- #1 Long Beach State def. #14 CSUN 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-20)
- Long Beach State moves to 20-2 (14-1 MPSF); CSUN falls to 12-12 (5-10 MPSF)
- Matadome, Northridge, California
- Attendance: 410
- Box Score
The top-ranked Long Beach State Matadors did their best CSUN impression on Friday, winning 3-0 while hitting .425. The Beach had 4 players as individuals hit .400 or better, led by Kyle Ensing who had 17 kills (.484 percentage) and TJ DeFalco who had 12 (.429 percentage).
Even more impressively, they held CSUN to just .150 hitting on the season – their lowest output of the season. CSUN was hitting .343 on the season as a team coming into Friday’s contest.
Long Beach held the Matadors at bay in part with 12 team blocks, as compared to just 4 for CSUN.
CSUN’s high-scorer was Dimitar Kalchev, who had 10 kills, 2 aces, a solo block, and 4 digs for 13 total points. He had 6 hitting errors as well though, resulting in just a .167 percentage.
Courtesy LBSU Athletics:
Northridge, Calif. – Sophomore Kyle Ensing finished with 17 kills on .484 hitting as No. 1 Long Beach State continued to excel, defeating No. 14 CSUN on the road in straight sets 25-19, 25-17, and 25-21.
Long Beach State (20-2, 14-1) didn’t drop a set for the fourth straight match on the way to the win, hitting .425 while holding CSUN (12-12, 5-10) to just .150 hitting on the night.
In the opening set, both teams held even early, with the score tied as late as 15-15. The Beach led by just two at 20-18, but pulled away with a TJ DeFalco ace and a pair of kills from Bryce Yould on the way to a 25-19 first set win.
In the second set, Long Beach State took control earlier, pushing on back-to-back kills from DeFalco and Ensing to take a 14-9 lead over the Matadors. A block from Josh Tuaniga and Amir Lugo-Rodriguez extended the 49er lead to seven at 20-13, and LBSU went on to close out the set with a 25-17.
The final set of the three was the closest, as CSUN rallied from a three-point deficit to tie the set at 18-18, and picked up a sideout to remain tied at 19. Long Beach State picked up a point on serve via a kill from DeFalco to take a 21-19, and pushed one more point with a triple block from Yould, DeFalco and Tuaniga.
Up 23-20, the Beach closed out the match with a Tuaniga ace and an Ensing kill to close out the sweep 25-20.
Ensing led the way with 17 kills, while DeFalco added 12 kills. Tuaniga also finished with 40 assist in the three-set match.
With the win, Long Beach State improved to 20-2 on the season, reaching 20 wins for the 18th time in program history, and the seventh time under Alan Knipe, now in his 14th season at the helm of the Beach.
Long Beach State is back on campus on Saturday, facing Sacred Heart at 7 p.m. That match will be a throwback, held in the Goldmine due to the CIF playoffs being held in the Walter Pyramid. The closest and best parking for the match will be located next to Brotman Hall in the center of campus.
Courtesy CSUN Athletics:
NORTHRIDGE, CA – Sophomore Dimitar Kalchev broke the CSUN single season aces record but the top-ranked Long Beach State 49ers swept the 14th-ranked Matadors in an MPSF match Friday night at The Matadome.
CSUN (12-12, 5-10 MPSF) celebrated seniors Jakub Ciesla and CJ Suarez in pre-match festivities and each provided a lift but the visiting 49ers had too much firepower in the 25-19, 25-17, 25-20 victory.
“This was the first match this season where I felt like we got by a better team,” said CSUN head coach Jeff Campbell. “Jakub gave us an emotional lift and we fought the entire time but they’re the number one team in the country for a reason.”
Kalchev also gave his team a lift as he broke Eric Vance’s single season aces record by serving his 58th and 59th of the season. Coming in tied with Vance, the sophomore outside hitter from Bulgaria connected for his record-breaking 58th pulling CSUN within 10-8 in the third set. He struck again later in the set as his 59th pulled the Matadors even at 18-18.
But as was the case in all three sets, the veteran 49er team pulled away down the stretch, sealing the sweep. Kalchev had a CSUN-high 10 kills to go with four digs and one solo block.
“Dimitar was really dialed in tonight,” added Campbell. “He served really well and when anyone puts that kind of pace on the ball he’s going to affect the other team. He’s made great strides from last year to this year and I’m really proud of him.”
Junior Arvis Greene added six kills and a pair of aces and fellow junior Josiah Byers chipped in five kills on .625 hitting. Ciesla had four kills, two digs and two blocks while Suarez had a match-high seven digs in his final Matadome appearance.
For Long Beach State, which improved to 20-2 and 14-1 in conference, Kyle Ensing had a match-high 17 kills (.484) and TJ DeFalco added 12 kills on .429 hitting.
CSUN heads out on the road to close the regular season beginning next weekend (Mar. 24-25) as the Matadors travel to Hawai’i.