No. 5 Long Beach State Upends No. 4 UCLA in Four


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Los Angeles, Calif. - Paul Lotman had 25 kills and the Long Beach State defense limited UCLA to a .212 hitting percentage as the 49ers defeated the Bruins 30-27, 30-18, 24-30, 30-28 in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) men's volleyball match on Friday evening at Pauley Pavilion.

The fifth-ranked 49ers improve to 6-0 overall this season, but more importantly, 4-0 in the MPSF. The fourth-ranked Bruins fell to 5-2 and 3-1 in league play.

Sophomore Dean Bittner added 17 kills and fellow sophomore Dan Alexander added 10 kills and a team-high seven blocks to lead the offensive attack. The 49ers hit .279 for the evening as setter Mike Klipsch ran the offense. Klipsch finished with 56 assists and 11 digs for his first double-double as a 49er. Also coming up big was senior Fletcher Anderson who had seven kills, four blocks and two aces.

"I thought in game four, when we were real smooth in siding-out and passing the ball well, I knew that we would have a chance to score points," said 49er Head Coach Alan Knipe. "We didn't get aced tonight either, which is a credit to our passing. It's a great win for us. These are really, really important wins (winning on the road)."

The 49ers are currently 3-0 in road MPSF matches, winning two at Hawai'i two weeks ago.

Garrett Muagututia led UCLA with 16 kills and 11 digs, but he hit .229 with eight hitting errors. Ryan Ratelle had a season-high 11 kills and Tony Ker had 20 digs in the back row.

The 49ers rebounded after losing game three by finishing strong in game four. With the score tied at 27-27, Lotman put down a kill to give the 49ers a 28-27 lead. Then Anderson stepped back and served an ace, making the margin 29-27. After a Muagututia kill cut the deficit to one, Lotman ended the match with a cross-court kill.

Game one was a tight one as the 49ers won 30-27. Bittner had seven kills in the game, but the 49ers had seven service errors in the 30-27 victory. With the game tied 26-26, the 49ers got an Alexander kill and a UCLA hitting error to take a 28-26 lead. A UCLA kill and service error brought it to game point and Tommy Pestolesi recorded a kill to end the game. UCLA hit just .121 in the game and the score was tied 13 times.

In game two the 49ers led throughout. Long Beach turned an 8-3 lead into 18-9 and 24-12 advantages. Lotman had seven kill on 10 swings in the game as the 49ers hit .438 (18-4-32). UCLA hit just .067 (9-7-30).

Long Beach is off for a few days as they will next be in action on Wednesday, January 30 when they host No. 2-ranked Pepperdine at the Walter Pyramid.

Article courtesy of Long Beach State ahletics.

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