Beach Wins MPSF; Joined by BYU, UH in NCAA

MPSF Tournament MVP TJ DeFalco
April 23, 2017

Story Courtesy of ncaa.com

The NCAA Men's Volleyball Committee announced today the six teams vying for the 2017 National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship. The top two seeds have been placed in the bracket; the remaining four teams will compete for the last two berths in the bracket via two opening round matches. The opening round matches will take place May 2 and the semifinals and final will take place May 4 and 6. The opening rounds, semifinals and championship will all be played in Columbus, Ohio, at St. John Arena. The Ohio State University is the host.

In the first opening round match No. 3 seed BYU (24-4) will play No. 6 seed Barton (23-5), with the winner advancing to the championship bracket to play No. 2 seed Long Beach State (27-3). In the second opening round match No. 4 seed Hawaii (26-5) will be paired with No. 5 seed Penn State (21-10). The winner will be placed in the championship bracket to play No. 1 seed Ohio State (30-2). Game times for the opening round matches are 6 and 8 p.m. Eastern time. Game times for the semifinals are 6 and 8 p.m. Eastern time. The championship match will be played at 7 p.m. Eastern time. The semifinals will be streamed live on www.NCAA.com and the championship match will be broadcast live on Saturday, May 6 at 7 p.m. Eastern time on ESPNU. Conferences receiving automatic qualification include Conference Carolinas, Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The remaining two teams were selected at-large without geographical restrictions. In 2016, Ohio State defeated BYU, 3-0, to capture its second national championship title. For updated championship results, log on to www.NCAA.com.

MPSF Volleyball Release 16

MPSF Championship Final Box-Long Beach State 3, Hawaii 1

Note: Long Beach State wins its first-ever MPSF Championship in any sport.

2017 MPSF All-Tournament Team

Scott Stadick, UC Irvine

Leo Durkin, BYU

Stijn Van Tilburg, Hawaii

Kupono Fey, Hawaii

Josh Tuaniga, Long Beach State

Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State

TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State (MVP)

Recap by LBSU

LONG BEACH, Calif. - Top-ranked Long Beach State won its first-ever MPSF Championship in any sport after defeating No. 3 seed Hawaii, 3-1 [17-25, 25-20, 25-13, 25-23] on Saturday night inside the Walter Pyramid. With the victory, the Beach have officially punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season. The trip to the NCAA Tournament will be Long Beach State's fourth-ever trip under head coach Alan Knipe and ninth overall. It is also the first time LBSU will head to the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons since 1990 and 1991. After dropping the first set to Hawaii (26-5), Long Beach State (27-3) came back and rattled off three consecutive set victories to improve to 16-0 at home, marking the most home wins in a single-season in program history. The Beach hit .361 in the match and were led offensively by Kyle Ensing and TJ DeFalco who combined for 27 kills. Ensing led the way with 15 on .367 hitting, while DeFalco added 12 on a .429 clip. DeFalco would go on to be named MPSF Tournament MVP after coming up one dig shy of a double-double in the championship match. Ensing, along with setter Josh Tuaniga, were named to the All-MPSF Tournament Team. Ensing finished the contest with six digs, two assists, a pair of service aces and one block, while Tuaniga dished out 37 assists, four kills on five attempts without committing an attack error for a hitting efficiency of .800. He also added five digs, three aces and two blocks. Long Beach State also got solid efforts from Andrew Whitt (eight kills, five digs), Andrew Sato (five digs, three assists), and the blocking duo of Amir Lugo-Rodriguez (four blocks) and Bryce Yould (three blocks). Yould also contributed six kills on .364 hitting, while Lugo-Rodriguez added three kills with an attack percentage of .333. The Beach got off to a slow start as the Rainbow Warriors out-hit them .240 to a mere .038 in the first set. Hawaii broke a 3-3 tie after tallying three straight points to take a 6-3 lead over LBSU that it would not relinquish. The `Bows would go on to win the opening frame 25-17. LBSU came out in the second game determined to even the set score. The Beach would hit .393 (15-4-28) in the game, while their offense would limit the `Bows to .114 hitting (11-7-35). The 49ers started the set off on an Ensing kill and never trailed and they would win the game by a score of 25-20. The third set was all Long Beach State as the Beach kicked off the frame on a 5-0 run forcing Hawaii to call a timeout. After the `Bows got on the scoreboard, the 49ers would go on another 5-0 run to extend their lead to 12-4. LBSU kept the set at arm's length rattling off another five straight points to open the game up 19-7. Long Beach State hit a sizzling .632 (12-0-19) in the frame, while Hawaii struggled with a .042 attack percentage (8-7-24) as the Beach cruised to a 25-13 victory. The conference foes battled it out in the fourth set as the two teams fought through 17 ties and three lead changes. Tuaniga severed up his third ace of the match to give Long Beach State a 22-20 lead that it would hold onto for the remainder of the contest. Following Tuaniga's ace, the Beach took back the set and match on kills by DeFalco, Ensing and Whitt to win the set, match and MPSF Championship with a 25-23 victory. Hawaii finished the match hitting .184 (44-23-114) as Kupono Fey led the way with 14 kills, while Stijn van Tilburg added 12. Jennings Franciskovic registered 38 assists with four blocks, while Larry Tuileta paced the backrow with 10 digs.