- #2 Long Beach State defeats #7 UC Irvine 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-16)
- Long Beach State improves to 10-2
- UC-Irvine drops to 8-5
Long Beach State rolled to its 10th win of the season with a 3-0 drubbing of fellow top-10 program UC-Irvine Friday night in Irvine. TJ DeFalco had 16 kills and Long Beach State his .469 to power away with the win.
Defensively, Andrew Sato had 11 digs for Long Beach, who outhit Irvine .469 to .196.
Irvine’s Thomas Hodges had 10 kills in a very veteran effort. Hodges, a senior, was joined by senior classmates Tamir Hershko (9 kills) and Michael Saeta (6 digs, 26 assists) to lead the team stats.
Long Beach State:
IRVINE, Calif. – The second-ranked Long Beach State men’s volleyball team hit .469 and posted 10.5 total team blocks in a three-set sweep of No. 7 UC Irvine by set scores of 25-19, 25-22, 25-16 on Friday night inside the Bren Events Center.
The Beach (10-2, 6-1 MPSF) were led offensively by sophomore outside hitter TJ DeFalco who led all scorers with 16 kills and a .560 attack percentage (16-2-25). DeFalco added eight digs as he was just two shy of a double-double.
While DeFalco’s hitting percentage was impressive, senior middle blocker Bryce Yould led the 49ers with a sizzling .889 clip after knocking down eight kills on nine attempts without committing an error. Yould also provided at the net with four block assists, while teammate Amir Lugo-Rodriguez shared the lead with DeFalco notching five blocks.
LBSU’s block game was solid as it helped limit the Anteaters (8-5, 5-4 MPSF) to just .196 hitting after committing 16 attack errors in the match.
The 49ers turned in a solid offensive performance that was paced by setter Josh Tuaniga who finished the match with 38 assists, while adding a kill. Also providing an added spark to the offense were Andrew Whitt (8 kills), Kyle Ensing (7 kills) and Lugo-Rodriguez (5 kills).
While the offense knocked down 45 kills and controlled the match, the Beach defense was on point once again as they did not commit a reception error in the contest. The errorless-match marks the third such contest for Long Beach State this season.
The defense, which was anchored by senior libero Andrew Sato, posted 32 digs in the win. Sato recorded his program-record 48th double-digit dig contest of his career with 11 digs.
Long Beach State hit .478 in the first set, while UC Irvine was held to .200 percent hitting. The Beach broke an early 6-6 tie and jumped out in front 12-7 before UC Irvine started chipping away and cutting their lead down to three (17-14). However, after a timeout, the Beach were able to regroup and came back to win the set 25-19.
The second set was the closest of the three as the conference foes fought through 10 ties during the frame. Finally, Long Beach State took the lead for good on a UCI attack error which led to the ‘Eaters calling a timeout once the 49ers had the advantage, 21-19. The Beach would go on to claim the second set by a score of 25-22.
The Beach dominated the third set as they hit .500 with 14 kills on 26 attempts and committed just one attack error. Meanwhile, the ‘Eaters managed eight kills, but were forced into five miscues leading to a hitting percentage of just .125.
Lugo-Rodriguez broke the 2-2 tie with a kill and the 49ers never looked back. The Beach extended their lead to six (20-14) as the ‘Eaters took a timeout, but the break in action did little to stop Long Beach State. LBSU sent the game to set- and match-point on back-to-back kills by Whitt and Lugo-Rodriguez before winning the match on a service error, 25-16.
The Anteaters got 10 kills out of Thomas Hodges, while Michael Saeta dished out 26 assists and six digs.
Long Beach State will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 11 at UC San Diego for a 7 p.m. match.
IRVINE, Calif. – No. 2 Long Beach State controlled every aspect of the game in a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-16) victory over No. 7 UC Irvine at the Bren Events Center Friday.
Defense was key as LBSU (10-2, 6-1) out-blocked UCI 10.5-3.0 and out-dug the Anteaters 32-20. The Beach was efficient on offense as well hitting .469 to UCI’s .196. The Anteaters have the most aces among MPSF teams, but could not muster a service winner for the first time all year, while Long Beach fired four aces.
UCI (8-5, 5-4) was led by senior Thomas Hodges with 10 kills followed by senior Tamir Hershko with nine. Senior Michael Saeta had 26 set assists, three kills and a team-high six digs.
Long Beach State’s TJ DeFalco led all players with 16 kills, hitting .560. He also added eight digs and five block assists.
A consecutive kill, ace and block by the Forty-Niners gave LBSU the early 6-3 lead in the first set until Michael Saeta‘s serving put Long Beach on their heels and UCI tied it at 6-6. The Forty-Niners would then go on a 6-1 run, which included four UCI mistakes to open a 12-7 advantage. LBSU would continue to lead 17-11 until Saeta once again stepped back to the service line and helped UCI narrow the margin to 17-14. Following a timeout, Long Beach would out-score UCI 8-5 to win the set 25-19. LBSU would hit .478 to UCI’s .200.
In a closely contested second set, LBSU used two UCI attack errors to take a 21-19 lead and would go on to a 25-22 win.
The Forty-Niners once again took control early with a 6-2 advantage in the third. UCI closed to 9-8, but LBSU scored the next two to maintain the momentum. A kill by Tamir Hershko pulled the Anteaters within 16-14, but three UCI errors would immediately follow. UCI would score just two more points the rest of the way, both LBSU service errors, to end the match, 25-16.
UCI will entertain No. 13 CSUN tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at the Bren Events Center.