- #2 Long Beach State def. George Mason 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-21)
- Long Beach State moves to 18-2, George Mason falls to 7-10
- Asics Tournament, Long Beach State, California
- Attendance: 690
- Box Score
#2 Long Beach State opened the Asics Tournament on Friday with a 3-0 handling of George Mason. The Beach held Mason to negative hitting percentage in each of the day’s 3 sets, in part thanks to 10 team blocks. George Mason’s -.149 output on the game is their lowest of the season.
LBSU had 2 players in double figure scoring. Kyle Ensing had 10 kills, an ace, and 4 block assists for 13 points, and TJ DeFalco was just half-a-point back with 10 kills, 1 ace, and 3 block assists.
George Mason has just 17 kills in the game, with 7 of them coming from Bradley Creamer.
Courtesy Long Beach State Athletics:
LONG BEACH – The second-ranked Long Beach State men’s volleyball team rolled to its 11th straight victory as the Beach swept George Mason (25-12, 25-15, 25-21) on Friday night on the first day of the ASICS Tournament.
Long Beach State (18-2) turned in a solid performance on all sides of the ball as the Beach notched a hitting percentage of .394 (37-11-66), while forcing the Patriots (7-10) into a negative attack percentage (-.149). Leading the 49ers’ offense was the sophomore duo of TJ DeFalco and Kyle Ensing. The pair tallied 10 kills each as Ensing hit .500 (10-2-16), while DeFalco posted a .353 clip (10-4-17).
DeFalco also led the team with six digs, while Ensing and senior middle blocker Amir Lugo-Rodriguez put up four blocks apiece.
The Beach’s blocking game was on-point as they tallied 10.0 total team blocks with 18 block assists and a solo block coming off the hands of Lugo-Rodriguez. With their blocking defense performing at the top of their game, they managed to force the Patriots into a total of 27 attack errors en route to tallying a negative attack percentage in all three sets.
With the defense keeping George Mason off the board, the 49ers’ offense received another solid outing from sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga as he dished out 30 assists in the match leading to another stout offensive performance from the Beach, who currently lead the nation in hitting percentage and assists per set.
LBSU dominated the first set as it took an early lead and never looked back. The Beach owned the lead throughout the frame as they hit .526 in the set and forced George Mason into a -.250 attack percentage. Long Beach State continued to extend its lead over GMU, before cruising to a 25-12 victory.
The Beach brought their momentum from the first set into the second as they never trailed. Long Beach State broke a 3-3 tie on a kill by Ensing and went on to win the second set by 10 points (25-15).
George Mason attempted to fight back in the third set tying the game six times and exchanging leads with LBSU on three occasions. However, Long Beach State took advantage of a Patriots’ attack error and earned an 11-10 lead that it would not relinquish. From that point, the Beach held the edge over the Patriots and went on to win the third set, and complete the sweep, with a 25-21 victory.
The Patriots’ leading scorer was Bradley Creamer, who tallied seven kills in the contest. Brian Negron tallied 11 assists, while Johnny Gomez and Kyle Barnes each notched four digs.
Long Beach State continues action in the ASICS Tournament on Saturday, March 11 against No. 10 Loyola at 7 p.m. The Beach’s match will follow the CSUN-George Mason match at 5 p.m.
Courtesy George Mason Athletics:
LONG BEACH, Calif. – George Mason University’s men’s volleyball team was completely neutralized offensively by one of the best teams in the nation and dropped its first match in the Active Ankle Classic in straight sets to host Long Beach State.
Despite a positive start in which it matched the efforts of the No. 2 team in the nation, Mason (7-10) lost the first two sets by double-digit margins. The Patriots took all five of their leads in the match early in the third set with four of them coming off attack or service errors on LBSU’s (18-2) part. Mason trailed by six in the latter stages of what turned out to be the final set, but did not go down without a fight – the Patriots managed to cut the lead in half and crossed the 20-point mark for the first time in the match before LBSU eventually completed the sweep by winning the set with a four-point margin.
“Long Beach is No. 2 in the nation for a reason,” Mason head coach and California native Jay Hosack said. “We are struggling in finding a steady lineup that can produce consistently. [LBSU] exploited our younger guys and handled our serve better than we handled theirs.”
-Mason was held to negative hitting in each of the three sets for an overall attack efficiency of -.149, the Patriots’ lowest this season. Freshman outside hitter Bradley Creamer (.067 hitting) was most efficient among those with double-digit swings and that resulted in team-high seven kills, which tied his career-high for second-straight match.
-Junior setter Brian Negron hit 1.000 by turning both of his tips into kills, but he was kept quiet in his primary duties. Despite being featured in all but 11 plays in the contest, Negron racked up only 11 assists, which is the least in his career when playing in three or more sets.
-Long Beach State’s aggressive attack hit .394 on the night and made it extremely difficult for Mason to keep the ball alive on the defensive end. Nevertheless, that was the statistic category in which Mason came closest to its opponent, which had only three digs more, 18-15. Sophomore outside hitter Kyle Barnes and senior libero Johnny Gomez finished with team-high four digs for the Patriots.
-Despite Fort Wayne’s nearly perfect performance, none of the Mastodons reached double digits in attack. They were led by Pelegrin Vargas with nine kills. After a balanced effort in every compartment, Fort Wayne had six players with at least four kills, five players with at least four digs, four players with at least four blocks, and three players than setter Michael Keegan (28 assists, 4 kills, 4 digs) with at least one assist.
-Long Beach State’s All-American TJ DeFalco was everywhere on the court, contributing match-high 10 kills, six digs, three blocks, two assists and a service ace. Kyle Ensing tied DeFalco with 10 kills for most in the match, doing so with a greater efficiency, hitting .500.
-Advantages in match kills (37-17), assists (35-16), service aces (5-1) and team blocks (10-4) all went to LBSU. Mason, however, had three times the solo blocks that the second-best team in the country did (3-1, two by Creamer) and erred three times less from the service line, 18-6.
NEXT ON THE COURT
The Patriots continue their participation in the tournament against Cal State Northridge at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.