Long Beach State Dominates in Fifth Set to Defeat No. 11 Cal Baptist, 3-2
March 21, 2013
LONG BEACH - The fourth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team started strong and finished strong as it held off a comeback bid from No. 11 Cal Baptist to pull out a 25-20, 25-17, 23-25, 23-25, 15-6 victory Thursday evening at the Walter Pyramid.
With the win, LBSU improves to 17-6 overall and 13-5 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play. The Lancers dropped to 12-12, 8-10 MPSF.
Junior Taylor Crabb led the way with 20 kills on .318 hitting. Crabb now has 972 career kills, putting him just 28 away from becoming the 20th 49er in program history to reach the 1,000-kill milestone.
Junior Dalton Ammerman also finished with his fourth double-double of the season, totaling 12 kills and 12 digs. Junior Connor Olbright added 49 assists, 10 digs and five blocks, while redshirt freshman Taylor Gregory had a career-high 11 blocks (1 solo, 10 block assists). Olbright is seventh among the school's all-time assist leaders and needs 88 more to pass Conor Eaton for the sixth spot.
LBSU finished the match with three triple blocks and a 15.5-to-8.0 advantage in total team blocks.
In the opening set, Long Beach State took an early 6-3 lead on an ace from Ammerman before Cal Baptist came back to knot it up at 6-6. The 49ers then scored the next two points and stayed out front until the Lancers tied it again at 11-11. CBU eventually went up 16-14, but after LBSU called a timeout, it reeled off six-straight points to pull ahead, 20-16. The home team sided out from there and came away with the 25-20 victory.
Cal Baptist got off to a quick start in set two, scoring the first four points and forcing Long Beach State to burn an early timeout. The 49ers took advantage of the short break in action as they came back to tie it up and continued on an 8-3 run to take the lead for good at 8-7. The Lancers stayed within striking distance until LBSU scored six consecutive points, to pull out front, 17-11, on an Ammerman kill. Long Beach State then cruised to the 25-17 win.
CBU led for most of the third frame and was able to edge the 49ers, 25-23. The Lancers went on top, 9-5 and were up by at least two until the 49ers scored three quick points to close the gap to one at 17-16 following a Gregory ace. Cal Baptist then went back ahead by three and held on for the win.
The Lancers carried the momentum into the fourth set, taking a 7-2 advantage. The 49ers eventually used a 6-1 sprint to go up, 15-13. It then went back-and-forth with three ties and two lead changes before LBSU pulled out front, 22-20. Cal Baptist was able to battle back, however, as it outscored Long Beach State, 4-2, down the stretch to prevail, 25-23.
The 49ers regrouped and took control in the fifth stanza, leading wire-to-wire. They raced out to a 4-0 advantage on a Crabb ace and went on to score the final six points for the convincing 15-6 victory.
Cal Baptist hit just .174 on the evening. Levi Cabral had a team-high 20 kills, while Guilherme Koepp finished with 14 kills and 12 digs.
Long Beach State closes out its season-long eight-match homestand on Saturday, March 23, when it hosts No. 1 BYU at 7 p.m. in the Gold Mine.