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No. 1 Long Beach State handle No. 12 CSUN at home

Long Beach State ties school record at 16-0.

Long+Beach+State+freshmen+setter+Carlos+Rivera+digs+the+ball+against+Cal+State+Northridge.+Long+Beach+extends+its+undefeated+streak+to+16-0.
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No. 1 Long Beach State handle No. 12 CSUN at home

Long Beach State freshmen setter Carlos Rivera digs the ball against Cal State Northridge. Long Beach extends its undefeated streak to 16-0.

Long Beach State freshmen setter Carlos Rivera digs the ball against Cal State Northridge. Long Beach extends its undefeated streak to 16-0.

Hunter Lee | Daily 49er

Long Beach State freshmen setter Carlos Rivera digs the ball against Cal State Northridge. Long Beach extends its undefeated streak to 16-0.

Hunter Lee | Daily 49er

Hunter Lee | Daily 49er

Long Beach State freshmen setter Carlos Rivera digs the ball against Cal State Northridge. Long Beach extends its undefeated streak to 16-0.

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No.1 Long Beach State and No.12 Cal State Northridge went to battle for the second time in three nights on Sunday. Long Beach swept both matches in three sets, extending its win streak to 16.

Long Beach (16-0, 2-0 Big West) returned home, where it has been nearly impossible to beat, rattling off 22 consecutive wins inside the Walter Pyramid, the second longest streak in school history.

CSUN (8-7, 0-2) entered the match on the opposite end of the spectrum, being one of the worst teams on the road this season. Owning a 1-4 record coming into the match.

The 49ers would jump on the Matadors early in the first set, opening an 9-7 lead, thanks to two early kills and an early block by redshirt junior middle blocker Nick Amado. Amado would finish the night with five kills and two blocks. Long Beach would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the set.

Junior outside hitter Kyle Ensing would finish the first set with four kills and a sizzling .667 hitting percentage.

“That falls on Josh [Tuaniga], he does a good job of finding the hot hitter,” Ensing said.

Long Beach would ramp up the energy in the second set and force a multitude of CSUN errors, including six service errors and five attacking errors.

The Matadors were defeated mentally by the third set after falling behind 14-8 midway through it. The emotion was gone, the players faces had dropped, they even failed to huddle after points. The match would end 25-18, 25-18, 25-17.

“They beat us down by serving better and passing better,” said CSUN Head Coach Jeff Campbell. “We can be as physical as we want, but if we can’t serve well or pass well it doesn’t matter.”  

Junior outside hitter TJ DeFalco struggled early on, hitting just .111 in the first set. However, he would really hit his stride in the third set by going a perfect 7-of-7 in kill attempts. DeFalco finished the night with a match high 15 kills, to go with seven digs and two blocks.

“They had a really good game plan on me in the first set,” DeFalco said. “I just wanted to make sure that Josh continued to give me the same balls.”

Long Beach has now tied the best start to a season in school history at 16-0. Only the 1992 team has accomplished this feat.

49er head coach Alan Knipe addressed the milestone after the game.

“Well we have never talked about [the milestone] until right now. So thank you for that,” Knipe said. “In all reality that’s great and I am really proud of what they have done and I know they are really proud of what they have done. When you are matching records like that, you are in special waters.”

Long Beach continues its historic run at 7 p.m. Wednesday as Mount Olive travels to the Walter Pyramid for a mid week non-conference affair.

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