Clutch serving lifts No. 4/4 UCLA past No. 2/2 Long Beach State

Photo courtesy of UCLA athletics

The late-game service pressure from setter Andrew Rowan was just too much for even No. 2/2 Long Beach State to overcome.

Rowan forced the Beach out-of-system multiple times late in third and fourth games and had serves that set up game-winning blocks as No. 4/4 UCLA defeated Long Beach State 18-25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-23 on Friday in Long Beach, California.

The freshman setter was serving as the Bruins closed out the non-conference match on a 3-0 run that was capped off with a block from middle attacker Merrick McHenry. Rowan’s serve also forced the Beach out-of-system resulting in another block from McHenry to win the third game.


UCLA (11-1, 0-0 MPSF) playing in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,138 people had six aces with Rowan having a match-high two aces. In addition, the Bruins committed 15 service errors – six fewer errors than the Beach (6-2, 0-0 Big West).

The Bruins won this match despite being out-hit .333 to .276.

Outside attacker Ethan Champlin finished with a team-high 12 kills and was one of three Bruins with double-digit kills. Outside attacker Alex Knight added 11 kills on a .391 attack percentage, while McHenry had 10 kills and hit .467.

McHenry also led the Bruins with five blocks – the second-most bocks for the middle attacker this season.

Long Beach State outside attacker Sotiris Siapanis in the loss had a match-high 17 kills, including a game-high six kills in the opening game. In addition, outside attacker Spencer Olivier contributed 14 kills on a .407 attack percentage.

The Bruins with this victory completed the home-and-home series sweep. UCLA had a season-high .551 attack percentage in a sweep against Long Beach State on Friday.