No. 3 Long Beach Defeats No. 9 Southern California 3-1


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Los Angeles, Calif. - Paul Lotman had a season-high 28 kills, including the match-winner in an exciting game four, lifting third-ranked Long Beach State to a 30-24, 31-33, 30-23, 39-37 win over ninth-ranked USC on Friday evening at the Galen Center. The 49ers improve to 10-1 on the season and 8-1 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) with the victory. USC fell to 7-8 overall and 6-6 in MPSF action.

Lotman hit an impressive .478 (28-6-46) for the match and finished just one off his career-high in kills which he set last season against Cal State Northridge. Sophomore Dean Bittner added 23 kills and seven blocks and Dan Alexander and Fletcher Anderson both had seven kills. Alexander had seven block assists, to tie Bittner for the team lead in that category, while Alexander hit .700 (7-0-10). 49er setter Mike Klipsch dished out 65 assists and led the 49er offense to a .346 (71-25-133) hitting percentage. Dustin Watten led the 49er defense with nine digs.

Juan Figueroa led the way for the Trojans with 17 kills while Murphy Troy had 16 kills and three service aces, but Troy hit just .132 (16-11-38) with 11 hitting errors. USC had 24 service errors in the match and hit .254 (64-30-134) as a team.

In game four the 49ers battled back from a late three-point deficit. Trailing 28-25, a Figueroa service error, a Lotman kill and a Trojan hitting error let the 49ers tie the game at 28-28. Lotman then recorded another kill to give the 49ers a 29-28 lead, but after a USC timeout, the Trojans tied the contest at 29-29 on a Troy kill. The two teams traded points up to 37-37 before Bittner gave the 49ers a 38-37 lead with a cross-court kill. Lotman then pounded down his 28th kill of the evening to give the 49ers the game, 39-37, and the match.

Long Beach got off to a strong start, winning game one 30-24. The 49ers hit .346 (13-4-26) in the game and limited the Trojans to a .114 hitting percentage as USC committed 12 hitting errors. Leading 20-19, the 49ers went on a 4-0 run to grab a 24-19 lead. Lotman started the run with a kill and three USC hitting errors led to the five-point advantage.

Game two saw the Trojans come from behind to win 33-31. With the game tied at 24-24, Lotman pounded down two kills and a Figueroa hitting error gave the 49ers a 27-24 lead. The Trojans fought back to the the game at 28-28 though, thanks to two kills and a solo block by Figueroa. Long Beach held its final lead at 31-30, but USC received three consecutive kills from Troy to pull out the 33-31 decison.

In game three the 49ers used two spurts to take control of the game. Tied at 12-12, the 49ers used a 4-0 run to grab a 16-12 lead. Still up by three at 21-18, Long Beach then strung together a 5-1 run to take a 26-19 advantage. The 49ers hit .385 (14-4-26) in the game while USC hit just .188 (14-8-32).

The 49ers hit the road again next week as they travel to Columbus, Ohio for two matches at Ohio State on Friday and Saturday evening.

Article courtesy of Long Beach State athletics.

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