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NCAA.com | January 22, 2014

Top 10 Preview: LBSU faces challenging week

After spending the first three weeks of the season on the road, fifth-ranked Long Beach State finally returns to the Walter Pyramid to host No. 4 Southern California and No. 1 Pepperdine in its first home matches of the year.

The 49ers will tangle with USC on Wednesday before they entertain Pepperdine on Friday.

Long Beach State senior outside hitter Taylor Crabb has once again been the 49ers' most consistent performer as he has posted five consecutive double-figure kill matches to start the season. He recently notched his 17th career double-double with a season-best 22 kills and 10 digs in a five-set loss at No. 10 Hawaii.

Fourth-ranked USC (3-1, 2-1 MPSF) split its two matches last week, defeating then-No. 7 UC Irvine 3-2 before dropping a four-set decision to third-ranked Pepperdine. Lucas Yoder has paced the Trojans with 4.12 kills per set. Robert Feathers is also averaging 2.17 kills and 0.83 blocks per set, while hitting at a .489 clip.

Top-ranked Pepperdine (3-0, 3-0 MPSF) has gotten off to a strong start, defeating then-No. 3 UC Irvine, UC San Diego and then-No. 5 USC. Josh Taylor leads the Waves with 5.00 kills per set, while Parker Kalmbach is also averaging 3.73 kills, 2.00 digs and 1.64 blocks per set. Matt West has directed the offense to .348 hitting with 12.45 assists per set. West is also tops on the team with 3.00 digs per set.

Here is what the rest of the top 10 is up against this week.

Friday vs. UC San Diego
Sunday vs. UC San Diego
The Rainbow Warriors enter the weekend following a split of then-No. 4 LBSU last week in Honolulu. Junior opposite Brook Sedore led Hawaii by averaging 5.00 kills per set in the series.

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