Lotman Leads No. 4 Long Beach StateTo Sweep Over UC Santa Barbara


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Santa Barbara, Calif. - The fourth-ranked Long Beach State men's volleyball team received a strong offensive performance up and down the line-up in a 30-18, 30-25, 30-24 win over 14th-ranked UC Santa Barbara on Friday evening.

Paul Lotman led the 49ers with 19 kills and a career-high six service aces. The Beach improves to 22-5 overall and remains tied for first place in the MPSF at 17-4. UCSB falls to 9-17 and 6-15 in league action.

Long Beach hit an impressive .420 (47-13-81) in the match and had 11 aces. Lotman hit .556 (19-4-27) for the evening. Dean Bittner added 13 kills and five blocks, Dan Alexander had seven kills and six blocks while Josh Riley aded six kills. Setter Mike Klipsch finished with 41 assists and two aces. Alexander had a strong hitting night as well hitting .778 (7-0-9).

With his 19 kills on the night, Lotman moved to seventh on the 49er career kill chart with 1,371 kills. His six aces also give him 133 in his career moving into second place all-time at LBSU, passing Brent Hilliard's 132 aces.

The 49ers limited the Gauchos star Jeff Menzel to 13 kills. Menzel entered the match fourth in the country averaging 4.67 kills per game. Phil Mathews added 10 kills and Theo Brunner had seven kills and five blocks, but UCSB hit only .250 (36-17-76).

The 49ers began the match with a convincing 30-18 win in game one. Long Beach hit an impressive .476 (14-4-21), as Lotman registered six kills in the game. The 49er defense limited UCSB to a -.042 (8-9-24) hitting percentage. Long Beach opened up the game early on, using a 5-0 run to expand a 6-5 lead to an 11-5 advantage. The 49ers pushed the lead to 19-10 before finally winning 30-18.

Game two saw the 49ers use a late run to take control. Leading 20-18 the 49ers used a mini 3-0 run to take a 23-18 lead. After UCSB pulled to within 27-25, Long Beach closed out the game with a Bittner kill, a Lotman ace and a Menzel hitting error to win 30-25. Bittner had six kills in the game and Alexander had four kills and two blocks. The 49ers hit .349 (18-7-32) in the game.

In the final game Lotman took over as he had nine kills and four aces. With the game tied 16-16, Lotman keyed a 5-0 run by adding a kill and two aces, giving Long Beach a 21-16 lead. Lotman then ended the game with a kill and an ace in the 30-24 victory. The 49ers hit .464 (15-2-28) in game three.

The 49ers close out their regular season on Saturday night with a showdown at third-ranked Cal State Northridge at 7 pm in the Matadome. LBSU, CSUN and BYU are all tied for first place in the MPSF at 17-4. If the 49ers defeat the Matadors, they will win the MPSF regular season championship and host the conference tournament semi-finals and finals on April 24 & 26 in the Walter Pyramid.

Article courtesy of Long Beach State athletics.

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