Long Beach State Falls to Iowa, 3-1
LBSU dropped its second match of the season by a score of 25-23, 22-25, 25-16, 25-21 against Iowa on Saturday night.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Beach dropped to 1-2 on the season with a four-set loss against the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes (2-1) on Saturday night at Walter Pyramid. The teams split the first two sets, but Iowa pulled away after intermission for a 25-23, 22-25, 25-16, 25-21 victory. It’s Iowa’s first victory over Long Beach State in the fourth meeting between the schools.
Junior Megan Kruidhof paced the Beach offensively with a career-best 14 kills and added seven digs. YiZhi Xue added eight kills on a team-best .375 hitting and had three blocks. Hailey Harward led the back row with 11 digs on the night.
LBSU dropped the first set despite out-hitting Iowa .310 to .189. The Beach evened the score at 23-all with a roof from Emma Kirst and Xue, but Iowa scored the final two points of the game to edge ahead and take the lead.
The Beach evened things up in set two by holding Iowa to a match-low .128 hitting. It was a very even second game with an impressive 20 ties and seven lead changes. Behind nine Hawkeye hitting errors and four kills from freshman Monika Simkova in the set, LBSU was able to even the match going into the locker room. A dump from Alexis Patterson, a solo block from Xue and a Simkova kill off the block gave the Beach the final three points of the set.
Iowa came out strong in the third, hitting .375 in the set while recording 18 digs as a team. Kruidhof did deliver five big kills in the set, but LBSU couldn’t keep pace. Iowa used a 5-0 run to take a 9-6 advantage early and never trailed the rest of the game. Iowa then kept the Beach at arm’s length in the final set, closing out the win behind six kills from Taylor Louis in the set.
The Beach will hit the road next weekend for the Wolverine Invitational in Orem, Utah. LBSU will take on Montana on Thursday, No. 8 Kansas on Friday and tournament hosts Utah Valley on Saturday. LBSU’s next home match will be Sept. 15 against No. 13 UCLA.
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