No. 4 Long Beach Wins In Five Games At Pacific
Stockton, Calif. - The one-two punch of Paul Lotman and Dean Bittner and a career-night from freshman Josh Riley lifted the fourth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team to a 30-24, 26-30, 30-24, 30-32, 15-12 win over the University of the Pacific on Friday evening in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) match. Long Beach improves to 20-5 on the year and 15-4 in the MPSF, while the Tigers fall to 4-21 and 1-18 in league action. The 49ers recorded 20 victories in a season for the fourth time in the past five years.
Bittner and Lotman both tallied 24 kills, while Riley had a career-high 14 kills and seven blocks for the 49ers. Setter Mike Klipsch had a double-double with 61 assists and 10 digs and middle blocker Fletcher Anderson finished with seven kills and seven blocks. The 49ers hit .277 (74-30-159) in the match. Defensively, libero Dustin Watten matched Klipsch's dig total with 10 digs as well.
Pacific was led by Jeff Hendershot's 21 kills and four blocks. Pekka Seppanen had 11 kills and 14 digs while Jason Borchin and Blake Gentry each tallied 10 kills. Pacific hit .266 (62-25-139) in the match.
In the pivotal game five, Pacific jumped out to a quick 5-3 lead. Long Beach answered with a 4-1 run to take a 7-6 lead and the two teams stayed within a point the majority of the game. Leading 12-11, the 49ers used a Bittner kill and a triple block to take control 14-11. Hendershot garnered a kill to make the score 14-12 before Lotman ended the game and the match with his 24th kill of the evening. Long Beach hit .286 (10-4-21) in game five.
The 49ers began the evening on a high note as they hit .379 (14-3-29) in game one, with Lotman recording six kills. The 49ers also had three aces and 5.0 team blocks as they won going away 30-24. Riley had three of his seven block assists in the opening game. In game two the Tigers came back from a late deficit to win 30-26. With game two tied at 21-21, the 49ers went on a 3-1 run to take a 24-22 lead. Riley had two kills in that span. But just as quickly as the 49ers took the lead, they lost it. The Tigers used a 7-0 run, thanks in part to four 49er hitting errors, to grab a 28-24 lead. Pacific hit .346 (12-3-26) in the game while the 49ers hit .200 with 10 hitting errors.
Game three saw the 49ers lead most of the way in a 30-24 triumph. Leading 18-17, the 49ers used a 5-1 run to take a 23-18 lead, and force a Pacific timeout. Long Beach hit .414 (16-4-29) in the game as Bittner tallied six kills and Lotman five. The 49ers limited the Tigers to a .231 (12-6-26) percentage.
In game four Long Beach looked as if they had things firmly in control. They used a 7-1 run to expand a 10-9 lead to a 17-11 advantage. Pacific slowly creeped back into the game, eventually tying the game at 26-26. With the game tied at 30-30, UOP took a 31-30 lead on a 49er service error and then a Tiger block gave UOP a 32-30 win.
The 49ers continue their Northern California swing on Saturday night when they play at eighth-ranked Stanford at 7 pm.
Article courtesy of Long Beach Athletics.