Beach Sweeps UC Santa Barbara
LBSU bounced back for a 25-23, 25-21, 25-19 win over UCSB, picking up its third sweep win of the season.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - A career night from Brooke Earkman led Long Beach State (5-12, 2-2 Big West) to a 25-23, 25-21, 25-19 win over visiting UC Santa Barbara (3-13, 2-2 Big West) on Saturday night at Walter Pyramid. The redshirt freshman set her career high in kills for the second straight night, putting down 15 on a personal-best .382 hitting percentage.
Earkman was joined in double-figures by Megan Kruidhof, who had 12 kills on 33 swings with a pair of aces. Sophomore libero Hailey Harward led Long Beach State with 13 digs on the night and Alexis Patterson dished out 30 assists with six digs. LBSU’s offense did a nice job of limiting mistakes, committing just four hitting errors in each of the three sets.
The Beach got six kills from Earkman in set one and seven more on 12 error-free swings in the second, taking a 2-0 lead in the match. Long Beach State is now 3-0 this season when winning the first two sets, sweeping all three opponents.
Long Beach State’s block was a major factor in set three as the Beach put up 5.5 blocks in that set alone, forcing 11 hitting errors from the Gauchos. Kruidhof carried the load offensively, recording five kills on eight attempts with no errors in the frame.
UCSB’s Lindsey Ruddins, the Big West leader in kills/set, had nine kills in the first set but managed nine kills with five errors over the next two sets combined as LBSU was able to limit her effectiveness.
Long Beach State heads back on the road next week, visiting UC Irvine on Thursday at 7 p.m. in a Black & Blue Rivalry showdown.
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