- #2 Long Beach State def. #6 UC Irvine 3-1, (25-16, 25-22, 25-27, 25-15)
- Long Beach State improves to 16-2, 12-1 MPSF
- UC Irvine falls to 11-6, 8-5 MPSF
- Hosted by Long Beach State
- Match results
#2 Long Beach State continued their winning streak, extending it to nine with four set victory over #6 UC Irvine.
The Beach took control of the first set over the Anteaters, forcing eight errors and a negative, -.042 hitting percentage. The score was tied early at 1-1, but from there the Beach led the charge to the end of the first set at 15-16. The second set was different, with the Anteaters leading the way throughout. The Beach tied up the score at 19 all, from there each team battled until Long Beach State took the second 25-22 to go up 2-0 in the match.
The third began much like the second, with UC Irvine controlling the set, holding a 23-19 lead late in the set. The Beach were able to squeeze their way back into the set, tying the third at 24-24, but could not keep it going, dropping the third 25-27. The Beach came out strong in the fourth starting it like their first set, hitting for .542 with 16 kills, three errors on 24 swings. Long Beach State jumped to a quick 6-0 lead and never lost it, taking the set 25-16, extending their winning streak to nine.
For the Beach, Kyle Ensing put down 14 kills, eight digs and four blocks while TJ DeFalco added 12 kills and three blocks. At the net defensively, Bryce Yould led the team with six blocks, while Andrew Sato picked up 10 digs in the back court for his 49th double-digit dig performance. Sato has accumulated 883 digs so far in his career, only four shy of setting the all-time digs record for Long Beach State.
Leading the way for UC Irvine was Thomas Hodges with eight kills while Dillon Hoffman picked up nine digs.
Courtesy of Long Beach State Athletics
The No. 2 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team continued its hot-streak as the Beach collected their ninth straight victory with a 3-1 [25-16, 25-22, 25-27, 25-15] win over No. 6 UC Irvine on Wednesday night inside the Walter Pyramid.
After getting off to a slow offensive start, the Beach (16-2, 12-1 MPSF) used a strong blocking defense to keep the ‘Eaters (11-6, 8-5 MPSF) off balance. The stout performance at the net fueled Long Beach State’s offense as the Beach would heat up in the later sets.
“It was one of those matches, for us, that our blocking defensive effort had to be a little bit better and wait for our offense to get going, but I thought they did a good job, hanging in there and cleaning it up,” Long Beach State head coach Alan Knipe said.
The Beach’s defensive effort was led by senior middle blocker Bryce Yould who posted six blocks in the contest. LBSU also got a four-block performance from sophomore opposite Kyle Ensing. Yould and Ensing would also lead the team offensively as Yould hit .625 (6-1-8) in the match, while Ensing led all scorers with 14 kills and missed a double-double by two digs as he finished with eight.
While Yould and Ensing controlled the net, senior libero Andrew Sato paced the backrow with 10 digs to mark his program-record 49th double-figure dig performance. Additionally, Sato has accumulated 883 digs in his career as he is just four shy of setting a new all-time digs record at Long Beach State.
In addition to Ensing’s double-figure output, the Beach also received double-figure kills from sophomore outside hitter TJ DeFalco who posted 12 kills to go along with four digs and three blocks.
Sophomore setter Josh Tuaniga dished out 42 assists in the match, while also contributing five digs, three kills, two blocks and an ace.
LBSU owned the first set as the defense forced UC Irvine into eight attack errors as the ‘Eaters suffered a negative attack percentage in the frame (-.042). The Beach hit .208 in the set and after a 1-1 tie, led the rest of the way before capturing a 25-16 win.
The second set saw UC Irvine take a slight lead over Long Beach State and hold that lead for most of the game. However, the Beach stayed within striking distance and wore down the ‘Eaters tying the game at 19-19 on a kill by Ensing. From there, the two teams battled back and forth until LBSU earned the 25-22 win to complete the come-from-behind victory.
