Long Beach State

Long Beach State Well-Represented On Team USA

Long Beach State’s international legacy is well documented. There has been a 49er in every Summer Olympics since the university was founded in 1949, and five more LBSU representatives are part of Team USA this year.

LBSU women’s soccer coach Mauricio Ingrassia, water polo coach Gavin Arroyo, men’s volleyball assistant coach Nick MacRae and men’s volleyball players TJ DeFalco and Kyle Ensing have all represented the red, white and blue this year.

Listen to our conversation with Ingrassia and Arroyo…

PODCAST: The LB Fee Show Special Team USA Edition

National Champions DeFalco and Ensing are members of the U.S. Men’s National Team competing in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL) this summer. LBSU All-American alum Dustin Watten also is on the roster. The VNL FIVB World League is an international round robin tournament that’s hosted in China, Brazil, Canada, Italy and Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Team USA will face Japan, Korea and Brazil in Brazil from June 1-3.

Ingrassia served as an assistant coach during the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team during their 10-day training camp from May 8-18 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson.

“They were outstanding days of learning,” Ingrassia said. “It was different for me. I was an assistant coach, which made me more aware of what my assistant coaches go through. It was a lot of fun, and a really good experience. I got emotional when I put on the U.S. shirt.”

In 14 years under Ingrassia, LBSU has won either a Big West regular season or tournament title seven times, made six NCAA Tournament appearances and set the school record for wins three different times.

Arroyo served as a Men’s Senior National Team assistant coach in March for two exhibition matches against Australia.

“It’s a great honor,” Arroyo said. “Obviously, going through the program when I was a player and doing a little coaching, it means a lot to me to be a part of what our country is trying to do.”

Arroyo served as the USA Water Polo Men’s Junior National Team’s head coach last year.

“Anything that carries over here at Long Beach State obviously is a plus, but right now it’s really just about getting out there trying to help our guys and learning and staying up to date with what’s going on internationally,” Arroyo said.

MacRae will serve as an assistant coach for the 2018 U.S. Boy’s Youth National Team.

“I have a lot of excitement, joy and pride to be able to represent USA and train future Olympians,” MacRae said.

The Boys’ Youth National Team is training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., from May 25-June 4, before heading to Jose, Costa Rica, for the NORCECA Under-19 Continental Championship June 5-10. It is a qualifier for the 2019 FIVB U19 World Championship.

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.