Top-Ranked Long Beach State Earns First-Ever Big West Win Over No. 12 CSUN
Kyle Ensing leads the Beach with 18 kills in victory
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – The No. 1 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team notched its first-ever Big West Conference victory with a 3-0 [25-22, 25-23, 25-20] road win over No. 12 CSUN on Friday night. Long Beach State has now won 15 straight matches.
The Beach (15-0, 1-0 Big West) hit .340 in the contest against the Matadors (8-6, 0-1 Big West) and were led offensively by junior Kyle Ensing’s 18-kill performance. TJ DeFalco also contributed as he added 10 kills to go along with seven digs and three service aces. Junior setter Josh Tuaniga controlled the offensive effort with 38 assists.
The Beach opened the match with a 3-0 lead highlighted by back-to-back kills by Ensing and Bjarne Huus. Long Beach State never trailed as it utilized a balanced attack to push its lead to 15-10 on a kill by Ensing. Ensing was dominant as he recorded nine kills in the first set leading the Beach to a 25-22 victory.
Long Beach State hit .485 in the frame and knocked down 18 kills while committing just two attack errors. The Beach took their momentum into the second set as they hit .355 in the frame and pounded out 15 kills.
LBSU broke an early tie and jumped out to an 11-8 lead on a kill by DeFalco and eventually took a 16-12 advantage on a kill off the hands of Simon Anderson. However, CSUN chipped away at Long Beach State’s lead and eventually came back to even the score at 23-23. DeFalco gave the Beach back the lead with a kill and Ensing put the game away as he knocked down a kill giving LBSU a 2-0 edge heading into the intermission.
The Matadors came out of the break playing hard as they took a 3-1 lead to start the third set. But Long Beach State would not back down and the Beach battled back and used a 4-0 run to take a 5-4 advantage. The Beach took an 11-9 lead on a Matadors attack error as CSUN called a timeout to regroup. The Matadors came out of the break in action and evened the score, but Long Beach State put together another 4-0 run to go back up 15-11. With the match in their favor, the Beach never relinquished the lead as they went on to complete the sweep with a 25-20 set win.
CSUN received a solid performance from Arvis Greene who tallied 16 kills and eight digs. Meanwhile, Sam Porter dished out 36 assists.
Long Beach State and CSUN will meet each other once again on Sunday, March 4 at 7 p.m. inside the Walter Pyramid.
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