In the third set, the two teams challenged each other through eight ties and UCI turned in its best offensive effort of the night as the Anteaters hit .205 (16-8-39). The 49ers fell behind 23-19 and called for a timeout to regroup. Following the break in action, LBSU managed to come back and even the score at 24-24. The ‘Eaters took the game to set point three different times before pulling out a 27-25 win to avoid the sweep and force a fourth set.
Having won in straight sets in all but two of their last nine matches, the Beach came out determined in the fourth game and saw their offense awaken. Long Beach State hit a more characteristic .542 (16-3-24) in the frame and jumped out to an early 6-0 lead that it would never relinquish.
“There’s no doubt the response (in the fourth set was good),” Knipe said. “It came from the blocking defense side and that was exactly what makes our offense better.”
With both the offense and defense on point, the Beach cruised to a 25-15 victory to win in four sets and extend its winning streak to nine.
“I certainly like the things that we’re doing,” Knipe said of his team. “The most enjoyable part about coaching this team is that they truly want to get better. When we go over film, a lot of our guys will have already watched the video individually and know there are things they need to work on. When you get that culture going in a program, there are a lot of good things that come from that.”
Long Beach State looks to continue to gel and make good things happen as it hosts UC San Diego on Friday, March 3 at 7 p.m. inside the Pyramid.
Courtesy of UC Irvine Athletics
No. 6 UC Irvine struggled offensively as No. 2 Long Beach State beat the Anteaters 3-1 (25-16, 25-22, 25-27, 25-15) at the Walter Pyramid Wednesday.
The Anteaters hit just .106 (40-28-114) for the match, the worst offensive performance of the season.
Outside hitter Thomas Hodges topped UCI with eight kills and two aces. Middle blocker Scott Stadick led UCI with five total blocks, while adding seven kills. Setter Michael Saeta added six kills, 21 set assists, eight digs and two blocks. Reigning National Player of the Week Tamir Hershko and Aaron Koubi each recorded six kills. Koubi, who made his third consecutive start, also had two aces and eight digs. Reid Dominquez provided a spark off the bench with four kills and an ace, while Matthew Younggren totaled three kills and four blocks and Dillon Hoffman had a team-high nine digs.
Kyle Ensign had 14 kills and TJ DeFalco had 12 kills for LBSU.
The Anteaters snap a three-match winning streak and go to 11-9 overall and 8-5 in the MPSF. Long Beach State goes to 16-2 on the year and 16-1 in league action.
Long Beach State started with an early 5-1 lead, including a block after an exciting rally to push the advantage to 14-8. The Anteaters could not recover as the Forty-Niners would win the first set 25-16. UCI struggled offensively, hitting -.087. Four Anteater service errors and four Forty-Niner aces contributed to the loss.
A block by Scott Stadick and Thomas Hodges gave UCI a 13-9 lead in the second set then another block by Aaron Koubi and Matthew Younggren extended the advantage to 15-11. Six UCI errors helped the Forty-Niners tie the set at 18-18. A pair of kills and a block pushed LBSU in front 22-20. Back-to-back UCI errors ended the set, giving Long Beach the 25-22 win.
In the third set, a Koubi serve that trickled over the net for an ace was followed by a Tamir Hershko kill to put UCI in front 9-6. A LBSU service error, a block by Stadick and Dante Chakravorti and an ace by Michael Saeta gave the Anteaters a 14-11 lead. Kills by Stadick and Koubi and an ace by Reid Dominguez extended the advantage to 17-12. A 6-2 run that had four consecutive points by Long Beach narrowed the score to 20-19. A pair of kills by Saeta and one by Dominguez stopped the Forty-Niner momentum, 23-19. A 5-1 run by the Forty-Niners tied the score at 24-24, but a kill by Koubi and a service ace by Stadick earned UCI the 27-25 win.
Long Beach State scored the first six points of the fourth set and never looked back, taking the 25-15 victory. The Forty-Niners closed out the final game hitting .542 to UCI’s .087.
Next, UCI travels to CSUN Friday (Mar. 1) at 7:00 p.m. at the Matadome.