A six-match and seven-match homestand highlights Long Beach State’s 2012 schedule as the team Thursday released its 29-match regular season schedule for the upcoming season.
The 49ers finished last season in sixth place in the MPSF and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals. Long Beach State, which was ranked in the top 10 of the final coaches poll, returns three starters from the 2011 season, including All-MPSF Freshman outside attacker Taylor Crabb.
Check out the five things to take away from Long Beach State’s schedule for the 2012 season.
Five things to know about the schedule
1. The two long homestands
The 49ers will play 13 of its 15 regular season home matches during a seven-match homestand from Jan. 25 to Feb. 17 and a six-match homestand in March. The seven-match homestand will include three teams that finished last season ranked in the top 10 — Stanford, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara — and non-conference matches against Cal Baptist and Princeton. The six-match homestand will also feature three matches against teams ranked in the nation’s top 10 with a two-match series against BYU and a match versus UC Irvine. These will be the longest homestands for the 49ers in more than 10 years. Long Beach State finished last season 8-5 at home, including winning all four matches during a homestand in January.
2. The Stanford rematch
After Long Beach upset Stanford in the opening round of the MPSF Tournament, the 49ers and Cardinal will play each other for the first time since that postseason match Feb. 10 in Long Beach, Calif. The Cardinal finished last season in third place in the MPSF, but lost all three of their matches against the 49ers, including a five-game home loss in the postseason. The MPSF Tournament loss also led to an end of Stanford’s hopes at a bid to the four-team NCAA Tournament. The Long Beach State and Stanford match will be part of a seven-match homestand for the 49ers. The two teams will also play each other April 6 in Stanford, Calif.
3. MIVA and EIVA non-conference matches
Long Beach State will play non-conference home matches against Princeton in January and Lewis and IPFW on back-to-back nights in March. Long Beach State lost to Lewis in five games last season as part of the Active Ankle Tournament. The 49ers swept the Mastodons at the 2009 Active Ankle Tournament — the last time the two teams met. This also will be the first time Long Beach State plays Princeton in 14 years. The 49ers are 4-0 all-time against the Tigers.
4. The UC Santa Barbara Gaucho Invitational
For the 10th consecutive year, Long Beach State will participate in the two-day UC Santa Barbara Gaucho Invitational at the beginning of the season. The 49ers went 1-2 in the non-conference tournament last season with a victory against UC Irvine and losses to UCLA and BYU. The complete field for the 2012 UC Santa Barbara Gaucho INvitational has not been released.
5. The Active Ankle Tournament and Penn State
Long Beach State did not denote on its schedule what matches will be part of its annual home tournament, the Active Ankle Tournament. However, no matter what weekend the tournament will be played one thing is certain: Penn State will not be a part of it. The Nittany Lions and 49ers for the first time since 2006 will not play each other in the regular season. Penn State, which reached the NCAA Tournament last season for the 13th consecutive year, lost to Long Beach State in four games at the 2011 Active Ankle Tournament. The Nittany Lions are 2-3 against the 49ers in the last five years.
Long Beach State regular season schedule
7 p.m. Jan. 3 vs. British Columbia (Exhibition)
7 p.m. Jan. 4 vs. Brandon University (Exhibition)
Jan. 6-7 at UC Santa Barbara Gaucho Invitational
7 p.m. Jan. 12 at USC*
7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Pepperdine*
7 p.m. Jan. 20 at Cal State Northridge*
7 p.m. Jan. 25 vs. Cal Baptist
7 p.m. Jan. 27 vs. Princeton
7 p.m. Feb. 3 vs. Cal State Northridge*
7 p.m. Feb. 10 vs. Stanford*
7 p.m. Feb. 11 vs. Pacific*
7 p.m. Feb. 14 vs. UCLA*
7 p.m. Feb. 17 vs. UC Santa Barbara*
6 p.m. Feb. 24 at UC Irvine*
7 p.m. Feb. 25 at UC San Diego*
7 p.m. Feb. 29 at UCLA*
7 p.m. March 2 at UC Santa Barbara*
7 p.m. March 9 vs. IPFW
7 p.m. March 10 vs. Lewis
7 p.m. March 15 vs. UC San Diego*
7 p.m. March 17 vs. UC Irvine*
7 p.m. March 23 vs. BYU*
7 p.m. March 24 vs. BYU*
10 p.m. March 30 at Hawai’i*
10 p.m. March 31 at Hawai’i*
7 p.m. April 6 at Stanford*
7 p.m. April 7 at Pacific*
7 p.m. April 12 vs. USC*
7 p.m. April 14 vs. Pepperdine*
*Denotes MPSF match
[Editor’s note: All times are Pacific time]