A whole season comes down to one night, as the Long Beach State men’s volleyball team faces two-time defending national Ohio State in the NCAA Final Four at 5 p.m. today in UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.
The team has piled up all manner of awards. Five 49ers were named All-Americans, Alan Knipe was named Coach of the Year, Nick MacRae was named Assistant Coach of the Year, Josh Tuaniga was named National Player of the Year. But the only prize the team has wanted all year in a national championship trophy—one that’s only two wins away.
“You know, it’s going to be a tall challenge for the Buckeyes,” said Ohio State coach Pete Hanson.
It will be just as tall for the 49ers. Long Beach might have two National POYs in Tuaniga and TJ DeFalco but Ohio State has one as well in Nicolas Szerszen, who won two years ago. The Buckeyes have a pair of elite servers in Szerszen and Jake Hanes, who had eight aces in the last round against UC Irvine. Both coaches said they expect much of the match to come down to serve and pass.
Follow @562sports on Twitter for live updates from Los Angeles. The winner will advance to Saturday’s national championship, where they will face the winner of UCLA and BYU.
Enjoy some of our Long Beach State features:
Feature: DeFalco, Tuaniga’s Partnership Brings Special Results For Long Beach State
Long Beach State’s Josh Tuaniga Named National Player Of The Year
International Players Hoping For National Championship At Long Beach State
Long Beach State’s Alan Knipe, Nick MacRae Win National Awards