Record breaking stats and notes from 2019 NCAA Tournament finals

Photo by Fabiana Huffaker

There were plenty of records and milestones set in NCAA Tournament finals.

Check out all the historical stats and notes that came from Long Beach State beating Hawai’i to win the national championship on Saturday.

— This is the fourth consecutive time in the last eight years that a team had won back-to-back NCAA championships — UC Irvine in 2012-13, Loyola in 2014-15, Ohio State in 2016-17 and Long Beach State the last two years. Before 2012, UCLA and Pepperdine were the only programs in college men’s volleyball history to repeat as national champions.

— Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe is the eighth coach to lead teams to multiple NCAA championships. The other members of this multiple-title club are former UCLA coach Al States, former USC coach Erin Hix, former Pepperdine coach Marv Dunphy, former Penn State and BYU coach Tom Peterson, former UC Irvine coach John Speraw, former Loyola coach Shane Davis and former Ohio State coach Pete Hanson.

— Long Beach State has now won third national titles, the fourth-most NCAA men’s volleyball championships of any program. The schools with more NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball titles are UCLA at 19, Pepperdine at five and USC at four.

— Outside attacker TJ DeFalco finished the finals with a match-high 20 kills on a .516 attack percentage. He became the second pin-hitter to have back-to-back NCAA Tournament matches with at least a .500 attack percentage during the 25-point rally scoring era.

— This was the first time that both teams had at least 20 service errors in a NCAA Tournament finals during the 25-point rally scoring era. However, neither team broke the record for most service errors in a NCAA Tournament finals, which is 26 set by UCLA last year and Ohio State in 2011.

— This was the sixth time since 1970 that every match of the NCAA Tournament was not a sweep. The last time that feat was accomplished occurred in 2011.

— DeFalco finished with a match-high 20 kills to become the 10th player to have at least 20 kills in a NCAA Tournament finals during the 25-point rally scoring era. In addition, DeFalco finished his college career 120 career kills in the NCAA Tournament.

— The 49ers had eight aces in its NCAA Tournament finals victory — one ace shy of tying the finals record that they set last year.

— Long Beach State finished with a .427 attack percentage — .025 percentage points less than the record in the NCAA Tournament finals 25-point rally scoring era set by Loyola in 2014. That match also was the last time a NCAA Tournament finals was decided in four games.

— Hawai’i in the loss had four blocks to tie the record for the fewest blocks in a NCAA Tournament finals during the 25-point rally scoring era.

— Long Beach State became the first No. 2 seed to win a NCAA Tournament match since the field expanded from four teams in 2014. In addition, Long Beach State was the first No. 2 seed to win the NCAA Tournament since UC Irvine in 2013.

— This is the fourth time this decade that the NCAA champions won the national title on its home court. Of those teams, Long Beach State was the only non-No. 1 seed to win the championship. Home teams with the No. 2 seed were 0-2 in the finals this decade before this 49ers’ win.

— Hawai’i hit .324 to finish with the second-highest attack percentage for a team that lost in the NCAA Tournament finals during the 25-point rally scoring era. That also was a higher finals attack percentage than two teams that won the NCAA championship during this era.

— This finals victory was the fifth time in All-American setter Josh Tuaniga’s college career that he guided the Long Beach State offense to more than a .300 attack percentage in a NCAA Tournament match.

— Long Beach State finished the last two seasons a combined 56-3 and .949 winning percentage. This is the best combined winning percentage for a West Coast program that won back-to-back NCAA championships since UCLA in 1981-82.

— Outside Ryan Poole with this victory became one of the first players from England (and possibly the first) to win multiple NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball championships.

— The MPSF has not won a NCAA Tournament since 2013 — the longest championship drought in the conference’s history. However, both Long Beach State and Hawai’i were a part of the MPSF before the conference split in 2018 with the formation of the Big West.

— The Big West has won the NCAA championship in its first two years as a men’s volleyball conference. However, the MIVA led all conferences this decade winning five NCAA championships.