The campaign for Long Beach State outside attacker Taylor Crabb to repeat as the National Player of the Year is off to a quick start.
Crabb had a match-high 19 kills as No. 4 Long Beach State defeated Harvard 25-18, 20-25, 25-19, 25-13 to win the UC Santa Barbara Invitational championship on Saturday in Santa Barbara, Calif.
After Harvard won the second game to tie the match, Crabb had a game-high six kills in Long Beach State’s third-game victory to help the 49ers pull away from the Crimson. In addition, the senior and 2013 AVCA National Player of the Year finished the match with a .429 attack percent, the second-best attack percentage for Long Beach State.
Long Beach State in championship match out-hit Harvard .381 to .250, including having more than a .480 attack percentage in the fourth game to secure the win.
Along with Crabb, outside attacker Dalton Ammerman had 18 kills while middle attacker Bryce Yould added nine kills and a team-high .615 attack percentage. Ammeran also was named the most valuable player of the 50th annual UC Santa Barbara Invitational.
Harvard outside attacker DJ White in the loss had a team-high 14 kills with 10 kills coming in the first two games. In addition, middle attacker Kyle Rehkemper had 13 kills and a match-high .722 attack percentage.
Long Beach State reached the UC Santa Barbara Invitational championship match after going undefeated in its four exhibition pool-play matches on Friday. Harvard finished the pool-play round 3-1.
This is the first time since 2006 that Long Beach State has won the UC Santa Barbara Invitational.
With this non-conference tournament championship, Long Beach State will open its conference schedule as it plays No. 15 Cal Baptist on Thursday. Harvard will continue its road trip to open the season with two exhibition matches against Laval starting Wednesday in Canada.
UC Santa Barbara Invitational MVP
Dalton Ammerman, Long Beach State outside attacker
UC Santa Barbara Invitational All-Tournament Team
Setter: Connor Olbright, Long Beach State
Opposite: Johl Awerkamp, UC San Diego
Opposite: Andrew Sellan, IPFW
Outside attacker: Dalton Ammerman, Long Beach State
Outside attacker: Matt Hanley, UC Santa Barbara
Middle attacker: Kris Johnson, Cal Baptist
Middle attacker: Kyle Rehkemper, Harvard
Middle attacker: Ryan Thompson, UC Santa Barbara
Libero: Chris Gibbons, Harvard