Men's Sports, Men's Volleyball, Sports

Long Beach State beats USC in home-opener

Long Beach State men’s volleyball started the season off on a four-game win streak after defeating USC 3-1 at the Walter Pyramid Friday night. 

The Beach played in front of its home fans for the first time this season, starting off sluggish but going on a roll soon after.

The first set was by no means the team’s best after a fairly close start. No. 5 Long Beach (4-0) couldn’t keep up and eventually allowed the USC (1-4) to build a 19-13 lead and end the set at 25-18.

“We didn’t execute really well…[but] these are invaluable matches for our guys who haven’t spent a lot of time on the court,” head coach Alan Knipe said. “[We] are not necessarily making bad mistakes, we’re just not in sync.”

The Beach’s luck would soon change as they rattled off the next three sets.

The second set started off strong as Long Beach sophomore middle blocker Marc Moody put up a crowd-pleasing block to put the team up 3-1. Long Beach’s momentum grew as sophomore outside hitter Spencer Olivier got two straight aces that defined the team’s second set.

Long Beach would eventually end the set 25-21 with the momentum moving the team’s way.

In the final set, junior setter Carlos Rivera lead the charge, recording an ace of his own to lead the team to a 6-1 start. 

“I just stuck true to our system and Carlos helped us out a lot,” Olivier said. “We [made sure] to pass the ball well.”

Long Beach went on to have its largest six-point lead shrink to two.  The Beach eventually got themselves out of their rough patch with some strong defense.  Junior outside hitter Ethan Siegfried lead the charge on offense and the Beach was able to put the Trojans away.

“I’m glad we were able to pull it off and it was a good lesson for us because that’s what happens when you kind of go back into that default mode,”  Knipe said. “So what I’m happy with is that we were able to put up enough of a match to win it.”

Long Beach State will continue its homestand against No. 8 Pepperdine Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.  

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