Jan. 18, 2013
LONG BEACH - The ninth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team outlasted the University of Hawai'i, 25-17, 25-23, 22-25, 27-29, 16-14 in its home opener Friday evening at the Walter Pyramid.
After they were unable to close out the third and fourth sets, the 49ers nearly saw the match slip away in the fifth frame. LBSU led 13-10, before the Warriors scored four-straight to take match point at 14-13. Long Beach State then dug deep as junior Taylor Crabb had back-to-back kills before he combined with redshirt freshman Taylor Gregory for a block to end it at 16-14.
Crabb finished with a career-high 22 kills, while adding nine digs and five blocks. Junior Dalton Ammerman also had 11 kills, 11 digs and a career-best five aces. Senior Colten Echave chipped in 10 kills on .562 hitting (10-1-16), and junior Jeff Ornee had nine kills and a career-high 11 digs.
Junior Connor Olbright notched his second double-double of the season with 41 assists and 11 digs as he guided the 49ers to a .212 hitting percentage.
LBSU out blocked the Warriors, 18.0 to 11.5. Gregory led the way with eight block assists, while Echave had seven total blocks (1 solo, 6 assists).
Long Beach State (4-2, 2-1 MPSF) took an early 5-3 lead in the first set after back-to-back kills from Crabb. UH would come back to tie it up at 6-6 before the 49ers scored five unanswered to go up, 11-7. LBSU stayed out front the rest of the way and used a late 8-1 spurt, which included a pair of aces from freshman Edgar Palos, to pull ahead 20-11. The home team then cruised to the 25-17 win.
Hawai'i (1-5, 0-3 MPSF) went on a 10-0 run early in set two to take an 11-2 advantage. The Warriors led by at least six until a 4-1 sprint by Long Beach State made it 15-10. The two teams then entered a sideout game before the 49ers scored four consecutive points and cut the deficit to 19-18 on an Ammerman ace. It went back-and-forth again when LBSU made its final push. A Crabb kill tied it up at 23-23, and a UH hitting error gave Long Beach State set point before Echave's serve hit the back line for the 25-23 victory.
It was a seesaw battle in the third frame with 12 tie scores and four lead changes. Hawai'i held an early 4-1 advantage, but LBSU responded with consecutive kills from Ammerman, before a double block by Ammerman and Gregory knotted it up. UH eventually went back out front, but never led by more than two. After the 49ers made it 22-22, the Warriors then closed out the set with three-straight points for the 25-22 win.
Long Beach State used an 8-2 spurt to go up, 10-6, early in the fourth set. It held the lead and went up by five (19-14) following an Ornee/Echave block. UH made a late run, however, and tied it up at 22-22. LBSU then took match point after kills from Ammerman and Crabb, but Hawai'i came storming back to take its own set point at 25-24. It then went back-and-forth until a Joby Ramos ace ended it in favor of the Warriors, 29-27.
The 49ers took an 8-4 lead at the side switch in the fifth and final stanza. LBSU would then go up, 10-6, on a back row kill from Crabb.
JP Marks paced Hawai'i with 15 kills and 12 digs, while Sinisa Zarkovic finished with 14 kills and 11 digs. The Warriors hit just .169 on the evening.
Long Beach State will square off against Hawai'i in the second match of the MPSF regular-season series on Saturday, Jan. 19. First serve is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.
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