The No. 7 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team beat the IPFW Mastodons in three sets at the Walter Pyramid Friday night.
The 49ers won 30-21, 30-24, 30-21 in the first day of the Active Ankle Tournament.
LBSU (9-8) was led by Dean Bittner, who had a game-high 13 kills while hitting .440. Other ‘Niners who had double-digit kills were Dan Alexander (11) and Josh Riley (10) to go with a team-high seven digs.
IPFW (9-6) began the match scoring the first two points of the set en route to building a 9-4 lead.
After head coach Alan Knipe called the first timeout of the match, the 49ers went on a 14-5 run to force the Mastodons to regroup and call a timeout of their own. Bittner led the 49er attack hitting at a .700 clip and getting seven of his 13 kills in the opening set.
The second set was more of the same for LBSU, as it jumped out to an early lead and used momentum from the last set to snatch control of the game from IPFW. This time it was Alexander who led the charge as he hammered home kill after kill.
After The Beach went up 17-12, the Mastodons countered with three straight points to cut the 49er lead to two. Not to be outdone, Long Beach State scored a quick two points of its own to extend the cushion and win set number two.
Alexander continued being a force on the attack as his back-to-back kills in the final set sparked the ‘Niners to a 5-3 lead. Freshman middle blocker Jim Baughman also had a pair of consecutive kills in the third set, as the 49ers started pulling away.
Senior opposite Daniel Fabry put the exclamation point on the victory by scoring three of the final five points for Long Beach, hitting at a .750 mark.
Long Beach State takes on the defending national champion Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the final day of the Active Ankle Tournament.