Murray’s Big Night Leads Long Beach State To Sweep At Harvard
Murray finished with 14 kills on .737 hitting.
Cambridge, Mass. - Ashley Murray hit .737, making 14 kills with no errors and adding a pair of blocks to lead Long Beach State to a 3-0 sweep of the Harvard Invitational hosts, as the Beach dropped the Crimson 27-25, 25-22, 25-15. Nele Barber added 19 kills for the 49ers.
Long Beach State (4-2) battled through two close sets in the first two and went on to pick up a big win, going 2-0 on the day Saturday. Jenelle Hudson guided the 49ers to .278 hitting and the Beach outdug Harvard (1-2) 45 to 37, holding the Crimson to .207 hitting.
The Beach took an early lead at 9-7 in the first on a Peyton Grahovac kill, and then with a three-point push at 12-12 took the largest lead of the set at 15-12. Harvard bounced back, tying the set at 17-17 with back-to-back clocks, and then leading 20-18 on an error from the 49ers.
Trailing Harvard 22-19, the 49ers were able to tie the set at 23-23 on a block from Mykah Wilson and Murray, and regained the lead at 25-24 on a brilliant shot to the corner from Barber. A Murray overpass kill finished off the set as LBSU held on for a 27-25 win.
A 5-2 start for Harvard in the second set led to a 49er timeout, but Brian Gimmillaro’s team chat helped turn around the set immediately for Long Beach State who tied the set 5-5 on a three-point run and eventually took a 12-11 lead on a Murray kill. While the Crimson were able to pull even a few times through the remainder of the set, the 49ers never surrendered the lead again and went on to win the second 25-22.
With the match momentum firmly on the side of Long Beach State, the 49ers controlled play in the third set, holding Harvard to .050 hitting. A Grahovac block led to the first two-point lead, and the Beach would push out to an 11-6 lead before long. A run from 13-8 to 17-8 put the Beach in a commanding position and LBSU went on to take the set and the match with a 25-15 victory.
Both Hudson and Murray earned Harvard Invitational All-Tournament honors for their efforts on the weekend.
Long Beach State returns to the Walter Pyramid next weekend, as the Beach will co-host a tournament with Loyola Marymount. The 49ers will host a total of four matches in the tournament, but will start the week by playing at Loyola Marymount on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. in Gersten Pavilion.
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