LBSU men's volleyball completes MPSF series sweep with 3-1 victory at Hawaii
March 31, 2012
HONOLULU, Hawaii - The ninth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team completed a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation series sweep over No. 14 Hawaii with a four-set victory Saturday evening at Stan Sheriff Center. Set scores were 27-25, 26-24, 20-25, 25-22.
It was the 49ers' third-straight win as they improved to 13-12 overall and 8-10 in the MPSF. They are currently tied with Pepperdine for sixth in the conference standings with two weeks left in the regular season.
Sophomore Taylor Crabb matched his career high with 20 kills, while hitting .421 and adding eight digs. Sophomore Jeff Ornee also finished with 13 kills, seven blocks, four digs and a .476 hitting percentage. Senior Brad Hemmerling chipped in 11 kills, seven digs and five blocks.
Seniors Srdjan Nadazdin and Kyle McElderry tied for the team lead with nine digs each. Senior Ryan Meehan also totaled a career-best nine blocks, while sophomore Connor Olbright compiled 49 assists, eight digs and six blocks. LBSU held a lopsided 18.5-to-8.0 advantage in team blocks.
In the first set, Long Beach State jumped out to a 5-2 lead on a kill by Hemmerling, but Hawaii came back to knot it up at 6-6. There were four more tie scores before the Warriors used a 10-7 spurt to pull ahead, 22-19. The 49ers responded with three straight points, but UH proceeded to score the next two to go up, 24-22. LBSU then rallied as a pair of double blocks and a Hemmerling kill gave it set point at 25-24. Long Beach State would eventually prevail 27-25 following a block by Meehan and Nadazdin.
LBSU went on a 10-4 run, capped by a kill from Hemmerling, to take a 16-10 advantage in set two. The 49ers also led 19-14 before UH tallied four consecutive points to cut the deficit to 19-18. A Meehan kill ended the spurt, but the Warriors proceeded to tie it up at 20-20. The two teams then traded points until back-to-back kills from Crabb gave Long Beach State the 26-24 victory.
Hawaii (7-18, 4-16 MPSF) avoided the sweep with a 25-20 win in the third frame. It was all tied up at 14-14 when the home team scored five unanswered points. The 49ers closed the gap to 19-16 and 23-20 before UH had consecutive kills to end the set.
Long Beach State fell behind by three early in the fourth set but came back to even the score at 12-12 on a block by Olbright and Ornee. It was a sideout game before the 49ers pulled out front 21-18 following an Ornee kill. After UH came back within one, LBSU went on a 3-1 spurt to close out the set, 25-22.
Harrison Carroll led Hawaii with 19 kills and Nick Castello finished with a match-high 18 digs.
Long Beach State is back on the road next weekend when it heads to Northern California for a pair of MPSF matches at Stanford (April 6) and Pacific (April 7).
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