49ers Close Out Active Ankle Classic With Convincing 3-0 Win Over No. 14 Penn State
March 15, 2014
LONG BEACH - On a special night for Long Beach State men's volleyball, the second-ranked 49ers closed out the annual Active Ankle Classic with a convincing 25-21, 25-23, 25-17 victory over No. 14 Penn State in front of 1,219 fans Saturday evening at the Walter Pyramid.
With LBSU's 1991 National Championship team in attendance, the program honored that squad's captain and all-time great Brett Winslow with the retirement of his No. 15 jersey prior to the match. Winslow was a four-time All-American, four-time all-conference selection and three-time NCAA hitting percentage leader during his four years at The Beach (1988-91).
The current 49er team, which has won eight in a row, improved to 15-4 overall with tonight's triumph, while the Nittany Lions dropped to 14-5.
Senior Taylor Crabb tied for the match-high with 11 kills, while hitting at a .400 clip. Senior Dalton Ammerman had a strong all-around performance, finishing with nine kills, 10 digs and five blocks. Sophomore Taylor Gregory chipped in five kills on seven swings for a .714 attack percentage, and senior Jeff Ornee registered a match-best seven blocks. Senior Ian Satterfield also totaled four kills, four digs, five blocks and two aces.
Overall, the 49ers held a 12.5-to-1.0 advantage in total team blocks.
The first set was a game of runs and it was Long Beach State that made the final push. LBSU took an early 7-4 lead on a Connor Olbright kill, but Penn State proceeded to use a 6-2 spurt to go up, 10-9. The home team then responded with four unanswered to reclaim the advantage at 13-10, before the Nittany Lions came right back with four of their own to pull ahead 14-13. It went back-and-forth with six ties until the 49ers outscored PSU, 6-2, down the stretch to claim the 25-21 victory.
In set two, LBSU went on top, 6-3, following a kill by Satterfield. Long Beach State stayed out front until Penn State went on a 5-0 run to go up, 19-17. The Nittany Lions eventually held a 23-21 edge before Long Beach State sided out with a kill from Gregory. Satterfield then stepped up at the service line with back-to-back aces for set point. Another strong serve from Satterfield then forced PSU into a hitting error which ended it at 25-23.
Long Beach State never trailed in the third frame as it held an early three-point cushion at 6-3 after a kill from Crabb. Penn State would cut the deficit to one, but the 49ers answered with a 9-3 run to break the game open at 15-8. LBSU would go up by as many as nine en route to the 25-17 victory.
Aaron Russell paced the Nittany Lions with 11 kills, while Matt Seifert also had 10 kills and no errors on 14 swings (.714). Penn State hit just .210 on the evening.
The 49ers will hit the road for the first time in over a month when they resume MPSF play at Pepperdine (Thursday, March 20) and USC (Saturday, March 22) next week.
Active Ankle Classic All-Tournament Team
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