The Long Beach State women’s volleyball team was selected to finish second in the Big West Conference in the 2013 Preseason Coaches Poll. Defending champion University of Hawai’i was chosen as this year’s favorite to win the conference title.
The 49ers will officially kick off the season this week as they host the Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational, an outstanding non-conference tournament that will feature Illinois, Kentucky and Florida State. The tournament begins Friday, Aug. 30, in the Walter Pyramid.
Leading the way for the 49ers this season will be two returning All-American middle blockers—2012 First-Team All-Region selection Chisom Okpala and 2011 First-Team All-Region pick Haleigh Hampton. The two standout juniors are joined by senior outside hitter Delainey Aigner-Swesey, junior opposite Bre Mackie and junior defensive specialists Tyler Jackson and Chelsea Cabrajac, as the 49ers return a veteran corps to challenge for the 2013 Big West crown.
The Rainbow Wahine were picked to defend their 2012 championship, earning all nine first-place votes for 81 points. Long Beach State was picked second by all nine coaches in the conference, finishing with with 72 points.
Cal State Northridge, UC Davis and UC Irvine followed in third, fourth, and fifth place in the voting, respectively, while UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Fullerton, Cal Poly and UC Riverside rounded out the order for the coaches.