Long Beach State

Long Beach State Volleyball Update

The Long Beach State men’s volleyball team announced a coaching promotion yesterday while the beach volleyball team swept another match on campus.

Beach Volleyball

No. 5 Long Beach State picked up two more sweeps, beating Oregon and Saint Mary’s 5-0 on Wednesday to move their winning streak to 12 matches heading into this weekend’s Big West Challenge.

Long Beach State (15-1) opened up the day with a sweep of Oregon (0-3) without dropping a set. The closest match came at No. 3 where Kristyna Adamcikova and Hailey Harward defeated Willow Johnson and Lauren Page 21-16, 21-13. Lexi Patterson and Emma Kirst returned to the lineup to win 21-9, 21-10 over Kyra Hanawahine and Marine Hall-Porter, while Hannah Matt and Marisa Ramsey bumped up a flight for the first time this year but remained unbeaten with a 21-10, 21-10 win over Maggie Scott and Ronika Stone at No. 4.

Sasha Karelov and Megan Kruidhof easily dispatched Taylor Agosi and Josie Cole 21-13, 21-9 behind 17 kills from Karelov and 5 aces from Kruidhof to grab the win in the second flight. Nele Barber and Rachel Nieto dispatched the Ducks at No. 1 to close out the win.

Saint Mary’s (10-3) proved to be a tougher test, but Long Beach State was up to the challenge once again. Karelov and Kruidhof had to battle for the win at No. 2, falling in the first set but rebounding for a 19-21, 21-19, 17-15 win in a thrilling match with Payton Rund and Morgan Hughes as Karelov finished with 25 kills.

Zoi Konstantopoulou and Nicci Reinking returned to the fours in a 21-17, 21-12 win over Lindsey Calvin and Kelsey Knudsen, and Adamcikova/Harward sealed the win with a 21-10, 22-20 win at No. 3, improving to 13-0 in that flight this season. Barber/Nieto and Matt/Ramsey also won in straight sets as the Beach has won all four matches so far this week by a 5-0 margin.

Long Beach State will play all five other conference foes in Sacramento on Saturday and Sunday as part of the Big West Challenge. The Beach will face CSUN, CSU Bakersfield and No. 3 Hawai’i on Saturday before playing No. 6 Cal Poly and the hosts Sacramento State on Sunday.

Men’s Volleyball

Nick MacRae has been a staple on the Long Beach State men’s volleyball bench for the last five seasons as, first the director of operations, then an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. After helping the Beach to five MPSF Tournament appearances, one MPSF Tournament Championship, back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances, and most recently, a No. 1 national ranking, MacRae has been promoted to Associate Head Coach.

“I am very excited to name Nick MacRae Associate Head Coach,” Long Beach State Athletics Director Andy Fee stated. “Nick has had a great impact on our program for the past five years and he is establishing himself as one of the top young coaches in volleyball. I appreciate what he brings to our program, from his many years of experience at all different levels of the game. I look forward to watching Nick continue teaching the game and making a difference as we strive to keep Beach Men’s Volleyball one of the top programs in both the Big West Conference and the nation.”

MacRae is in the midst of his sixth season with the Long Beach State men’s volleyball program and has helped guide the Beach to a 19-0 overall record and a 4-0 Big West Conference ledger thus far. With MacRae on the bench, Long Beach State has boasted two National Players of the Year, nine AVCA All-Americans, and 13 MPSF All-Conference selections.

“Nick is a really special part of the success we’ve had here,” Long Beach State head coach Alan Knipe said. “He’s worked incredibly hard and is an all-in kind of coach. He is a great recruiter, a great technician on the court, an incredibly hard-working young coach, and he has the greatest, upbeat, positive personality at all times.

“He’s an enormous part of our success and I couldn’t be happier for Nick on his new title of Associate Head Coach as he continues to move up the ladder and develop his arsenal of weapons as a coach. It is a pleasure to work with him, and I couldn’t be happier for him. It couldn’t happen to a better guy.”

MacRae has been an integral part of Long Beach State’s success and just a year ago was awarded the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) 2017 Thirty Under 30 Award which honors up-and-coming coaching talent at all levels of the sport. He was chosen as one of 30 recipients out of nearly 200 nominations.

“I’m super excited. Long Beach is my home and this is my family,” MacRae stated. “A big thanks to my family, President Jane Conoley for making this happen, our Athletics Director Andy Fee, our sport supervisor Mark Edrington, and our head coach Alan Knipe. Big thanks and love to the entire Long Beach community. I’m fired up to move forward.”

During MacRae’s time as assistant coach, Long Beach State has put together a 104-35 overall record for a winning percentage of .748. Additionally, the Beach have compiled a conference record of 63-27 (.700).

“I have watched Nick evolve from a solid player on our men’s volleyball team into a well-rounded and impactful coach,” Senior Associate Athletics Director Mark Edrington said. “Nick continues to contribute leadership, passion, and experience to our program and the sport of volleyball. I look forward to watching the success he will continue to bring to our program.”

In addition to his experience at the Beach, MacRae served as a coach for the USA High Performance Championships in 2014 and 2015. He also coaches at various USA High Performance camps. Furthermore, MacRae served as the technical coordinator for the USA Men’s Pan America Team and helped the U.S. win a Gold Medal in the Dominican Republic in 2012. The squad followed that with a fifth-place finish at the 2013 Pan Am Games in Mexico City.

MacRae is a Long Beach, Calif., native and excelled on the court at Wilson High School before playing at Long Beach State.

The top-ranked Beach will be back in action on Friday, March 30 when they host No. 4 UC Irvine at 7 p.m. inside the Walter Pyramid.


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.