No. 5 Long Beach State Sweeps No. 7 UC Irvine
Long Beach, Calif. - Paul Lotman had 17 kills and Dan Alexander 14 to lead fifth-ranked Long Beach State to a 36-34, 30-28, 30-24 win over UC Irvine on Wednesday evening at the Walter Pyramid. The Beach improves to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), while the seventh-ranked Anteaters fell to 3-4 and 1-2 in MPSF action.
Long Beach got 12 kills from Dean Bittner and five from Fletcher Anderson, but the key to the match was sophomore Tommy Pestolesi. Pestolesi finished with a season-high four kills, adding five digs, three blocks and three service aces.
Pestolesi entered game two with the 49ers down 27-23 after Long Beach had given up three straight points to UCI thanks to two hitting errors and a service ace. Pestolesi promptly earned a side out with a kill (27-24) and then served three aces in a row to tie the game at 27-27. Two more Pestolesi serves and two UCI hitting errors gave the 49ers a 29-27 lead. Long Beach would close out game two with a 7-1 run to win 30-28.
Freshman Kevin Carroll led UCI with 15 kills and Taylor Wilson added 13. UCI hit .255 for the match.
In game three UCI jumped to a 3-0 lead only to see a 7-2 49er run give Long Beach a 7-5 advantage. The 49ers would never trail the remainder of the game, winning 30-24.
Game one saw a see-saw battle as Lotman recorded eight kills in the 36-34 win. Tied at 34, the 49ers went up 35-34 after a service error by Cory Yoder and closed out the long game with a Lotman kill.
The 49ers finished the match with a .286 hitting percentage as Alexander led the way at .571 (14-2-21). Setter Mike Klipsch had 52 assists, three digs and three blocks. Alexander recorded six blocks, Anderson five and Bittner four.
Long Beach travels to fourth-ranked UCLA on Friday for a 7 pm match at Pauley Pavilion.
Article courtesy of Long Beach State athletics.