Wednesday, February 17, 1999
Coaches: LBSU's Ray Ratelle (18th, 347-181) vs. UH's Mike Wilton (7th, 126-54)
Long Beach State 49ers
Season: No. 3 LBSU: 7-0 overall, 5-0 MPSF. No. 7 UH: 7-2, 3-1 MPSF.
Top players: Neil Mason (6-5 Jr. OH) 5.17 kpg; Matt Prosser (6-7 So. MB) 1.44 bpg; Scott Faber (6-5 Jr. MB) 1.08 bpg, 10 aces; Chris Seifert (6-4 Jr. S).
About the 49ers: Last week, the 49ers upset then No. 2 Pepperdine in five games ... The Beach has now won 20 of its last 21 matches, dating back to last season ... Seifert was a second-team All-American last year but is being challenged for the position by freshman Jeremy Blain ... The 49ers return five starters from last year's 22-7 squad.
Series keys: The Rainbows have got to solidify their passing situation, perhaps their only weakness. Senior Chris Kosty and sophomore Jorge Alifonso were both used last week against George Mason, but coach Mike Wilton may end up using junior Russell Lockwood. What the Rainbows gain in defense from the move they lose in offense as both Kosty and Alifonso are better athletes and better at the combination plays ... Hawaii's block will be tested by Long Beach's size and multiple attack ... Hawaii experimented with a new rotation Friday against George Mason, moving Torry Tukuafu to opposite in an effort to free up Andre Breuer and Dejan Milodinovic for back-row attacks to combat a taller block ... Hawaii has had a problem keeping focused during a match, often allowing the opposition back into the game instead of putting them away.
First serve: 5:30 p.m. Hawaii time today in Long Beach, Calif.
Broadcast: Live on KCCN radio (1420 AM)