Paul Wellman (file)

In basketball, the Big West finds itself fighting for a 15th seed in the NCAA tournament. But in men’s volleyball, the conference is No. 1, 3, and 5 — the respective national rankings of Long Beach State, Hawai‘i, and UC Irvine. UCSB, ranked No. 12, has two chances to upset the undefeated (17-0) 49ers, Thursday night in Long Beach and Friday at home. The Gauchos (9-5) are riding a five-match winning streak and have a sweep at No. 2–ranked BYU under their belts. Long Beach junior TJ DeFalco is the returning national player of the year. The Gauchos are led by a pair of sophomores, opposite hitter Keenan Sanders and setter Randy DeWeese. 7pm. Robertson Gym, UCSB. $5-$8. Call 893-UCSB (8272) or visit


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