face Cal State Northridge on Friday.

Bobby Yagake

Bobby Yagake

Long Beach State will try to bounce back from their loss to UCSB, as they travel to face Cal State Northridge on Friday.

Kayce Contatore, Contributing Writer

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Energy filled the gold mine gym Tuesday afternoon as the No. 10 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team prepared for its upcoming match on Friday at rival No. 14 Cal State Northridge.

Both teams are trying to bounce back after losses on Feb. 6. The 49ers (7-4 overall, 4-4 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) are striving to gain some consistency after a four-set loss to UC Santa Barbara. UCLA outmatched Northridge (5-6, 3-4) on Friday night, hitting only .120 percent on the night compared to the Bruins .359 percent.

The 49ers have lost two out of their last three road games. Things will not get easier as it heads to Northridge to face the Matadors in the Matadome. For team leader and junior middle blocker Taylor Gregory, it is all about mental transition. Gregory said that the team needs to come into practice every day ready to work and to stay mentally tough.

“I struggled last week,” Gregory said, “I expect to be a lot better for my teammates and I need to be a better leader. As the season goes on, it’s hard not to get complacent after a few wins…and you have to make sure you’re ready to work every day.”

Gregory recorded three kills in 13 attempts and had six blocks in The Beach’s loss to Santa Barbara.

LBSU defeated the Matadors in both meetings last season as the 49ers battled for a playoff spot. Back-to-back three set wins for the beach secured the seventh seed playoff position, snapped a three game winning streak for the Matador’s and brought their season to an end. The beach hit .482 percent to CSUN’s .192 percent, and crushed the Matadors in blocks (10-2) as well as digs (21-8).

A team can never become complacent after a win or stay down on themselves after a loss. Gregory said that for the 49ers it is important to keep the team standards high and to stay hungry on the court.

“We can’t be hanging on the last game,” LBSU head coach Alan Knipe said. “As tough as a loss is, you have to get ready to play.”

The 49ers will have to contain junior outside hitter Sam Holt and sophomore opposite hitter Damani Lenore. Holt, who averages 3.48 kills per set so far this season, ended the night against the Bruins hitting -0.071 percent. Lenore had six attack attempts in the match, which resulted in six errors.

“Holt is a physical player,” assistant coach Tyler Hildebrand said. “We expect they’ll be prepared and we’ll be prepared as well.”

Hildebrand said the team is preparing as hard as it can in practice and have been staying consistent with their routine. The 49ers will have a full week to prepare for the rival match against Northridge as opposed to their typical schedule of playing two matches per week.

The 49ers will begin their three game road trip Friday night at CSUN at 7 p.m.

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