Ninth-ranked 49ers unable to pull off upset in 3-0 loss at No. 4 UC Irvine
Feb. 24, 2012
IRVINE, Calif. - The ninth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team fell at No. 4 UC Irvine in three close sets Friday evening at Bren Events Center. Game scores were 25-23, 25-23, 25-22.
LBSU, which dropped to 7-7 overall and 3-6 in conference play, remained winless in MPSF road matches.
The 49ers hit .276 and were outblocked, 10.5-to-4.5. Senior Jim Baughman led the way with 12 kills and a .556 hitting percentage as he committed just two errors on 18 attempts. Sophomore Taylor Crabb also finished in double figures with 10 kills, while adding six digs. Senior Kyle McElderry registered a team-high seven digs.
In the first set, UC Irvine (12-3, 8-3 MPSF) took the early lead, but Long Beach State knotted it up at 5-5 on a kill from Connor Olbright. The Anteaters then pulled ahead, 9-5, and stayed out front as they held a 15-10 advantage before the 49ers came storming back with five unanswered points. It went back-and-forth from there until UCI went on top, 24-21. LBSU fought off two set points with a Crabb kill and an Anteater hitting error, but Kevin Tillie then gave the home team the 25-23 victory with his seventh kill.
It was a seesaw battle in the second stanza as neither team led by more than two. UC Irvine owned a 19-17 edge before an Anteater hitting error sandwiched between kills by Baughman and Crabb gave Long Beach State a 20-19 lead. UCI eventually regrouped and went up 23-21 with a big triple block. Irvine was able to hold on from there as a Jeremy Dejno kill ended it at 25-23.
The 49ers took control early in set three, racing out to an 8-4 lead following a Baughman kill. UC Irvine then scored four straight points to even it up at 8-8. It was a sideout game from there until LBSU pulled ahead, 18-15, on back-to-back kills from Colten Echave and Baughman. Long Beach State kept the momentum and went on top 20-17 before the Anteaters responded with a 7-1 run to take match point at 24-21. After a Crabb kill, UCI closed out the set at 25-22 with a Dejno kill.
Tillie led UC Irvine with 16 kills and eight digs, while Dejno finished with 10 kills. Chris Austin directed the offense to .337 hitting with 37 assists.
Long Beach State looks to bounce back tomorrow night when it heads to UC San Diego for a 7 p.m. MPSF match.