LBSU Edged by No. 2 Pepperdine in MPSF Quarterfinals
April 19, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - The seventh-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team (18-10) was edged by No. 2 Pepperdine, 3-1, in an MPSF quarterfinal match at Firestone Fieldhouse Saturday evening. Set scores were 22-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-20.
Senior Taylor Crabb led the 49ers with a match-high 20 kills, while sophomore Andrew Sato finished with a match-high 17 digs. Sophomore Cody Martin added 16 kills, and senior Jeff Ornee contributed eight blocks. Ornee also had five kills on nine attempts (.444). Senior Dalton Ammerman totaled 11 digs.
Pepperdine (19-6) went up 7-4 early in the opening set, but LBSU came right back with a 5-0 run to take its first lead at 8-7. The Waves sided out and the two teams traded points before The Beach used a 9-2 spurt, capped by a Martin ace, to go up, 18-11. Long Beach State eventually took set point at 24-16, but the home team made a late push with six unanswered. After the 49ers called a timeout, Ornee got the kill to end it at 25-22.
It was tightly contested in set two as neither team led by more than four. The Waves went on top, 14-11, before back-to-back kills from Crabb started a 7-0 run that gave LBSU an 18-14 advantage. Pepperdine would knot it up at 20-all and two more tie scores followed. The Beach then took set point with consecutive kills from Martin and Olbright, but the Waves responded with four-straight for the 26-24 victory.
Pepperdine had the momentum to start the third frame, pulling ahead 13-7. Long Beach State slowly chipped away and eventually used a 4-1 run, which ended with a double block by Ammerman and Taylor Gregory, to close the gap to two at 20-18. After the Waves went back on top by four, LBSU got another boost from Gregory, who had a big kill and a block, to make it 23-22. Pepperdine was then able to side out and hold on for the 25-23 win.
The Waves once again took command early, jumping out to a 12-6 lead in the fourth set. The 49ers quickly cut the deficit to four and remained within striking distance as a Gregory kill brought them within one at 17-16. Pepperdine responded with three consecutive points and continued on a 7-2 run to take match point at 24-18. The Beach stayed alive with a kill from Olbright and an Ornee/Crabb block before Kyle Gerrans put down the final kill for the Waves.
Gerrans paced Pepperdine with 17 kills. Josh Taylor and Matt Tarantino also finished in double figures with 14 and 10 kills, respectively.