Men's Sports, Men's Volleyball, Sports

No. 1 Long Beach state stay undefeated in sweep over Concordia

The No. 1 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team dominated in its tenth win of the season as it swept Concordia University 25-20, 25-14, 25-13 Friday at the Walter Pyramid.

LBSU (10-0) was led by junior outside hitter TJ DeFalco who posted a double-double going for 12 kills (.500) and 12 digs. He added one block and four assists to the night. DeFalco’s 12 kills would also lead him to crack into the top 20 on the Long Beach all-time kill list moving into 19th with 1,034 kills.

Junior setter Josh Tuaniga also posted a double-double with 21 assists and 11 digs to go along with his two kills and two blocks.

Senior middle blocker Nick Amado and junior outside hitter Kyle Ensing led Long Beach in blocks, posting four a piece. Ensing would add 11 kills (.400) and six digs, while Amado would add seven kills (.583) and one dig of his own.

“Nick’s [Amado] huge for our team,” Tuaniga said. “He brings that energy for us, even when as a team we feel like we may not have that energy, he brings it for us. Somebody like that on the team can really be infectious.”

Concordia (3-3) came out of the gates with a lot of energy in set one, taking Long Beach to 14-14 before the 49ers would regain the lead and eventually win the set.

“We’re a good team, just a little inexperienced,” Concordia head coach Shawn Patchell said.

The 49ers played stout defense on the night, totalling eight blocks and 47 digs. “They blocked the ball well, and they cover a ton,” Patchell said. “That’s kind of their calling card, they’re extremely scrappy.”

Long Beach would enter the second set with the same intensity, opening it up 10-2 with an 8-0 run served by DeFalco.

“It’s that next point mentality,” Tuaniga said. “TJ [DeFalco] had a great run and we wanted to keep him back there.”

Long Beach would control the last two sets and breeze into a three set win, but not without a little scare from Ensing. He would leave the game midway through the third set and visit the team trainer on the sideline.

“He’s got some tightness in his shoulder,” Long Beach head coach Alan Knipe said. “But who doesn’t right now? We’ll ice him up and he’ll have two days off which is nice. But there’s no issue there.”

With the win Long Beach moves to 10-0, breaking its best start since 2008. Long Beach now extends its consecutive set streak to 23. The 49ers will travel to the East Coast as they face Harvard (1-3) at 4 p.m. Thursday inside Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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