Long Beach State Falls Short Against No. 13 UCLA
LBSU took set two to even the match, but ended up with a four-set loss against No. 13 UCLA on Friday night.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Facing its third ranked opponent of the season, Long Beach State (1-10) put up a strong effort in the early going, but ultimately fell short in a 25-20, 18-25, 25-16, 25-15 loss to No. 13 UCLA (7-2).
Sophomore YiZhi Xue led the Beach with 11 kills on .375 hitting, while adding a team-best six blocks. Senior setter Alexis Patterson collected her second double-double of the season with 26 assists and 11 digs. Rachel Nieto also added 11 digs in the back row and fellow defensive specialist Gigi Alex made her debut with five digs for the Beach.
UCLA got out to a 9-4 lead in the first set to take early control of the match. Mac May had six kills in the first game alone to pace the Bruins to a 25-20 win.
Long Beach bounced back well in set two, using a 5-1 run to take an 18-11 lead. After the Bruins scored four straight to pull within three, LBSU responded to win four of the next five points and never looked back. LBSU finished the set on a 3-0 run and capped off the 25-18 win on a kill from Radi Marinova. LBSU hit .387 as a team in set two, led by Xue’s six kills on eight error-free swings.
The Bruins began an ended set three with 7-2 runs to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Long Beach was able to hang tough in the set, but couldn’t get closer than three points as UCLA eventually pulled away. The Bruins rolled into set four and took leads of 12-1 and 18-3, but the Beach wouldn’t go quietly. LBSU whittled down the deficit to 21-13 thanks to a 9-2 run, but it was too much to overcome as UCLA closed out the victory.
LBSU will play a pair of matches on Saturday at Walter Pyramid, concluding the LBSU/UCI Mizuno Invitational. The Beach will face San Francisco at 11 a.m. before facing Montana State at 7 p.m. Those are the final non-conference matches on this year’s schedule.
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