Long Beach State wins second consecutive championship with epic Saturday night win over Hawaii

It was a night they’ll be talking about for a long time. Inside their home arena, the Long Beach State men’s volleyball team became the first program in school history to win back-to-back NCAA championships, taking down Hawaii in the Pyramid in a battle of the two best teams in the nation. Hawaii took the first set before Long Beach rallied to win it, 23-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-23.

With the two best teams in the country on the floor, a huge crowd, and a second NCAA trophy, it was an epic end to what has been a truly golden chapter in the school’s athletic history. The senior class led by TJ DeFalco, Josh Tuaniga, and Kyle Ensing will graduate having played in four Final Fours, won back-to-back national titles and set a school record for consecutive home wins at 42.

“They did it the right way, they were very unselfish, they worked hard, and they brought their teammates along,” said Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe.

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Mike and JJ go together like mac and cheese: they’re best friends, business partners and Long Beach sports experts. They’ve been working together for over a decade covering Long Beach local sports and now run the562.org, a community-funded nonprofit media outlet.