Long Beach State Drops Tournament Finale at Utah Valley, 3-1
The Beach got a career-best 19 kills from Megan Kruidhof but couldn’t take down Utah Valley on the road.
OREM, Utah - Long Beach State (1-5) dropped its final match of the Wolverine Invitational on Saturday afternoon at Lockhart Arena, suffering a 25-21, 12-25, 27-25, 25-18 loss against hosts Utah Valley (3-4). Megan Kruidhof was again a bright spot for the Beach, setting a new career high in kills for the second straight day. The junior had a match-high 19 kills to go with 11 digs, and was named to the All-Tournament Team following the match.
The Beach had a season-best 11.5 blocks on Saturday, led by Emma Kirst’s seven. YiZhi Xue had six blocks to go with 11 kills and a .588 attack percentage. Hailey Harward had a season-high 22 digs to lead the team and Kirst chipped in a season-high 17 digs as well. Alexis Patterson recorded her first double-double at the Beach with 32 assists and 11 digs.
LBSU got off to a slow start in set one, falling behind 5-0 before using a timeout. UVU eventually led 11-3 and never trailed in the set as they cruised to a 1-0 lead. Monika Simkova had five kills in the first set alone, but LBSU hit just .054 as a team. The Beach did make things interesting late by pulling within three at 24-21, and that momentum carried over into the second game.
Long Beach State started and ended the set well, opening with a 4-0 spurt and closing on an 8-1 run. The Beach hit .500 in set two, led by six kills on nine error-free swings from Kruidhof. Long Beach also had five blocks and a sideout percentage of 92 in what was one of the most complete sets the team has played all year.
Unfortunately, the momentum did not carry over after intermission as Utah Valley edged out a competitive set three, which included 11 ties and four lead changes. Kruidhof had seven kills in the third set, but LBSU was undone by six costly service errors. UVU led 23-20 late in the frame, but after a timeout Long Beach State battled back to make it 24-all on a successful dump from Mina Andjelkovic on Utah Valley’s first set point. A Simkova kill gave Long Beach a chance at set point, but a service error started a decisive 3-0 run for the Wolverines, giving them a 2-1 edge in the match.
Things looked promising in set four as the Beach held an 11-9 lead, but Utah Valley went on a 6-0 run and never trailed the rest of the afternoon. The Beach got to within 20-17 but the host Wolverines closed on a 5-1 run to end the match.
Long Beach State returns to Southern California to continue its seven-match road swing, taking on Loyola Marymount on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Los Angeles.
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