Alexander Leads No. 3 Long Beach State Over No. 15 UC San Diego


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Long Beach, Calif. - It took a little longer than expected, but No. 3-ranked Long Beach State (9-0, 7-0 MPSF) remained perfect to start the season, defeating visiting UC San Diego (3-8, 1-8 MPSF) 30-22, 30-28, 33-35, 30-18 on Friday evening.

Six-foot-seven sophomore Dan Alexander had 13 kills and 10 blocks, while Dean Bittner added 21 kills and Paul Lotman chipped in 16. The Beach hit .338 for the match, after a .480 clip in the final set.

UC San Diego was led by 17 kills from Frank Fritsch and 16 from Jason Spangler. The Tritons hit .141 for the match.

The team's start is the best since 1999, when the NCAA Finalists won 10 straight to start the year..

The 49ers rolled in the final set, 30-18. A Lotman ace opened up game three 8-3, before a Bittner ace extended the lead to 13-6.

It took five game points, but UCSD finally took game three 35-33 after the 49ers were called on the net. A service error led the 49ers to match point at 29-28, after the 49ers trailed by six late. After trailing game three 24-19, the 49ers fought back to tie it at 27-27 on four hits by the Tritons. An ace by Tommy Pestolesi then made it 28-27 before the Tritons tied it and eventually won it.

The 49ers were their own worst enemy to start game three, as two straight hitting errors put UCSD up 16-13. Two more hitting errors made it 20-14.

Lotman led the 49ers to the game two win, 30-28, as he scored the game-winning kill, posted two key blocks and added a late ace. LBSU hit .278, while the Tritons hit .171.

Lotman ace made it 26-24, after two Lotman blocks tied the score at 23-23 following a 49er timeout. This was after a Lotman error gave UCSD a 21-19 lead as the match remained close late into the contest.

The 49ers took game one 30-22, cruising after the mid-way point of the first set. The Beach hit .457 in the first set, compared to just a .129 percentage by the Tritons.

The first set was close over the first 14 points as neither team could lead by more than one and were tied as late at 14-14. UCSD's own errors then extended the lead to three, before an ace by Bittner made it 19-15.

The 49ers are next in action when they begin a four-match road trip, beginning at No. 13-ranked Pepperdine on February 13.

Article courtesy of Long Beach State athletics.

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