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Long Beach State setter Josh Tuaniga (10) sets the ball against UCLA on Feb. 17 when Long Beach State hosted a record-setting crowd of 4,560 at Walter Pyramid. (Photo courtesy John Fajardo/LBSU Athletics)
  • Setter Micah Ma’a sets middle blocker Daenan Gyimah. With Ma’a at the helm, UCLA leads the nation in assists per set. (Photo courtesy Don Liebig/ASUCLA)

    Setter Micah Ma’a sets middle blocker Daenan Gyimah. With Ma’a at the helm, UCLA leads the nation in assists per set. (Photo courtesy Don Liebig/ASUCLA)

  • UCLA head coach John Speraw said the Bruins must focus on their emotional toughness against Long Beach State after losing in four sets on Feb. 17. (Photo courtesy Don Liebig/ASUCLA)

    UCLA head coach John Speraw said the Bruins must focus on their emotional toughness against Long Beach State after losing in four sets on Feb. 17. (Photo courtesy Don Liebig/ASUCLA)

  • Outside hitter TJ DeFalco (center) had 17 kills and 12 digs against UCLA on Feb. 17 at Walter Pyramid. (Photo courtesy John Fajardo/LBSU Athletics)

    Outside hitter TJ DeFalco (center) had 17 kills and 12 digs against UCLA on Feb. 17 at Walter Pyramid. (Photo courtesy John Fajardo/LBSU Athletics)

  • Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe has led the 49ers to back-to-back NCAA semifinals. (Photo courtesy John Fajardo/LBSU Athletics)

    Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe has led the 49ers to back-to-back NCAA semifinals. (Photo courtesy John Fajardo/LBSU Athletics)

  • Long Beach State setter Josh Tuaniga (10) sets the ball against UCLA on Feb. 17 when Long Beach State hosted a record-setting crowd of 4,560 at Walter Pyramid. (Photo courtesy John Fajardo/LBSU Athletics)

    Long Beach State setter Josh Tuaniga (10) sets the ball against UCLA on Feb. 17 when Long Beach State hosted a record-setting crowd of 4,560 at Walter Pyramid. (Photo courtesy John Fajardo/LBSU Athletics)

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After Long Beach State men’s volleyball coach Alan Knipe handed UCLA’s John Speraw a four-set loss Saturday at Walter Pyramid, the UCLA head coach had  one word for his coaching counterpart.

“Congratulations.”

Speraw congratulated Knipe on not only the victory but the record-breaking crowd of 4,560 the 49ers attracted to Walter Pyramid to watch the top two teams in the country. On Wednesday, the Bruins head coach hopes to be on the winning end of the postgame handshake.

On the heels of No. 1 Long Beach State’s four-set win over No. 2 UCLA on Saturday, the two powers meet again Wednesday at Pauley Pavilion at 7:30 p.m.

Long Beach State outside hitter TJ DeFalco, the reigning AVCA Player of the Year, had a season-high 17 kills Saturday. Adding 12 digs, a solo block and four block assists, the junior from Huntington Beach was named Big West Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week.

Kyle Ensing added 16 kills as Long Beach State’s unique fast pace of play stressed the Bruins, Speraw said. Ensing, at 6-foot-7 with a 40-inch vertical jump, complements DeFalco, whose vision, arm speed and flawless mechanics allow him to receive a variety of sets, but it’s setter Josh Tuaniga who orchestrates the 49ers’ offense that leads the nation in hitting percentage.

Tuaniga will face off with UCLA’s Micah Ma’a, whose 10.97 assists per set lead the country.

“They’re great leaders and you can see both teams play hard for their leaders, and that’s a trait you want in that position,” Knipe said of the two setters. “I think both of us would admit we’re very lucky having the setters we have running our offenses.”

Not only do the 49ers (13-0) have a dynamic offense, but they also lead the nation in opponent hitting percentage (.152). The Bruins, who entered last week’s matches as the second-best hitting team in the country, were held to a season-low .191 hitting percentage on Saturday.

“Their combination of blocking fundamentals and digging skill in the backcourt is unlike any other team in the country,” Speraw said.

UCLA (14-2) was held to just 15 points in the second set, the lowest point total for a set this season, as the 49ers broke open a tight set with a 7-1 run midway through. In the fourth set the Bruins had an 18-15 lead, but Long Beach State stormed back with eight consecutive points before winning the match on a UCLA service error.

The lapses in emotional energy were the biggest glaring weakness for the Bruins on Saturday, and the team’s area of immediate improvement during the quick turnaround for Wednesday’s rematch.

“When you play really, really good volleyball teams, there are just going to be some plays you’re not going to get, so how do you deal with that?” Speraw said. “As you get to higher and higher levels of volleyball, those things are going to happen more and more … so you get better at understanding that and then going back and doing what you do well. They highlighted that for us. It was a good learning opportunity for us.”

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