Feb. 8, 2013
LONG BEACH - The third-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team topped No. 8 USC, 3-1, in front of 1,070 fans Friday evening at the Walter Pyramid. Set scores were 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22.
LBSU took down the reigning Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season champions and NCAA finalists to improve to 9-4 overall and 7-3 in conference play. The Trojans dropped to 2-5 both overall and in the MPSF.
The 49ers had another strong offensive performance, hitting .370 as a team. Junior Taylor Crabb led the way with 20 kills. He also registered a .341 clip (20-6-41), six digs and four blocks.
Junior Jeff Ornee added nine kills and five blocks, while classmate Dalton Ammerman totaled nine kills and seven digs. Senior Colten Echave chipped in eight kills and redshirt freshman Taylor Gregory tallied six kills and six blocks. Gregory did not commit an error on seven swings for a season-high .857 attack percentage.
The opening set was a seesaw battle with 15 tie scores and three lead changes. Neither team went up by more than two until Long Beach State made a late run. It was all even at 19-19 when the 49ers pulled ahead for good on an Ian Satterfield kill. LBSU continued to outscore USC, 6-2, down the stretch to prevail 25-21 on back-to-back blocks.
The 49ers scored three-straight points early in set two to take a 7-3 lead on a solo block from Olbright. The Trojans eventually cut the deficit in half before LBSU went on a 7-3 run, capped by an Ammerman ace, to go up, 15-9. USC would respond with four unanswered to make it 16-14, but a Gregory kill ended the spurt and Long Beach State went back up by five at 22-17. The 49ers stayed out front by at least three and emerged with the 25-21 win on an Echave kill.
USC never trailed in the third frame as it prevented an LBSU sweep with the 25-20 victory. The Trojans went on top 7-3 and would eventually go up by as many as eight at 21-13. The 49ers had to play catch-up from there and came within four, but ultimately could not dig themselves out of the hole.
The fourth set took a similar course as set one. It was a back-and-forth affair with nine tie scores until the strong serving of Ammerman started a 6-2 sprint that gave Long Beach State a 20-15 advantage. USC then notched three-straight before Ammerman put away a kill from the back row. The two teams traded points the rest of the way and an Echave kill gave LBSU the set and match at 25-22.
USC hit .271 on the night, and was paced by Tanner Jansen and Ben Lam, who had 13 kills each.
Long Beach State continues its four-match homestand next weekend when it entertains No. 11 Pacific (Feb. 15) and No. 4 Stanford (Feb. 16) at the Walter Pyramid.
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