Jan. 5, 2013
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Long Beach State men's volleyball team took third place at the UCSB/asics Invitational with a 3-2 win over UC San Diego Saturday at Robertson Gymnasium. Set scores were 21-25, 25-21, 25-18, 16-25, 15-12.
LBSU, which improved to 2-1 on the young season, finished third at UC Santa Barbara's annual tournament for the second year in a row.
Junior Taylor Crabb led the 49ers with a match-high 19 kills. He also finished with five digs and six blocks. Sophomore John La Rusch added 13 kills, while freshman Andrew Sato totaled a team-best 11 digs. Junior Connor Olbright directed the offense to a .207 hitting percentage with 43 assists.
UC San Diego (1-2) used a 5-2 run late in the first set to pull ahead 17-13. The 49ers would come back within one, but the Tritons finished strong for the 25-21 victory.
Long Beach State got off to a quick start in the second set, taking a 7-2 lead on a UCSD hitting error. LBSU stayed out front until the Tritons tied it up at 12-12. It went back-and-forth before the 49ers scored four-straight points, capped by a solo block from Crabb, to go up, 23-19. After the Tritons cut the deficit to 23-21, Long Beach State called a timeout and took the next two points for the 25-21 win.
LBSU carried the momentum into the third frame, going up 9-2 on a Crabb kill. The 49ers never relinquished the lead as they held a comfortable 17-9 advantage before closing out the set at 25-18 on a UCSD service error.
Long Beach State trailed 14-13 in the fourth set before UC San Diego went on to outscore the 49ers, 11-3, to force a decisive fifth game with the 25-16 victory.
The Tritons took an early lead in the final stanza, going on top 4-1 after a kill by Cheyne Hayes, but the 49ers responded with three consecutive points to knot it up. The two teams then traded points until LBSU went on a 5-1 spurt, which ended with an Olbright ace, to take match point at 14-10. UCSD was able to stave off two points before an attack error ended it in favor of the 49ers, 15-12.
UC San Diego hit .222 on the evening and was paced by Hayes' 18 kills and 15 digs. Vaun Lennon also had 16 kills.
Long Beach State begins its MPSF slate next week when it heads back to UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, Jan. 9, for a 7 p.m. tilt with the Gauchos.
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