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LBSU men’s volleyball set to play Stanford Friday night at home

The 49ers are looking to continue its best start in 10 years.

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The No.1 ranked Long Beach State men’s volleyball team returns from a six-game road trip prepared to keep its undefeated season intact with a pair of weekend home matches against Stanford and No. 13 USC.  

LBSU (7-0) starts a three-game homestand Friday night at the Walter Pyramid facing off against Stanford (1-6), a team in which it took down in consecutive sets on Jan. 20 at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto, California.

Junior outside hitters TJ DeFalco and Kyle Ensing led the 49ers with 12 kills each, while junior libero Jordan Molino chipped in a match-high and career-best 10 digs in the January matchup.

The 49ers look to improve upon their best start in 10 years, while the Cardinal look to break a two-game losing streak of their own.

“[We] have a great deal of respect for Stanford as a volleyball program,” head coach Alan Knipe said. “We just prepare for the team we’re about to play.”  

Stanford will enter the Walter Pyramid Friday night on the heels of dropping six consecutive sets to No. 9 Cal State Northridge and No. 1 Long Beach. Freshman Jaylen Jasper leads the Cardinal with 79 kills and ranks 24th in the nation with 3.16 kills per set.

After two Final Four appearances in the past two seasons along with the 2017 AVCA player of the year in DeFalco (68 kills, 3.09 kps), The team broke the record for season ticket sales with 150 for the 2018 season. Long Beach is also led by two other key returners in junior outside hitter Kyle Ensing, who leads the 49ers with 72 kills. Junior setter Josh Tuaniga, who ranks 56th in the nation with 10.52 assists per set.   

“I think it’s a validation of all the hard work the guys have put in on the court and all the hard work…the athletic department has put in as a whole,” Knipe said.

Long Beach will square off against Stanford at 6 p.m. Friday in the Walter Pyramid.

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