- #2 Long Beach State def. Cal Baptist 3-1, (24-26, 25-12, 25-14, 25-19)
- Long Beach State improves to 14-2, 10-1 MPST
- Cal Baptist falls to 3-12, 1-10 MPSF
- Hosted by Long Beach State
- Match results
The #2 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team posted their seventh straight win against Cal Baptist in a four set match.
The Beach dropped the first set of the match in a 24-26 battle, this being the teams first set loss since January 28 – with the team posting 18 consecutive set wins. Despite the first set setback, the Beach were able to regroup and dominate the remainder of the match, running through Cal Baptist in the next three sets.
The win for the Beach marks the 10th MPSF victory of the season for the team.
For the Beach, TJ Falco led the offense with 17 kills on a .400 hitting percentage, seven digs and four blocks. Also posting double-digit kills was Kyle Ensing with 12, adding six digs and four blocks. At the net defensively, Amir Lugo-Rodriguez had six blocks while Bryce Yould and Josh Tuaniga added five.
The Cal Baptist was steady in the match with Luis Palos, Phillip Schick and Kevin Vaz each putting down eight kills. Vaz also picked up a match-best nine digs.
Courtesy of Long Beach State Athletics
The second-ranked Long Beach State men’s volleyball won its seventh-straight match Wednesday night with a 3-1 [24-26, 25-12, 25-14, 25-19] victory over Cal Baptist behind several solid performances.
The Beach are now 14-2 overall and 10-1 in MPSF action, while the Lancers drop their fourth straight match and fall to 3-12 on the season and 1-10 in league play.
Long Beach State got off to a slow start as the 49ers dropped set one by a score of 26-24. The setback marked the Beach’s first set loss since January 28 after having strung together 18 consecutive set wins. Despite falling in the first game, LBSU bounced back and put together another three-straight set victories to earn its 10th MPSF win of the season.
“I thought Cal Baptist played really well in that first set and for us, it was a little bit of a struggle,” Long Beach State head coach Alan Knipe said. “We had a couple of plays not go our way, had a few serves that were barely out, had a couple situations we could have executed better and we made it much more difficult on ourselves than we needed to and ultimately ended up losing an overtime game. But the best part about it was our ability to settle down and get back into a rhythm and I thought the guys did a nice job of that.”
It didn’t take long for the Beach to get back in their rhythm as they held the Lancers to 12, 14 and 19 points, respectively, in the remaining three sets and hit .417 in the final three games.
“Our offense was really good as the match went on. I thought our blocking defense did a really good job as the match got going,” Knipe explained. “We did a good job regaining our composure. We’ve had a few matches in a row where we hadn’t dropped a set, so that was kind of a new thing right there, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s very hard to win straight sets in this league against anyone. Being able to come back and win, I was proud of that. To be able to keep that consistency throughout the match was a good job by our guys.”
Leading the way for the Beach’s offense was TJ DeFalco who posted a team-leading 17 kills while hitting .400 (17-5-30). Sophomore opposite Kyle Ensing added to the offensive attack with 12 kills and Andrew Whitt contributed nine. Josh Tuaniga, Amir Lugo-Rodriguez and Bryce Yould finished off the offensive surge with six kills each.
Tuaniga also paced the 49ers with several solid passes as he dished out 45 assists. If that weren’t enough, the sophomore setter hit .857 (6-0-7) in the contest, while posting five blocks and notching two service aces.
“Josh continues to throw the ball around and create balance and stress all along the net and that’s a big thing for us,” Knipe said of his setter. “We pride ourselves on not allowing teams to just load up on one thing and that starts with passing; that starts with Josh. Not only did he distribute the ball well, but he stayed fairly offensive as well.”
With their offense coming alive and hitting .333 in the second set, the Beach’s defense stepped up and forced the Lancers into 10 attack errors which led to Cal Baptist posting a negative attack percentage (-.200) in the frame. The 49ers, meanwhile, got back to their game as they turned in balanced performances on all sides of the ball en route to cruising to a 25-12 victory.
Heading into set three with the match even at one set apiece, the Beach broke the game open by hitting .632 (13-1-19) in the frame as they kept the Lancers at a distance. Long Beach State led by double digits for the final seven points and eventually claimed the third set by a score of 25-14.
The Beach put the match away in the fourth set after hitting .346 (15-6-26) and limiting the Lancers to a .176 attack percentage (7-4-17). Long Beach State owned a sideout margin of 80 percent and led by as many as seven points before taking a 25-19 victory.
Cal Baptist was led on offense by Philip Schick who tallied eight kills for a .636 (8-1-11) attack percentage. Cody Jackson (16 assists) and Jacob Tarabetz (11 assists) split setter duties, and Kevin Vaz narrowly missed a double-double with eight kills and nine digs.
Long Beach State hosts No. 14 USC on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. inside the Walter Pyramid as the Beach look to win their eighth straight match.
Courtesy of Cal Baptist Athletics
California Baptist University faced its highest-ranked opponent of the season Wednesday night in No. 2-ranked Long Beach State and came out swinging. The Lancers took the first set, but couldn’t overcome the Beach’s comeback, dropping the match 3-1 (24-26, 25-12, 25-14, 25-19).
The Lancers fall to 2-12 overall, 1-10 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. LBSU improves to 14-2 on the year, 10-1 in conference.
Luis Palos, Philip Schick and Kevin Vaz all finished with a team-high eight kills. Schick also posted three blocks, including one solo stuff. Defensively, Vaz added nine digs, while Emmett Enriques chipped in eight.
It was back-and-forth action early on before the Beach took a 7-4 lead. A Long Beach State error gave CBU the sideout point to spark a 3-0 run, capped by a combo block by Caleb Miller and Jacob Tarabetz to tie the set, 7-7.
After the set was tied once again at 12-12, Rohit Paul put the Lancers in front 13-12 on a kill before an LBSU error gave CBU a two-point lead, 14-12, and force a Beach timeout.
The game remained close as the score was tied at 14-14, 15-15, 16-16, and 17-17, before CBU went on a three-point scoring spree to force another LBSU timeout. Palos got the spurt going with a cross-court kill, while Vaz followed by powering a kill through a Beach block attempt.
LBSU closed the gap to just one point, 22-21, forcing a CBU timeout. Determined to not let the set slip out of their hands, the Lancers came out of the break and grabbed the next point off a Schick kill.
The Beach battled back and tied the set at 24-24, but Paul kept momentum in the Lancers’ favor with a kill and an ace from Vaz finished the deal, 26-24.
In set two, Long Beach State opened on a 4-1 run. Some Beach errors and a kill from Palos pulled the Lancers even at 5-5. The frame would stay close with ties at 5-5, 6-6 and 7-7.
It was the closest it would be, however, as LBSU opened up to a 14-9 lead. The Beach coasted that to a 25-12 set win to even the match score, 1-1.
The Beach carried that momentum into set three, taking the set 25-14 to put some pressure on the Lancers to win the fourth and force five.
CBU changed things up in the fourth, putting Paul into the libero spot and moving Enriques to outside hitter. It kept things close in the early goings, but Long Beach State soon found a groove to take a 10-6 lead.
Coach Derek Schmitt called a timeout and his team scored two-straight points out of the break, including a combo stuff from Enrique de Diego Garcia and Palos to pull within two, 10-8.
Long Beach State jumped out in front once again, but CBU dug deep to win a rally, scoring back-to-back points to pull within five, 20-15. The Beach wouldn’t let the visitors pull any closer, however, taking the set 25-19 to win the match.
The Lancers remain on the road, heading to No. 11-ranked Cal State Northridge on Friday. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m.