It’s been 1,050 days, almost three years, since Long Beach has lost inside the Walter Pyramid.
In front of a crowd of 1,735, the 49ers continued the streak and trounced the Buckeyes in straight sets, 25-19, 25-18, 25-21, extending their perfect record 12-0. The last time these two teams met was in the 2018 Final Four, where Long Beach defeated Ohio State in four sets, advancing to the national championship game.
The 49ers hold a 32-0 home record dating back to March 26, 2016.
Unranked Ohio State has now lost three straight games, including being swept back-to-back in the AVCA Showcase after dropping its match Friday.
Despite sweeping the Buckeyes, the 49ers had a sloppy outing; they missed spots on the court and had plenty of errors throughout the match including 16 service errors.
“I thought there was a couple of lapses,” head coach Alan Knipe said. “We weren’t hitting our serve all the way up and being aggressive. We could have been a little better blocking the ball tonight, that’s credit to Ohio State. They did a good job of not being predictable where they were going to hit.”
Senior opposite Kyle Ensing led the way with 11 kills on the night, while senior setter Josh Tuaniga had a game-high 31 assists and a few key plays that helped Long Beach regain control in the third set after both teams went back and forth.
Tuaniga had a couple of dumps, a sneaky attack that catches the defense by surprise, in the third set that contributed to a 6-0 run, giving Long Beach a 17-12 lead.
“It’s just too good of a weapon,” Knipe said on Tuaniga’s ability to dump the ball. “His numbers are incredibly high with the success rate, and we’ve been pushing him … we want the [opposing] defense to have to account for another offensive weapon.”
Long Beach will host UCLA Saturday 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Walter Pyramid.
Watch our video coverage of the game here:
Bryan Aparicio is a fourth year journalism student at Long Beach State. He was originally a business major before transferring to the journalism program because of his love for sports. He currently covers the Long Beach State men’s volleyball team, the reigning national champions and aspires to be a beat writer for a professional team in the future.