Long Beach State

Long Beach State Week In Review

Find out how the Long Beach State teams did last week.

Men’s Volleyball

The No. 1 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team beat No. 2 UCLA last week for the second time in five days. The 49ers (14-0) took down the Bruins (14-3) in a pair of four sets matches, and it was 25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21 in the second meeting on Wednesday at Pauley Pavilion.

Junior outside hitters TJ DeFalco (23) and Kyle Ensing (19) each had season-high kills while junior setter Josh Tuaniga had a season-high 57 assists, and career-best 13 digs for his fifth-career double double.
LBSU hit .408 as a team in the match, and is hitting .419 on the season, which is the best in the nation. More impressively, the 49ers are hitting .555 on attacks set by Tuaniga.

The 49ers defense is also holding opponents to a .170 hitting percentage, and freshman middle blocker Simon Anderson was named Big West Freshman Player of the Week for the fourth time. The Middlefart, Denmark native had four blocks and nine kills against UCLA. Anderson has a team-leading 41 total blocks this season.

LBSU opens the first season of Big West Conference play this week with two games against Cal State Northridge. The 49ers host the Matadors on Sunday night at Walter Pyramid.

Baseball

The Dirtbags (2-5) split a Saturday doubleheader at No. 7 TCU over the weekend, but got out hit and dropped the series while losing their starting shortstop. Senior Laine Huffman injured his throwing shoulder in the first game while diving for a pop fly. Coach Troy Buckley said Huffman could be out for a while. The Dirtbags host Arizona State at Blair Field tonight and Wednesday.

Reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week and Golden Spikes performer of the week Zak Baayoun pitched 7.1 strong innings in the first game against TCU while picking up a 3-2 win. The sophomore lefty allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits with seven strikeouts. Baayoun has 19 in his first two starts as the staff ace.

Designated hitter Luke Rasmussen hit his first home run of the season, 13th of his career, and sparked the game-winning rally in the seventh inning. Freshman pinch hitter Leonard Jones drew a bases-loaded walk and his first career RBI to break the tie. Junior Chris Rivera picked up his second save of the season.

TCU (4-2) responded with 12 hits, five walks and 11 runners left on base in an 8-3 victory. The Horned Frogs took the nonconference series with a 5-2 win on Sunday.

Softball

LBSU upset No. 12 Auburn at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs on Saturday for their best start to a season in school history, but the 49ers (12-3) ended the weekend on sour notes with a 4-0 loss to No. 1 Washington, and a 6-5 loss to No. 19 California on Sunday. The performances earned LBSU a No. 22 ranking in this week’s national poll.

Sophomore Cielo Meza (7-0) delivered her fifth complete game for LBSU while striking out eight in the 6-3 win over Auburn. Nichole Fry, Jessica Flores and Grayce Majam all had two hits. Designated player Taylor Rowland had was the only player with two RBIs. LBSU scored four runs in the fifth inning to open up a five-run lead on the Tigers.

The 49ers only managed one hit off of Washington pitcher Taran Alvelo (9-0) in the first game on Sunday, and then a trio of LBSU pitchers gave up 12 walks in a walk-off loss to California.

Women’s Basketball

LBSU (6-22, 4-10) scored big last week to run its winning streak to three games. The 49ers took down UC Irvine on the road 80-73 before they outlasted Hawaii, 85-80, in overtime on Saturday at Walter Pyramid.
A 51-point second half helped LBSU beat UC Irvine, the second place team in the Big West, 80-73.

Freshman guard Shanaijah Davison scored 23 points while senior guard Cecily Wilson had a double double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Davison led five double-figure scorers with 22 points against Hawaii. Wilson had 17 points, six rebounds and two steals. Freshman Naomi Hunt had 16 points while Emma Merriweather chipped in 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Men’s Basketball

The 49ers (13-17, 7-7) have lost their offensive rhythm, and five of their last six games after two defeats on the road at Hawaii on Thursday and Cal State Fullerton on Saturday where big runs from the home teams proved to be the difference.

LBSU gave up an 11-2 run late in the first half at Hawaii, and trailed 34-25 all halftime. Senior Barry Ogalue had nine of his 11 points to help the 49ers cut the lead to 46-42. However, Hawaii answered with a 6-0 run and led by eight points or more the rest of the way in a 74-63 win. Two nights later, LBSU led by two at halftime but couldn’t keep pace in the second half at Fullerton in an 81-71 loss.

LBSU senior Gabe Levin made school history in both games. Against Hawaii he reached 1,000 career points at LBSU with a team-high 18, moving past Bryon Russell and George Trapp for 22nd all-time. Another 18 points against CSUF helped Levin become the 12th player to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds at LBSU. The other 11 names on that list are Russell, Ed Ratleff, Lucious Harris, Michael Wiley, Francois Wise, DeAnthony Langston, Bill Florentine, TJ Robinson, Larry Anderson, Eugene Phelps and Kevin Roberts.

Track & Field

Seven 49ers scored points at the MPSF Championships in Seattle last weekend, and the women’s 4×400-meter relay matched the school record in the event. Shyann Reynolds, Anaya Alexander, Tavajia Richardson and Shalee Reynolds matched the school record in a time of 3:46.14, set back in 2006. De’Ondra Young was the top finisher for LBSU by taking fourth in the women’s weight throw.

Women’s Water Polo

LBSU (3-8) closed the weekend strong at the Barbara Kalbus Invitational with wins over San Diego State and San Jose State. Senior Virginia Smith scored nine goals over the weekend as the 49ers went 2-2 at the invitational. Senior Alexandra Massier scored four goals to lead LBSU to a 9-7 overtime win over San Jose State on Sunday.

Women’s Tennis

Last week was a tough one for the 49ers (3-5, 1-1) who lost a pair of lopsided nonconference matches. LBSU lost 6-1 at Loyola Marymount on Wednesday before falling at No. 48 USC 4-0 on Saturday. Freshman Sadaf Sadeghvaziri won her singles match against LMU in the No. 5 spot to recorded the only point for LBSU last week.

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.
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