Long Beach signs 4 of nation’s top 25 ranked recruits

Long Beach State not only signed the most highly touted recuit in the nation but added three more of the nation’s top 25 high school players to its latest recruiting class.

The 49ers announced recently that high school seniors TJ DeFalco, Kyle Ensing, Kimball Leituala, Kysen Olsen and Josh Tuaniga all have committed to play for the 49ers beginning in 2016.

“This group of future 49ers will make an immediate impact on our program,” Long Beach State coach Alan Knipe said in a statement. “I am impressed with their level of volleyball IQ, all-around volleyball skill, and their competitiveness. They all love to play the game and are deeply invested in the process of making continual improvements. They have all had a great deal of success at the junior level and have had the opportunity to be around some of the nation’s best junior coaches. We welcome each of them and their families into the Long Beach State men’s volleyball family.”

DeFalco, Tuaniga, Ensing and Olsen each were named to the Volleyball Magazine Top 25 Underclassmen to Watch rankings released in July.


DeFalco, a 6-foot-4 outside attacker from Huntington Beach, California, was named the most valuable player at the NORCECA U-19 Championships this summer as he helped lead the U.S. Boys Youth National Team to the gold medal. He also won the 2014 California Southern Section Division I Player of the Year award after his high school team finished the season 40-0.

Tuaniga, a 6-foot 3 setter from Long Beach, California, while playing with the U.S. Boys Youth National Team earned the Best Server award at the NORCECA Championships. As a high school teammate of DeFalco, he also earned all-state honors and helped the team win the regional championship last season.

Ensing, a 6-foot-7 outside attacker from Valencia, California, set his high school’s single-season record in 2014 with 469 kills and was named the conference’s most valuable player. In addition, he spent the summer playing with DeFalco and Tuaniga playing on the U.S. Boys Youth National Team.

Leitula, a 6-foot-6 middle attacker from Long Beach, California, won the bronze medal with his club team at the 2014 USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships. The middle attacker also has won back-to-back high school conference championship and reached the state tournament quarterfinals last season.

Olsen, a 6-foot-4 opposite from San Diego, enters his senior high school season as a two-time all-state selection. In addition, Olsen was named the conference player of the year last season as his high school team advanced to the section quarterfinals of the state tournament.

Long Beach State was ranked No. 12 in the preseason national coaches poll after finishing last season in seventh place in the MPSF.