49ers Swept in MPSF Opener at UC Santa Barbara
Jan. 9, 2013
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The sixth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team was swept in its Mountain Pacific Sports Federation opener at No. 9 UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday. Set scores were 25-17, 25-21, 25-22.
The 49ers (2-2, 0-1 MPSF) hit .240 on the evening and were led by junior Taylor Crabb's 10 kills. Junior Connor Olbright registered a double-double with 29 assists and 10 digs, while classmate Dalton Ammerman also finished with 10 digs.
UC Santa Barbara (3-1, 1-0 MPSF) took an early 6-2 lead in the first set forcing Long Beach State to call a timeout. Sophomore John La Rusch had back-to-back kills out of the break to spark a 7-2 run that put the 49ers up, 9-8. The two teams then traded points before a Jeff Ornee kill gave LBSU a 14-12 advantage. UCSB answered with seven-straight points to pull ahead, 19-14. A double block by Crabb and McKay Smith ended the drought, but UC Santa Barbara went on to the 25-17 victory.
It was a back-and-forth affair with seven tie scores to start the second set. The Gauchos then pulled ahead, 9-7, and led the rest of the way. The home team used a late 4-1 spurt to go up, 20-15. The 49ers would close the gap to two, but UCSB held on for the 25-22 win.
Long Beach State went on a 7-2 run, capped by a kill from Crabb, to hold a 14-8 advantage in the third frame, but UC Santa Barbara answered with five-straight points to make it 14-13. LBSU was able to keep the lead and went back on top by three following a double block by Colten Echave and Olbright, before the Gauchos would again score five unanswered. UCSB outscored the 49ers, 11-6, down the stretch to take the set and match at 25-22.
UC Santa Barbara posted a .398 hitting percentage with three players in double-figure kills. Matt Marsh had a match-high 15 kills, while Weston Nielsen (12) and Austin Kingi (11) rounded out the trio.
Long Beach State returns to action next week when it travels to No. 5 UCLA for a 7 p.m. MPSF showdown on Tuesday, Jan. 15.