Long Beach State signs top recruits from United States, Europe

There will be an increased international influence on the court for Long Beach State in the upcoming years.

The 49ers recently announced their latest recruiting class that features four players with experience playing for their country’s youth national team in international tournaments.

Gary Adams, Alexander Anastassiades, Simon Andersen, Spencer Oliver, Ryan Poole and Carlos Rivera each signed National Letters of Intent to play for Long Beach State beginning in 2018. 

“All of these future 49ers bring solid skill sets, high volleyball IQs and a thirst to compete,” Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe said in a statement. “We look forward to all of them joining our volleyball family and adding to our great team culture.”


Olivier, a 6-foot-6 outside attacker from Beckman High School in California, was a member of the U.S. Boys’ Youth National Team that won the silver medal at the U19 NORCECA Continental Championship this summer. Along with this international experience this year, Olivier was a first-time all-state selection with his high school team and won a national championship with his club team.

Anastassiade, a 6-foot-8 opposite from Huntington Beach High School in California, is a native of the Republic of Cyprus and trained with the Cyprus National Team. In addition, Anastassiade has represented Cyprus at both the FIVB U21 Beach Volleyball World Championships and the U18 European Championships.

Poole, a 6-foot-5 outside attacker from St. Ignatius College in England, was a two-time captain of the English Boys’ Youth National Team. He also was twice named the England Junior Beach Volleyball Player of the Year and had a top-10 finish at the U18 CEV European Beach Volleyball Championships in 2014.

Rivera, a 6-foot-3 setter from Newport Harbor High School in California, is a member of the Puerto Rican Boys’ Youth National Team. In addition, Rivera helped guide his club team to a gold medal at the 2016 USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships and was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Andersen, a 6-foot-8 middle attacker from Middlefart, Denmark, was ranked the No. 2 rising start in the Danish League for the last two years. The middle attacker additionally earned the Best Middle Blocker award with his U19 club team.

Adams, a 6-foot-5 middle attacker from Murrieta Valley High School in California, was a first-team all-conference selection earlier this year. He also set the league’s single-match record with 34 kills and was named a 2016 scholar-athlete award winner.

Long Beach State behind three Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshmen All-American Team selections finished last season reaching the NCAA Tournament semifinals for the first time almost a decade.