- #1 Long Beach def. #4 UC Irvine, 3-2 (22-25, 25-15, 25-16, 21-25, 15-9)
- LBSU improves to 20-0, 5-0 Big West; UCI falls to 17-6, 3-2 Big West
- Long Beach, California
- Attendance: 2077
- Box score
LONG BEACH, Calif. – #1 Long Beach remained undefeated in the first of a home-and-home with a five-set victory over #4 UC Irvine Friday night (22-25, 25-15, 25-16, 21-25, 15-9). The win earned the Beach their third-straight 20-win season and eighth overall under coach Alan Knipe. This was also the first time LBSU went to five sets in a match this season.
LBSU was led offensively by TJ DeFalco with a match-high 22 kills on .326 hitting. This was DeFalco’s second 20-kill effort on the season and the 14th of his career. He also added match-highs of 5 aces and 5 blocks, two of which were solo (also a match-high). His full stat line also included 7 digs. Fellow junior Kyle Ensing finished with 13 kills while also adding 8 digs, an ace and a block. Libero Jordan Molina dug a match-high 14 balls on defense. Setter Josh Tuaniga recorded a double-double—his third of the season and sixth of his career—with 48 assists and 11 digs. He also contributed 4 kills, 2 blocks and 2 aces.
For UCI, the loss snapped their six match winning streak. Aaron Koubi tied his career-high with 21 kills on .410 hitting. He single-handedly won set 4 for the Anteaters with 8 kills on 13 errorless swings. Koubi also added a season-high 9 digs and blocked 3 at the net. Reigning Big West Player of the Week Karl Apfelbach finished with 10 kills, 7 digs, 3 blocks and an ace. Setter Dante Chakravorti finished with 36 assists, 8 digs and 4 kills on 4 swings. Seven-footer Scott Stadick had a solid outing as well, recording 9 kills and a match-high 5 blocks. Libero David Parker notched a season-high 14 digs.
The two go at it again, this time in Irvine, California on Saturday, March 31 at 7:00 p.m. in the Bren Events Center.
Courtesy of Long Beach State Athletics
LONG BEACH — In its first five-set match of the season, the top-ranked Long Beach State men’s volleyball team received several strong showings from a number of players as the Beach earned a thrilling 3-2 [22-25, 25-15, 25-16, 21-25, 15-9] victory over No. 4 UC Irvine on Friday night at the Walter Pyramid.
With the win, Long Beach State improves to 20-0 on the year as it remains the lone undefeated team in Division I-II. The victory marks the third straight 20-win season for LBSU, and the eighth under head coach Alan Knipe.
The Beach are now 5-0 in Big West Conference action, while UC Irvine drops to 3-2 in league play and 17-6 overall.
In the battle between the two top teams in the league, Long Beach State was led by junior outside hitter TJ DeFalco‘s 22 kills, five service aces and five blocks (two solo blocks, three block assists). The 20-kill effort is the second of the season for DeFalco and the 14th in his career.
Junior setter Josh Tuaniga logged his third double-double of the year — the sixth of his career — as he notched 48 assists and 11 digs in the contest. Tuaniga also contributed four kills, two service aces, and a pair of blocks, while hitting .600 (4-1-5).
Defensively, the Beach were led by junior libero Jordan Molina who collected a career-high 13 digs in the backrow to pace the Long Beach State offense which limited UC Irvine to a .197 attack percentage.
Adding to the Beach’s defensive efforts were senior outside hitter Bjarne Huus (nine digs), junior opposite Kyle Ensing (eight digs), and DeFalco (seven digs).
The all-around team effort also saw solid performances from middles Simon Anderson and Nick Amado. The pair each tallied seven kills, while Anderson hit .385 (7-2-13) and Amado hit .357 (7-2-14). The duo combined for five blocks as Amado posted three and Anderson put up two.
The Beach got off to a slow start as the Anteaters opened the match on a 5-0 run forcing a Long Beach State timeout. UC Irvine out-hit LBSU .308 to .192 in the first set as the Anteaters led most of the frame and earned a 25-22 win.
Despite the setback in the opening set, Long Beach State bounced back and won the next two sets to go up 2-1.
