No. 7 USC Men's Volleyball Beats No. 2 Long Beach State

    Tanner Jansen

    March 22, 2014

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    Tanner Jansen had a career-high 26 kills while hitting .426 and Lucas Yoder added 22 kills to help the No. 7-ranked USC men's volleyball team defeat No. 2 Long Beach State, 25-22, 21-25, 25-19, 27-25, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match on Saturday (March 22) in front of a sold-out and raucous crowd of 800 fans in USC's North Gym.

    USC improved to 14-8 overall and 13-8 in the MPSF, while the 49ers dropped their second consecutive match after an 8-match winning streak to fall to 15-6 overall and 12-6 in the MPSF.

    The match was played in USC's quaint North Gym, the original home of Trojan volleyball, because of a previously-contracted event in the Galen Center.

    USC hit .270 while LBSU managed to hit just .180. The 49ers posted 14.5 blocks to Troy's 7.5, but the Trojans had a season-high 63 digs to Long Beach State's 41.

    Jansen also had 8 digs and 3 blocks. Teammate Maddison McKibbin added 13 kills, while Henry Cassiday had a match-best 19 digs, Micah Christenson had 15 digs and 3 blocks to go with his 53 assists and Andy Benesh had 6 blocks.

    For Long Beach State, Taylor Crabb had 15 kills, 6 digs and 3 blocks, Taylor Gregory had 8 blocks, Connor Olbright had 7 digs, 5 blocks and 36 assists and Andrew Sato had 11 digs.

    USC got off to a 9-4 start in the first set, but LBSU tied it at 13-13 and went up 20-18 before the Trojans knotted it at 21-21 and then a Jansen kill and ace gave the Trojans the cushion they needed to close out the set despite 5.0 blocks by the 49ers. Long Beach State used a 6-0 run to open a 10-4 lead in the second set and, although USC pulled within 16-15, the Trojans could never catch up as the 49ers put up 5.5 blocks. USC jumped out to a 10-3 margin in the third set and never relinquished the lead as it dug 21 balls. The Trojans scored the first 4 points of the fourth set and built the lead to 19-13 before the 49ers stormed back to tie it at 22-22, but Jansen ended the match with a kill followed by an ace.

    USC now goes on the road to the Bay Area for a pair of 7 p.m. MPSF matches, first at No. 6 Stanford on March 27 in a contest that will be shown live on Pac-12 Networks and then at Pacific on March 28 for the last-ever meeting with the Tigers, who are dropping their men's volleyball program after this season.