Los Angeles, CA – There was no time to point fingers and get frustrated, just win the next point. Long Beach State did just that on its way to their second NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship.
After trailing 2-1 to the UCLA Bruins, Long Beach dug deep when down 22-19 in the fourth set to take control from that point on.
“It doesn’t surprise me that that’s the battle we had with them,” said Long Beach head coach Alan Knipe, “They committed to a process with their teammates.”
Long Beach Kyle Ensing tied his season high with 20 kills in the match and his teammate TJ DeFalco had 18 kills.
DeFalco normally praised for his offense but tonight it was his defense that was key.
“He’s (Ensing) come along a whole long way, just like both of us have—me and Josh
(Tuaniga),” said DeFalco, “I wouldn’t want any other teammate.”
Coach Knife has now won his second national championship. He was a junior middle blocker on Long Beach State’s 1991 men’s volleyball championship team.
UCLA coming into this match they were 9-1 in championship games that they hosted.
The Bruins had great play from two underclassmen Dylan Missry recorded a career-best six service aces. Daenan Gyimah finished with a career-high 21 kills.
Gyimah came back late in third set and blocked the last shots to take 2-1 lead going into the fourth set.
UCLA ran in trouble when opposite and right back and Hensaru was serving. This was a rotation that just didn’t work for them.
UCLA vs Long Beach Match Scores (1) 25-19 (2) 23-25 (3) 20-25 (4) 26-24 (5) 15-12
Next year 2019 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships will be hosted by Long Beach at The Walter Pyramid.