MALIBU, Calif. - Long Beach State (1-9) came up empty on Tuesday night, suffering a 25-14, 21-25, 25-18, 25-21 loss to Pepperdine (6-4) at Firestone Fieldhouse. This was the final non-conference road match of the season for the Beach, ending a seven-match road trip.
Sophomore YiZhi Xue had a team-high 11 kills on .375 hitting, while freshman Radi Marinova set a new career-high with nine kills in her first career start. Sophomore Kjersti Norveel also chipped in nine kills on the night while Emma Kirst and Monika Simkova each had seven. Sophomore libero Hailey Harward had a match-leading 25 digs on the night. Freshman Fayth Rascon-Ryn added a career-high nine digs.
Pepperdine took the opening frame by out-hitting the Beach .312 to .000, benefitting from eight hitting errors by Long Beach State. That quickly changed in the second set, however, as Long Beach hit a match-best .385, with 18 kills and just three errors. Xue and Marinova combined for 10 kills on 15 swings without an error to have the match tied at intermission.
After the break, LBSU had lost its momentum and hit just .056 in the third. Simkova came alive with five of her seven kills in the fourth set, but none of her teammates had more than two in the must-win set. Harward had 10 of the team’s 24 digs in the fourth set, but Pepperdine was able to finish off the victory on its home floor.
The Beach return home to Walter Pyramid for three matches this weekend, starting Friday night at 7 p.m. against No. 13 UCLA. LBSU will then play two matches on Saturday, starting with San Francisco at 11 a.m. before taking on Montana State at 7 p.m.
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