Thursday, February 3, 2011

LBSU Volleyball turns it up at home

College athletics is all about protecting home court, and no Long Beach State team has been more successful at that this year so far than the LBSU men's volleyball team. 49er men's volleyball is off to a perfect 4-0 start at home this year, having only dropped two sets combined in all of their matches in the friendly confines of the Walter Pyramid. This string of wins has led Long Beach State to be ranked No. 2 in the nation in the latest AVCA poll.

So what is leading to this dominance? Obviously good side out defense and a strong attack by the outside hitters is a must, but there is a little extra energy in the step of the 49ers and it is coming from a surprising place: the loud speakers of the Pyramid. For the first time this year, the team requested that music be played in between each point of their home matches.

"It helps with our energy and momentum," said senior middle blocker Antwain Aguillard. "You can see it in our record, it's definitely helped us at home."

"The music just gives us an extra boost of energy," added senior setter Mike Klipsch."It keeps the energy level in the crowd up, especially with the students, I see them dancing and singing along." 

That singing and dancing crowd has seen sweeps of UCSB, Pacific and then No. 2 Stanford, and might have played a helping hand in the dramatic 3-2 come from behind win the 49ers completed against cross town rival UCLA.

"I would say what is important about the music," said assistant Coach John Hawks. "Is that in volleyball plays, there's five to seven seconds of actual play and 21 to 25 seconds of down time, so music is able to take up all that awkward silence and just adds energy to the building."

So feel free to get out of your seat and sing along with the 49ers and help protect home court.

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