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No. 1 USC serves its way to 3-0 win over Long Beach State

Sophomore Taylor Crabb had a team-high nine kills in a loss to No. 1 USC on Thursday.

April 12, 2012

Box Score

LONG BEACH - The eighth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team suffered a 25-17, 28-26, 25-19, defeat to No. 1 USC in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action Thursday evening at the Walter Pyramid.

The Trojans, who have now won 16 in a row, improved to 21-4 overall and 17-4 in the MPSF, while the 49ers dropped to 14-14, 9-12 MPSF.

USC took the win behind a strong serving performance as it finished with 14 aces, including an MPSF record 11 aces from Tony Ciarelli.

LBSU was led by sophomore Taylor Crabb's nine kills. Senior Srdjan Nadazdin also totaled eight kills and four digs.

In the opening set, USC raced out to a 5-0 lead behind four-straight aces from Ciarelli. Ciarelli was credited with the final ace when the 49ers were called for being out of rotation. LBSU took a quick time out and got on the board with a Ryan Meehan kill, but the Trojans proceeded to go up, 9-1. Long Beach State then regrouped, going on a 7-1 run to close the gap to two at 10-8. USC pulled back ahead by five, but the 49ers used another 5-1 spurt to make it 15-13. LBSU stayed within striking distance before Ciarelli reeled off four more aces to put the Trojans on top, 22-14. They eventually took set point at 24-16 and after Long Beach State sided out with a Brad Hemmerling kill, USC ended it at 25-17.

The Trojans started strong again in set two, taking a 10-3 advantage before the 49ers came back within three at 11-8. USC then responded with five unanswered points to break open a 16-8 lead. The visitors held a comfortable edge until LBSU went on an 8-3 run, capped by a Connor Olbright ace, to make it 21-18. The Trojans looked like they were going to cruise to the victory when they pulled ahead, 23-18, but Long Beach State caught fire, scoring six consecutive points to take its first lead of the night at 24-23. USC held off two set points before it went up 26-25 and eventually took the set at 28-26 on a service ace by Steven Shandrick.



Long Beach State had the momentum early in the third stanza, going up 4-1 on a double block by Olbright and Jeff Ornee. The 49ers stayed out front until USC knotted it up at 8-8. The two teams then went back-and-forth with five more tie scores before the Trojans used a 6-0 spurt to pull ahead, 18-13. LBSU would only come as close as four as USC ran away with the 25-19 win.

Long Beach State closes out the regular season on Saturday, April 14, when it hosts Pepperdine in a key MPSF showdown at 7 p.m. The Waves (14-13, 9-12 MPSF) also lost at Cal State Northridge tonight, which makes Saturday's match a battle for the No. 6 seed.

The 49ers will honor their five seniors, Jim Baughman, Brad Hemmerling, Kyle McElderry, Ryan Meehan and Srdjan Nadazdin, following the match.

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