In set two, Long Beach State hit .419 and led throughout. The Beach utilized a 5-0 run to open up a 21-13 lead. LBSU went on to win the second set by a score of 25-15, tying the match at one set apiece.
Long Beach State took a 2-1 set lead after hitting .364 in the third set and holding UC Irvine to a .000 attack percentage. The Beach went on an impressive 7-0 run to take a 15-11 lead before taking a 17-12 lead as the Anteaters called for a break in action. With a commanding lead, the Beach cruised to a 25-16 lead.
The Beach opened up the fourth set on a 4-0 run, but the Anteaters countered with a 4-0 run of their own to even the score. From there, the two teams fought through nine ties and three lead changes before UC Irvine used a 5-0 run (16-12) that LBSU could not come back from. The Anteaters won the fourth set by a score of 25-21 forcing a fifth and deciding game.
In the final game, Long Beach State hit .500 (7-1-12) and held UC Irvine to .167 hitting (5-3-12) as the Beach jumped out in front 8-4 after knocking down three straight points. From there, Long Beach State extended its lead to five (11-6) as UCI called for a timeout. The break in action did little to stop the Beach as they earned a 15-9 win over the Anteaters.
UC Irvine was led by Scott Stadick who had 21 kills, nine digs, and three block assists, while hitting .410 (21-5-39). Karl Apfelbach also reached double-figure kills with 10, while adding seven digs, and three blocks. David Parker added 14 digs and five assists for the Anteaters.
Courtesy of UC Irvine Athletics
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Outside hitter Aaron Koubi tied his career-high with 21 kills, but it was not enough as No. 1 Long Beach State edged No. 4 UC Irvine 3-2 (22-25, 25-15, 25-16, 21-25, 15-9) at the Walter Pyramid Friday.
The Anteaters snap a six-match winning streak and go to 17-6 overall and 3-2 in the Big West. Long Beach remains undefeated at 20-0 and 5-0 in the Big West.
Koubi recorded 21 kills and hit .410 (21-5-39). The outside hitter put UCI on his back in the fourth set with eight kills on 13 swings and no errors. He also added a season-high nine digs and three block assists.
Reigning Big West Player of the Week Karl Apfelbach ended with 10 kills, seven digs and three blocks, while middle blocker Scott Stadick had nine kills, and five block assists. Libero David Parker had a season-high 14 digs and setter Dante Chakravorti went 4-0-4 in kills with 36 set assists and eight digs.
The Forty-Niners were led by TJ DeFalco‘s 22 kills, five aces and five total blocks. Kyle Ensing added 13 kills and Josh Tuaniga totaled 48 set assists, two aces and 11 digs.
Long Beach scored the first point of the match then UCI scored the next five, three on Aaron Koubi kills, 5-1. A Koubi ace would make it 9-4 and UCI would continue to lead 16-12 on an Apfelbach ace. An Apfelbach kill followed by a Forty-Niner error give UCI set point 24-18. Long Beach State would score the next three points, two on TJ DeFalco aces to narrow the margin to 24-22, but Scott Stadick would put a ball away to end the set 25-22.
Long Beach State controlled the second set, winning 25-15. The Forty-Niners would score five straight points to put the set out of reach at 21-13.
UCI had an early 3-1 lead and would hold the 11-8 advantage until LBSU went on a 7-0 run to take a 15-11 lead. Long Beach would then cruise to a third set victory, 25-16. UCI hit .000 for the set and had seven attack errors, two receiving errors and six service errors to help the Forty-Niners.
A kill by Stadick started a 5-0 run that included kills by Apfelbach and Koubi and two Forty-Niner errors to give UCI a 16-12 lead in the fourth set. LBSU would close to 22-21 on a TJ De Falco kill, but kills by Apfelbach and Koubi gave the Anteaters set point, 24-21. Following a LBSU timeout De Falco swing went wide giving UCI a 25-21 victory.
LBSU would lead 5-4 in the deciding fifth set before a UCI service error was followed by a kill and ace by De Falco to extend the Forty-Niner lead to 8-4. Back-to-back kills by Long Beach moved the margin to 11-6 and the Forty-Niners would go on to win the set 15-9 and the match.
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