Long Beach State's Eight-Match Win Streak Snapped at No. 4 Pepperdine
March 20, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The second-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team saw its season-long eight-match win streak snapped with a 25-21, 25-21, 27-25 loss at No. 4 Pepperdine Thursday evening at Firestone Fieldhouse.
LBSU, which had hit at least .300 in each of its previous five outings, had an uncharacteristic night offensively as it was held to a season-low .184 attack percentage.
Senior Taylor Crabb recorded a team-high 11 kills to go along with six digs, but was limited to a .182 hitting percentage. It was the first time all season a team was able to keep him under .200 and it was just the third time in 20 matches that he has hit below .300.
The 49er middles, Jeff Ornee and Taylor Gregory, were very efficient, combining for 10 kills and just two errors on 18 attempts. Gregory added a match-high seven blocks. Senior Connor Olbright also registered his fourth double-double of the year with 34 assists and 11 digs.
Long Beach State (15-5, 12-5 MPSF) raced out to a 7-3 lead in the opening set, forcing Pepperdine to burn an early timeout. The Waves took advantage of the break in action, however, as they proceeded to go on a 10-4 run to pull ahead, 13-11. LBSU came back to tie it up at 13-all with kills from Ornee and Ammerman, before the Waves answered with another 9-4 spurt for a 22-17 cushion. The 49ers made a late push with three-straight points, capped by a Satterfield kill, to close the gap to two, but Pepperdine was able to side out and then held on for the 25-21 win.
The Waves (13-5, 13-5 MPSF) carried their momentum into set two as they went on top by as many as five before taking a 12-8 lead. Long Beach State then stormed back with a 6-2 run, which ended with a triple block, to even the score at 14-14. Pepperdine eventually reclaimed a 20-16 edge and after LBSU pulled within one, the home team would go on to score the final three points for another 25-21 victory.
It went back-and-forth early in the third frame before the 49ers broke open a 5-5 tie with three consecutive points. Pepperdine remained within striking distance and knotted it back up at 11-11, but Long Beach State responded with a 5-2 spurt to pull ahead, 16-13. LBSU held the advantage until the Waves made a late run, where they outscored the visitors, 4-1, to take match point at 24-23. The 49ers stayed alive with a Pepperdine service error and went on to grab their first set point at 25-24 with a block by Olbright and Gregory. A missed serve then gave the momentum back to the Waves, who would take the set and match at 27-25.
Josh Taylor paced Pepperdine with a match-best 15 kills, while Brennan Anderson had 14 digs.
This was the 49ers' first road test in over a month as they had played their last eight matches in the friendly confines of the Walter Pyramid. Long Beach State will stay on the road this weekend as it heads to No. 7 USC for a 7 p.m. MPSF tilt on Saturday, March 22.