Junior Taylor Crabb established career highs in kills (24) and digs (15) against No. 2 UC Irvine.
March 9, 2013
LONG BEACH - Despite a career performance from junior Taylor Crabb, the third-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team dropped a tight 3-1 decision to No. 2 UC Irvine in front of 1,586 fans Saturday at the Walter Pyramid. Set scores were 25-23, 29-27, 23-25, 25-22.
Crabb led the 49ers with a career-high 24 kills and 15 digs. It was his fifth 20-plus kill match and third double-double of the season.
Junior Dalton Ammerman also had a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs, while freshman Andrew Sato tallied 11 digs. Junior Connor Olbright added nine digs to go along with 46 assists as he guided LBSU to a .261 attack percentage.
Long Beach State, whose season-long six-match win streak came to an end, dropped to 14-5 overall and 12-4 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action.
LBSU took an early 7-4 lead on a Crabb ace in the first set. The 49ers stayed out front until UC Irvine evened it up at 10-10. It then went back-and-forth before the Anteaters pulled ahead, 16-14. Long Beach State kept it close and eventually knotted the score at 21-21. UCI then put up three unanswered, and after LBSU held off two set points, a Kevin Tillie kill gave the visitors the narrow 25-23 win.
In set two, there were seven tie scores before the 49ers used a 4-1 spurt to go on top, 12-9. They continued to lead and went up, 20-17, on a kill by Ammerman. UC Irvine battled back with a 7-2 spurt to take set point at 24-22, but Long Beach State responded by evening the score at 24-24 on a double block by Olbright and Colten Echave. The two teams were neck-in-neck before the Anteaters prevailed, 29-27, on a 49er hitting error.
LBSU held an early lead again in the third frame, going up 8-3 on three consecutive UCI hitting errors, all off the strong serving of junior Ian Satterfield. UC Irvine would close the gap to one at 18-17, but Long Beach State never relinquished its lead as it took set point at 24-22 on a kill from Crabb. Crabb then ended it at 25-23 with his 21st kill of the match.
It was another back-and-forth affair in the fourth stanza. UC Irvine gained some ground midway through, going up 15-13. LBSU would pull within one at 17-16 and the two teams traded points until the home team tied it up at 22-22 on a kill from Taylor Gregory. The Anteaters then went on to score the final three points for the 25-22 victory.
UC Irvine (16-4, 13-4 MPSF) hit .325 for the match and was paced by Kevin Tillie (23 kills) and Jeremy Dejno (21 kills). Michael Brinkley anchored the defense with a match-high 19 digs.
Long Beach State is back in action on Wednesday, March 13, when it entertains No. 6 UCLA. The 49ers will then take a break from MPSF play by hosting George Mason (March 15) and IPFW (March 16) in the Active Ankle Classic. All three of next week's matches are set to start at 7 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.
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