No. 2 Long Beach State Rolls To Sweep over No. 10 Loyola Chicago
Long Beach State has now won 12 straight.
Long Beach, Calif. - No. 2 Long Beach State came out strong and put away Loyola Chicago Saturday night in straight sets 25-13, 25-20, 25-19. Kyle Ensing and TJ DeFalco both finished with 11 kills as Long Beach State improved to 19-2 on the year, now having won 12 in a row.
Long Beach State was in control early, grabbing an 8-4 lead and forcing a quick timeout from Loyola (11-6) in the first set. After a pair of sideouts, the Beach pushed two more points to take a 12-5 lead. A great block from Amir Lugo-Rodriguez and Andrew Whitt made the score 15-8, and LBSU cruised on for a 25-13 win on a Josh Tuaniga ace. Long Beach State held Loyola to -.231 hitting in the first set, as the Ramblers made 11 attack errors.
Action really cleaned up in the second set, as the 49ers improved their hitting to .448 in the second set, while Loyola hit .226 in the set. Going back and forth early, Long Beach State was able to finally push ahead at 18-16 on a great play. On an excellent dig from Tuaniga, DeFalco set a perfect ball to Whitt who put away the kill. With the momentum on the side of Long Beach State, a Ben Plaisted error put the Beach in front 22-19, and two more Rambler errors closed out the set in a 25-20 win.
In the third, the teams held very close early, until Bryce Yould came up with two kills on service to push the Long Beach State lead to 15-13, and then again to 17-14. Up 19-16, DeFalco took over to pull away for the win with an ace, a back-row kill and then another ace to put LBSU on top by six on the way to a 25-19 victory.
DeFalco was named the ASICS Tournament MVP, while Tuaniga and Ensing were also both named to the six-player All-Tournament Team.
With the win, Long Beach State put themselves in a great position to be ranked No. 1 in the next poll, as No. 1 Ohio State lost in three to UC Irvine on Saturday.
In the first match of the day, George Mason pulled off the upset, winning 3-0 over No. 11 CSUN behind 19 kills from Jack Wilson.
No. 2 Long Beach State will play two matches next week, traveling to No. 11 CSUN for an MPSF match on Friday, March 17, before going old school with a match in the Goldmine against Sacred Heart on Saturday, March 18 at 8 p.m.
2017 ASICS Tournament All-Tournament Team
Jack Wilson, George Mason (Sr., OPP)
Arvis Greene Jr., CSUN (Jr, OPP)
Ben Plaisted, Loyola Chicago (Jr, OPP)
Cole Murray, Loyola Chicago (Sr., OH)
Josh Tuaniga, Long Beach State (So., S)
Kyle Ensing, Long Beach State (So., OPP)
2017 ASICS Tournament Most Valuable Player
TJ DeFalco, Long Beach State (So., OH)
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