The No. 10 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team will try to overcome four consecutive losses when it travels to No. 8 UC Santa Barbara and No. 9 UC Los Angeles on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.
The 49ers fell to a losing record in the league (8-8 overall, 5-8 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) after Hawaii swept them over the weekend in the Walter Pyramid. Junior outside hitter Dan Glamack said hard work and sticking to the team’s game plan would be the key for the 49ers to regain a winning record.
“Our guys are going to put in the work to get better so hopefully that translates into our matches,” Glamack said.
Glamack finished the weekend against Hawaii leading the 49ers with 24 total kills. Sophomore middle blocker Bryce Yould added seven kills and a career-high eight block assists Friday night.
The 49ers will be without junior outside hitter Cody Martin, who missed Saturday’s match with an abdomen injury and is expected to return in two to three weeks. Head coach Alan Knipe said that it is imperative for the team to not lose Martin for the rest of the season.
“We might have to sacrifice the short run and go without him,” Knipe said. “We don’t want to lose Cody, but we have no choice in the matter.”
Knipe said it was essential for the team to execute plays in stressful moments no matter who the opponent is. Yould said it is important for the team to reset and refocus in between matches before the team faces the Bruins (9-6, 5-6) and the Gauchos (11-6, 7-6).
“Those teams are going to be prepared for the matches so it’s just a matter of who has a better night,” Yould said.
UCSB is coming off of an end to a five game winning streak after a loss to UC Irvine Feb. 28. The 49ers fell to the Gauchos early in the season at home as they were unable to contain the hot-handed swing of outside hitter Kevin Donohue.
The Bruins closed out their weekend matches with a sweep of UC San Diego, and they will take on Cal State Northridge before welcoming the 49ers on March 6. Long Beach State University took the win over the UCLA on Feb. 3, overcoming a slow start to end the night with 48 total kills for the team.
Knipe said it was important for the team to not get caught up in a long losing streak. While it can be tough for a team to overcome a slump, Knipe had no doubt in his mind that his team can make it happen.
“You have to get back on the horse and find a way to get a win,” Knipe said. “We got to find a way to get a little bit more out of our offense. If you watch my team play, they play as hard as they can and they get better all the time.”
The 49ers will travel to No. 8 UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday before playing at No. 9 UCLA on Friday. Both matches expected to start at 7 p.m.