Baseball, Beach Volleyball, Men's Basketball, Sports

Bringing Back the Legacy of Long Beach

At least six Long Beach State teams are competing for Big West titles this spring and are hoping to further their successes.

Andy Fee, the athletic director at LBSU, gives all credit to the players and coaches for building a strong team culture.

“I think culture is a really big and critical piece in success,” Fee said. “I think those teams that you see with success have built that culture and buy-in from the student-athletes.”

This spring season, LBSU has at least five sports with high aspirations in the Big West Conference: Men’s Volleyball, Women’s Beach Volleyball, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, and Baseball.

Men’s Volleyball

The Legacy of LBSU men’s volleyball is unlike any university in the nation. Decades of top programs, All-Americans, and Olympians.

This season, the men’s volleyball team earned the status as one of the best volleyball teams in the nation and currently holds the No. 2 ranking.

Sophomore libero Mason Briggs said his team strives to be the best every day through a strong team environment.

“We have the best coaching staff and team culture of being all in. Our team is one unit,” Briggs said.

Every day the team plays against great players that prepare them for any tough competition, guiding them to be a top-five ranked program this year.

Beach Volleyball

The LBSU beach volleyball team is heading into the spring season with higher hopes and chances after the NCAA committee announced the addition of 16 teams to the playoffs.

Earning a 15th national ranking to start the season shows they have the potential to play in Gulf Shores in May.

Women’s beach volleyball head coach Mike Campbell emphasized the team is focused on three things this year: strength, team bonding, and technique.

“We focus on getting to know each other,” Campbell said. “Building relationships, being vulnerable with one another, and having the conversations we can’t afford to have in the spring.”

Men’s Basketball

LBSU men’s basketball team came off of a .333 winning percentage last year and finished with the No. 9 seed in the Big West tournament, before meeting with No. 1 seed UC Santa Barbara in the second round, which ended The Beach’s postseason hopes.

After doing some recruiting this past offseason, LBSU men’s basketball has now found itself as the No. 1 seed in the tournament and recently went on an 11 game winning streak after starting the season 4-8 at the beginning of conference play.

“I think the major contributing factor of the turnaround is our understanding of embracing each other’s strengths and building off each other, ” said senior Colin Slater.

He added that the team had to learn to trust each other off the court to help them feel more connected on the court.

Women’s Basketball

LBSU Women’s Basketball team is coming off a strong season after they added a few key transfers last offseason.

The Beach finished regular season play as third in The Big West and now look ahead to play in the Big West Tournament this week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Following the tournament, the team has aspirations to play in the March Madness tournament.

The last time the team competed in the postseason tournament was in 2017, nearly pulling off the upset against Oregon State as the No. 15 seed in the first round.

They are hoping to make it back this year and fuel off their strong team foundation.


The Dirtbags have caught fire since the hiring of Coach Eric Venezuela in June of 2019.

Since the hiring, Venezuela has led the team to multiple national top 25 rankings and continues to be optimistic about the upcoming season. The team was predicted to take first in the Big West this season and is determining how they can build off their current successes.

“Sticking together as a team and sticking with what we’ve worked so hard for is going to bring us success down the road,” said junior Alex Pimental.

After tough training in the off-season, Pimental said the team was able to create a strong foundation for their chemistry.

Currently, other spring sports are showing promising performances in their non-conference play and hope to continue through conference play.

The women’s water polo team is holding on a consistent season after upsetting No. 10 UC Davis to bring them into the rankings at No. 9.

Softball continues to challenge themselves after coming off of a Big West title last year with a tough preseason schedule. The Beach recently secured a win over No. 24 ranked BYU and start conference play in a couple of weeks.

As the spring sports continue to grow, Fee talks about carrying this success into the upcoming fall sports season.

“We think moving forward even beyond the spring that these teams in the department are really poised for a lot of success,” Fee said. “We are really excited for the future.”

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