No. 10 USC Men's Volleyball Falls To Top-Ranked Long Beach State In MPSF Quarters|
April 15, 2017
Despite a match-high 23 kills from Lucas Yoder, the No. 10-ranked USC men's volleyball team fell to top-ranked Long Beach State, 25-22, 24-26, 25-18, 25-23, in a quarterfinal match of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament on Saturday (April 15) in Long Beach.
Long Beach State, the tourney's top seed, improved to 25-3 on the year and now will host No. 5 UC Irvine on Thursday (April 20) in an MPSF semifinal match.
Eighth-seeded USC ended its season with a 14-14 mark. The Trojans doubled their win total from 2016 and advanced to the MPSF tourney after a year's hiatus.
Connor Inlow added 9 kills (hitting .750) for USC, while Andy Benesh had 8 kills and Christopher Orenic had 7 kills off the bench. Matt Douglas had 12 digs and Blake Markland came off the bnech to get 9 digs.
TJ DeFalco and Kyle Ensing led Long Beach State with 12 kills each, while Bryce Yould and Andrew Whitt each added 9 kills. Amir Lugo-Rodriguez had 6 blocks, while Andrew Sato had 15 digs and Josh Tuaniga had 9 digs. DeFalco also had 4 aces.
Long Beach State hit .315 to USC's .281. The 49ers served 8 aces (the Trojans had none) and outblocked USC, 11.5 to 5.0. USC had more digs, 49 to 42.
Long Beach State ran off 4 consecutive points to go up 18-15 in the first set and USC couldn't catch up despite hitting .394. USC trailed most of the second set and was behind 21-17 before catching the 49ers at 22-22, passing them at 24-23 and then scoring the set's final 2 points on a Gianluca Grasso kill and an LBSU hitting error (Troy had 19 digs in the set). USC fell behind 7-2 in the third set and the Trojans could never get closer than 2 points the rest of the way as LBSU served 4 aces. Long Beach State went on a 3-point run to build a 14-11 edge in the fourth set and was up 21-17 before USC caught up at 22-22, but the 49ers restored order on a USC hitting error and then a LBSU ace, all the edge it needed to finish out the match.