Junior Colten Echave led the 49ers to a 3-1 win over No. 15 UCSB with a career-high 17 kills.
Feb. 17, 2012
LONG BEACH - The 10th-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team topped No. 15 UC Santa Barbara, 25-20, 28-30, 25-15, 25-20, Friday evening in front of a crowd of 1,007 at the Walter Pyramid.
The 49ers earned their second consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation win as they improved to 7-6 overall and 3-5 in conference play.
Junior Colten Echave led LBSU with a career-high 17 kills and five blocks. He had no hitting errors on 26 swings for a .654 clip. Sophomore Jeff Ornee also finished with 10 kills, seven blocks and a .429 hitting percentage. Sophomore Taylor Crabb chipped in nine kills and five digs, while senior Brad Hemmerling added eight kills and nine digs.
Long Beach State pulled ahead midway through the first set en route to a 25-20 victory. It went-back-and-forth before the 49ers scored three unanswered points to go up, 14-11. After playing a sideout game, LBSU went on a 5-0 run to open up a 21-15 lead. Long Beach State eventually took set point on a kill by freshman John La Rusch, and after UCSB fought off three set points, La Rusch ended it with his fifth kill.
It was another seesaw battle in set two with 24 tie scores and 11 lead changes. Neither team was able to pull away, but Long Beach State took the first set point at 24-23 on a kill from Ornee. The 49ers held set point two more times before the Gauchos went up 29-28 on a Miles Evans kill. UCSB then put up a big double block on a back row attack by La Rusch to even the match with the 30-28 win.
LBSU regrouped in the third frame, racing out to a 10-3 advantage on an Ornee kill. Long Beach State stayed out front and continued to build on its lead as it used a 5-1 spurt to go on top, 22-11. A pair of kills from Echave eventually finished off the Gauchos, 25-15. The 49ers had their best offensive performance in the third set, hitting .485.
Long Beach State went on top, 11-8, early in the fourth set, but UC Santa Barbara came storming back after a timeout to even the score. After trading points, the 49ers took the lead for good at 13-12 on a double block by Hemmerling and Ornee. LBSU would then go on to use a 5-2 run, which ended with a kill from Crabb, to take a 22-18 lead. A kill from Hemmerling would give the 49ers set point before a double block by Olbright and Ornee closed it out at 25-20.
UC Santa Barbara (4-8, 2-6 MPSF) hit .138 on the night and was led by Miles Evans, who finished with 16 kills. Kevin Donohue also had 13 kills and 12 digs, while Chad Kingi finished with 11 digs.
Long Beach State hits the road for the next two weeks, beginning with a short trip to No. 2 UC Irvine on Friday, Feb. 24. First serve is set for 6 p.m. at Bren Events Center.
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