Long Beach State nabs Big West Player, Coach of the Year honors

Photo by Jonathan Bates

Jonathan Bates | Off the Block Associate Editor

For the second straight season, Long Beach State swept the Big West Player of Year and Coach of the Year honors.

Alan Knipe repeats as conference coach of the year, while opposite Kyle Ensing wins the player of the year award after outside attacker TJ DeFalco won last year’s award.

Ensing leads the Beach with 3.53 kills per game, and is second on the team with .523 aces per game and a .356 attack percentage. Among his achievements this season, he recorded a career-high 27 kills in a victory at then-No. 3 UC Santa Barbara on March 14.
He has surpassed the 300 kill mark in all four seasons with the Beach. Ensing currently ranks No. 11 in the school career record book with 1,363 kills and is tied for No. 4 with 130 service aces.

Ryan Wilcox was named 2019 Big West Freshman of the Year, but also tabbed with Big West Honorable Mention honors. Wilcox was named Big West Freshman Player of the Week four times this season, and ranks second on the team in kills (232) and digs (109).

Hawai’i led all schools with five players on the 2019 Big West First-Team, followed by Long Beach State with four selections. Ten of the 14 players on the First-Team are repeat honorees.

In the two seasons that the Big West has sponsored men’s volleyball, Long Beach State is 53-3 overall and 19-1 in conference under Coach Knipe. The Beach has now won 41 straight at home after defeating No. 1 Hawai’i in back-to-back matches this past weekend.

The awards were voted on by a committee of conference head coaches.

Big West Awards

2019 Big West Player of the Year: Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State
2019 Big West Freshman of the Year: Ryan Wilcox, UC Santa Barbara
2019 Big West Coach of the Year: Alan Knipe, Long Beach State

2019 First-Team All-Big West                

Middle attacker: Nick Amado, Long Beach State
Opposite: Karl Apfelbach, UC Irvine
Libero: Hayden Boehle, UC Santa Barbara
Outside attacker: Corey Chavers, UC Santa Barbara
Outside attacker: TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State
Opposite: Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State
Middle attacker: Patrick Gasman, Hawai‘i
Outside attacker: Dimitar Kalchev, CSUN
Opposite: Rado Parapunov, Hawai‘i
Joel Schneidmiller, UC Irvine
Setter:Josh Tuaniga, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Stijn van Tilburg, Hawai‘i
Libero: Gage Worsley, Hawai‘i
Setter:Joe Worsley, Hawai‘i

All-Big West Honorable Mention               

Middle attacker: Simon Andersen, Long Beach State
Middle attacker: Scott Stadick, UC Irvine
Outside attacker: Ryan Wilcox, UC Santa Barbara

2019 Big West All-Freshman Team                             

Middle attacker: Logan Clark, UC San Diego
Setter: Blake Crisp, UC San Diego
Middle attacker:Brandon Hicks, UC Santa Barbara
Setter: Taylor Ittner, CSUN
Opposite: Alexandre Nsakanda, UC Irvine
Middle attacker: Daniel Wetter, CSUN
Outside attacker: Ryan Wilcox, UC Santa Barbara