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Long Beach State men’s volleyball team extends win streak to 14

The 49ers have no problem against Sacred Heart.

Long+Beach+State+players+Josh+Tuaniga%2C+Amir+Lugo-Rodriguez+and+Andrew+Whitt+leap+to+block+the+ball+from+Sacred+Heart+outside+hitter+Michael+Comens.
Long Beach State players Josh Tuaniga, Amir Lugo-Rodriguez and Andrew Whitt leap to block the ball from Sacred Heart outside hitter Michael Comens.

Long Beach State players Josh Tuaniga, Amir Lugo-Rodriguez and Andrew Whitt leap to block the ball from Sacred Heart outside hitter Michael Comens.

Bobby Yagake

Bobby Yagake

Long Beach State players Josh Tuaniga, Amir Lugo-Rodriguez and Andrew Whitt leap to block the ball from Sacred Heart outside hitter Michael Comens.

Jordan Py, Staff Writer

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No.1 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team dominated Sacred Heart University in straight sets in the second game of back to backs.

The 49ers won their 14th straight game in impressive fashion winning each set by ten points or more (25-15, 25-11, 25-13). Sacred Heart seemed to be suffering from jet lag and looked frustrated from the opening serve to the match point in the third set.

“First of all, I thought last night we played a really nice match up at North Ridge,” LBSU head Coach Alan Knipe said. “A quick turnaround obviously, going from a road conference match to a home in the Gold Mine non-conference match I’m probably the proudest of the maturity of the ways the guys handled it and the way they prepped for it coming back from the match last night executing and getting a few guys in and we didn’t miss a beat.”

Since their loss at Ohio State, the 49ers have only lost two sets and have established themselves as the number one team in the nation.

In the blazing heat of the Gold Mine gym all the fans could smell the confidence radiating off the 49er players as they made quick work of Sacred Heart.

“It is a great gym, it’s a good floor and the crowd is right on top of you and I think people can really appreciate the power of the game in this gym”, said Knipe.

Although there was a sense of nostalgia for some the heat and different home surroundings it didn’t seem to affect the players.

“I feel like we have been working so hard in the gym lately,” senior middle blocker Bryce Yould said. “Every time we step on the court it doesn’t matter who we are playing, we are just ready to get work done and just grind it out.”

After sending Sacred Heart back to the freezing cold of the east coast, the Beach is looking for redemption against Brigham Young University after BYU knocked LBSU out of the playoffs last season.

“They have the same guys from the team that played in the championship last year,” said Knipe. “So you know they got some nice pin hitters and a number of opposites you can play and the thing with them is when you get up there, there is always some guy that hasn’t really played a lot who is good in their gym and we have a lot of respect for their program.”

With familiarity of their playoff foe, payback is on the minds of the players.

“We are coming in with a chip on our shoulders,” sophomore opposite hitter T.J. DeFalco said. “With redemption wanting to train and get better and that is what we are doing every day in practice.”

The 49ers will head to Provoh to take on the BYU cougars on March 24-25 before heading back home to take on Cal State Northridge and Concordia University to close out the season before the MPSF (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) tournament.

It is a cliché but it seems that the 49ers are taking each game one at a time and aren’t worried about anything but the next match ahead of them.

“I know it’s like a broken record at times but I love these guys approach to wanting to get in the gym and not only wanting to get better but focus on what we are going to do that week,” said Knipe.
Catch the 49ers next weekend in Utah as they play BYU and they will be back on April 8 as they host Cal State Northridge at the Walter Pyramid at 7 p.m.

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