49ers Suffer First Loss of the Season, Fall to No. 9 BYU in Four Sets
Jan. 11, 2014
PROVO, Utah - The top-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team suffered its first defeat of the season with a 3-1 loss to No. 9 BYU in front of a crowd of 2,992 Saturday evening at Smith Fieldhouse. Set scores were 25-20, 23-25, 25-20, 25-20.
LBSU dropped to 2-1 on the young season and 1-1 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play. The Cougars, who are the defending MPSF champions and 2013 NCAA finalists, evened their record at 2-2, while improving to 2-0 in the MPSF.
Senior Taylor Crabb led the 49ers with a team-high 22 kills and nine digs, while hitting at a .306 clip. Sophomore Andrew Whitt added a career-best 10 kills and five digs. Senior Ian Satterfield contributed eight kills and eight digs, and sophomore Taylor Gregory also had eight kills and three blocks.
Senior Connor Olbright dished out 48 assists to go along with three kills, seven digs and four blocks. LBSU hit .260 as a team. Long Beach State played without starting outside hitter Dalton Ammerman after he suffered an ankle sprain early in the match.
BYU raced out to an 8-3 lead in the first set. The 49ers eventually used a 4-1 spurt, capped by a Crabb kill, to cut the deficit to 15-13. After the Cougars called a timeout, they sided out and continued to do so until they pulled ahead, 21-17. LBSU was able to come within two, but BYU outscored the visitors, 4-1, down the stretch for the 25-20 victory.
Long Beach State came out strong in set two, taking a 4-1 advantage on a solo block by Gregory. LBSU stayed out front until the Cougars went on a 9-4 run to go on top, 21-19. The 49ers came back to tie it up at 21-21 on an Eric Ensing ace, and after trading points, they took set point with a kill from Crabb. A block by Olbright then ended it at 25-23, evening the match at one set apiece.
After LBSU took a 7-6 lead in the third frame, BYU reeled off five unanswered points to pull ahead, 11-7. Crabb ended the rally with a kill, but the 49ers were unable to get any closer than two as the home team emerged with the 25-20 win.
There were five tie scores before BYU took the lead for good following its 3-0 spurt that made it 12-9 in the fourth set. Long Beach State remained in striking distance, but the Cougars were able to hold on for the 25-20 triumph.
BYU hit .336 on the night and was paced by Taylor Sander's match-high 24 kills and 11 digs. No other Cougar finished in double figures in kills, but they did outblock LBSU, 11.0-to-6.5.
Long Beach State continues its conference-opening four-match road swing next week when it heads to the Aloha State for a pair of MPSF contests at Hawai'i on Thursday (Jan. 16) and Friday (Jan. 17). First serve on both nights is set for 9 p.m. (PST).