It was only fitting that middle attacker Simon Andersen had back-to-back blocks to close out the match and complete the comeback for No. 7/7 Long Beach State.
Andersen finished with a match-high eight blocks and had 12 kills and zero errors on a .667 attack percentage as Long Beach State rallied from a two-game deficit to beat No. 13 UC Irvine 28-30, 21-25, 25-18, 25-19, 15-7 on Saturday in Irvine, California.
This was the second time during Long Beach State’s three-match winning streak that Andersen had double-digit kills and zero attack errors. In addition, the middle attacker had a combined 14 blocks during the home-and-home series sweep against the Anteaters (2-8, 2-4 Big West) this weekend.
Setter Ryan Poole making his first start of the season guided Long Beach State to out-hit UC Irvine .309 to .183, including the team hitting a match-bet .591 in the third game to jumpstart the comeback. The Anteaters also were limited to a negative-.167 attack percentage in the decisive fifth game.
Along with Andersen, Long Beach State (3-1, 3-1 Big West) had two more players finish with double-digit kills.
Outside attacker Spencer Olivier had a match-high 20 kills on a .382 attack percentage with eight of those kills coming in the final two games. Freshman outside attacker Clarke Godbold added 13 kills and six blocks.
Long Beach State out-blocked UC Irvine 12 to 8 — the fourth straight match to open the season that the Beach had at least 10 blocks.
All-American Mason Briggs also led Long Beach State defensively with a season-high 14 digs.
UC Irvine outside attacker Joel Schneidmiller in the loss had a team-high 16 kills but was limited to a .136 attack percentage. This ended Schneidmiller’s four-match streak of hitting at least .300.
All-American middle attacker Scott Stadick finished with 14 kills on a .444 attack percentage. Outside attacker Doug Dahm also added 14 kills in the Anteaters’ fourth loss in their last five matches
Long Beach State with this victory remains in second place in the Big West and within a match of No. 1/1 Hawai’i for first place.
The Beach will continue its abbreviated 10-match regular season with a two-match road series against the Rainbow Warriors starting on Friday.