No. 7 Long Beach State Drops Match to No. 5 UC Irvine


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LONG BEACH, Calif. - The No. 7 Long Beach State 49ers dropped their first home match of the season losing a hard-fought tight four- set MPSF conference match to No. 5 UC Irvine, 34-32, 32-30, 28-30, 30-27 Friday night at the Walter Pyramid in front of 919 fans.

Dean Bittner led the 49ers with 25 kills while hitting .327.  Josh Riley matched a career-high with 14 kills while leading the team with a .522 hitting percentage.  Mike Klipsch finished with 65 assists, while three 49ers finished with double-digit digs.  Dustin Watten led The Beach with 15 digs, while Tommy Pestolesi had a career-best 14 and Kyle Friend added 10.

The Anteaters (6-2, 3-1 MPSF) jumped out to the early lead rallying from four points down twice and overcoming three Beach set points to take a 1-0 lead.  LBSU hit just .133 in the set with Pestolesi leading the 49ers with eight kills and a .267 hitting percentage.  UCI hit only .194 in jumping to the 1-0 lead.

UCI pushed the lead to 2-0 with another hard fought win in game two.  The Anteaters jumped out to an early five-point lead, but The Beach rallied behind reserve Josh Riley who came off the bench for a couple of quick kills to tie the game 16-16. 

Riley continued his key play with a block to put the 49ers on top 18-16 and then followed with another block teaming with Jim Baughman to push the lead to 19-16.  Riley finished the game with four kills, a .500 hitting percentage, a dig and the two blocks.

UCI rallied scoring five of the next seven points to tie the game before going on to win the set.

The Beach (3-3, 2-1 MPSF) fought back winning the third game behind a .419 hitting percentage.  Riley continued his stellar play with six kills and a .625 hitting percentage in the game, while Baughman hit .600 with three kills and Bittner had five kills and a .444 hitting percentage.

UC Irvine wrapped up the match winning the fourth set.  The Anteaters jumped out to a 14-9 lead and then wouldn't let the 49ers get any closer than two points. 

LBSU hit just .229 in the final set while UCI hit .303.  Bittner led the 49ers charge hitting .692 with 10 kills but it wasn't enough.  Riley added four kills and a .444 hitting percentage in the final game.

John  Steller led UCI with 19 kills and a .361 hitting percentage. 

Article courtesy of Long Beach State athletics.

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