The Long Beach State men’s volleyball team has a shot to hang a banner tonight as they play for an NCAA championship against Big West Conference rivals Hawaii at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion at 5 p.m.
Tickets for the match can be purchased here, and the match will also be televised live on ESPN 2.
The meeting of the Beach and the Rainbow Warriors is the latest installment of what’s become an elite rivalry. The last time a team besides Long Beach or Hawaii won the NCAA men’s volleyball title was 2017—the Beach won in 2018 and 2019 (beating Hawaii in ‘19) and Hawaii won it last year.
“There are some rivalries that mean more than others for sure, and Long Beach has been a stiff opponent of ours for a long time,” said Hawaii coach Charlie Wade.
“We’ve played in very important matches for years and it always brings the best out of both teams,” said Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe.
The Beach are seeking a third NCAA title in four years, an impressive feat for a program that had only won one in its history prior to 2018.
The Beach will rely heavily on outside hitter Alex Nikolov, recently named the National Player of the Year despite being a freshman. Nikolov was key in Long Beach’s crazy five-set win over UCLA in the Final Four.
We’ll have live updates of the match at the562.org.
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