LBSU WVB Sweeps UC Irvine
The Beach captured a thrilling third set by winning the final six points to close out a 25-21, 25-22, 26-24 sweep of UC Irvine on Saturday night, led by 12 kills and 13 digs from Hailey Harward.
Long Beach, Calif. - A second consecutive double-double from sophomore Hailey Harward led Long Beach State (7-18, 4-8 Big West) to a 25-21, 25-22, 26-24 win over UC Irvine (19-4, 7-3 Big West) on Saturday night at Walter Pyramid. Harward had 12 kills and 13 digs, adding a pair of blocks in the win.
Sophomore YiZhi Xue also had a productive match in the middle, recording 11 kills on .588 hitting. Junior Megan Kruidhof was also in double-digits, finishing with 10 kills. Alexis Patterson dished out 38 assists with five digs, guiding LBSU to .279 hitting on the night.
LBSU never trailed in set one, jumping out to a 7-2 advantage to force an early UCI timeout. After the Anteaters pulled to within 8-6, the Beach scored five of the next six points to build back a 13-7 edge. Harward and Xue each had three kills in the opening frame, and it was the former who ended the set with a kill to give LBSU the 1-0 lead for the second straight night.
The Beach then upped their advantage to 2-0 at intermission, closing the second set on a 5-0 run. Irvine led 11-5 earlier in the frame, but LBSU battled back thanks to a strong performance from Harward, who had seven kills and seven digs in the second set alone. Xue added five kills on seven swings in the set as LBSU hit an impressive .395 as a team.
That was all prelude to a riveting third set, which ended on an impressive run by Long Beach State. UC Irvine led 24-20 on a fortunate ace that just crawled over the tape and onto the Beach side, setting up four set points for the Anteaters. After an Irvine error, Kruidhof recorded a kill to force a UCI timeout. A kill by Radi Marinova followed by a UCI error made it 24-24 and LBSU wasn't done yet. Kruidhof recorded another kill and finished the match with a solo roof to close a match-winning 6-0 run for the Beach.
LBSU has just one match next week, the final road trip of the season to Hawai'i. The match is Saturday, Nov. 4 and first serve will be at 10 p.m. PT.
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