Before you ask…yes, I did hear Long Beach State men’s volleyball won the 2018 National Championship last weekend! And in no way was I surprised by the result.
The Beach/Be^ch/49ers/LBSU/CSULB blew out UCLA in a 25-19, 23-25, 20-25, 26-24, 15-12 five-setter in the ‘ship, on the road at Pauley Pavilion.
How did I know LBSU was gonna win the National Championship? Easy…
Reason 1: We have the best team in the country, BY FAR.
Setter Josh Tuaniga was the National Player of the Year and Lloy Ball Award winner (Setter of the Year). TJ DeFalco may be the greatest volleyball player of all time. He was last year’s National Player of the Year and a two-time Karch Kiraly Award winner (Outside of the Year). Kyle Ensing doesn’t get the credit he deserves and he gets A LOT of credit. He led the team in kills in both Final Four matches. He also won the 2018 Bryan Ivie Award (Opposite of the Year).
So basically, we had the three best players in the United States of America, all on one team. A+B=C, simple math.
Reason 2: People from Long Beach are FAR superior to people in Westwood.
I didn’t go to the National Championship match on Saturday, and it being Kentucky Derby Day/Cinco de Mayo had nothing to do with it. I was at the semifinal match on Thursday night against THE Ohio State University with “Shoot Your Shot” co-host John “the Boss Man” Grossi and that’s when we realized UCLA had no chance against us in the title match…
The Beach made quick work of Ohio State in the semis so we had more than enough time to initiate operation “908 Takeover” in Westwood on Thursday night.
We hit ALL two bars off campus, an extremely underwhelming experience. Everyone at both bars sucked and wouldn’t you know it, the coolest people at each bar (besides us, obviously) were Long Beach folk.
At our first stop (Rocco’s Tavern), two Long Beach State volleyball fans rolled in after the Ohio State massacre and greeted us with a classic, “GO BEACH!” In Westwood, UCLA sorority girls dressed in Halloween costumes and the rest of the bar all looked at us funny. They had no idea LBSU was about to give UCLA the business in the National Championship just two days later. But we knew.
Seventeen beers later, the Boss Man and I traveled on the road to the second bar (Barney’s Beanery), another very hostile environment. The sorority girls followed us (to no surprise) and the Boss Man did what he does best, sang his heart out on the karaoke stage.
"Yes, I like Piña Coladas, and getting caught in the rain!”
I’m telling you, you’ve never heard or seen anything so magical. Such charisma on stage. But besides the four ladies sitting at the table right in front of the stage, all of whom fell in love, nobody else in the bar admired the performance like they should have…except for one random guy in the crowd. We got to talking and guess where this guy was from? Long Beach. OF COURSE. The one normal guy living in Westwood is actually a Long Beach guy. Long Beach 2 Westwood 0.
On our way back to the UCLA campus, we made a quick stop in the UCLA School of Dentistry (the door was unlocked) just to experience what college life is like for millennials.
First off, UCLA is supposed to be one of the top academic institutions in California, but there were ZERO students in the building at 10 p.m. PST. Pretty bad for the brand. Actually, there was one guy sitting in the common area studying, but he was dead asleep. IT WAS 10 P.M., FOLKS. BRUTAL. Do you think Steven Spielberg fell asleep while studying for his BA in Film/Video Production at LBSU in 2002? No shot. Instead, the guy put together “Minority Report” and “Catch Me If You Can.” Two top-two movies of all time.
Westwood vs. Long Beach? More like David vs. Goliath if you ask me.
The boys came through for us! Congrats to Long Beach State men’s volleyball, its first National Championship since 1991 and the school’s first title since 1998! See you all at the Walter Pyramid for the 2019 men’s volleyball Final Four. Repeat-city baby!