STANFORD, Calif. — Sixth-seeded Long Beach State upended No. 3 Stanford in five sets (26-24, 25-27, 25-23, 19-25, 15-13) in the first round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament Saturday evening at Maples Pavilion.
LBSU improved to 15-13 on the year, defeating the Cardinal for the third time this season. Stanford dropped to 19-9 overall.
Three 49ers registered a double-double. Senior Josh Riley led the way with a season-high 21 kills and 13 digs. Freshman Taylor Crabb finished with 19 kills and 12 digs, while senior Kyle Friend chipped in 17 kills and 12 digs. Senior Kirk Francis also had a team-best 14 digs.
Freshman Connor Olbright directed Long Beach State to a .243 hitting percentage with a career-high 62 assists.
It was neck-in-neck early in the first set before Stanford pulled ahead 14-11. Long Beach State then went on an 8-3 run, capped by a double block from Aguillard and Olbright, to take a 20-18 lead. The Cardinal came back to even the score at 20-20 and the two teams traded points with the 49ers eventually going up 24-23 after a Stanford service error. The home team was able to fend off one set point, but Brad Hemmerling and Antwain Aguillard teamed up for a block to end it at 26-24.
Stanford jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the second frame before LBSU started to chip away, closing the gap to 11-8 on a Friend kill. The Cardinal stayed out front by at least three until Riley’s ace ended a 5-2 spurt that knotted it up at 17-17. After two more tie scores, it was Long Beach State that pulled ahead 24-22, but the Cardinal responded with three unanswered to take set point at 25-24. A kill by Friend evened it up, but back-to-back kills for Stanford gave them the 27-25 victory.
The third set was another nail-biter as the 49ers edged the Cardinal 25-23. LBSU owned a 13-8 lead after a kill by Riley. The 49ers maintained the advantage until Stanford scored four consecutive points to tie it at 16-16. It went back-and-forth from there until LBSU pulled ahead 22-19 on a block by Aguillard and Riley. Despite a late run by the Cardinal, Long Beach State held on as Crabb closed out the set with a kill.
Stanford took control late in the fourth set, running away with a 25-19 win. The Cardinal led early, but the 49ers came within one at 14-13. Stanford then outscored The Beach 11-6 down the stretch to force the decisive fifth set.
The final frame went down to the wire with 10 tie scores. Stanford went on top 11-9, but the 49ers knotted it at 12-12 with a Crabb and Ryan Meehan block. LBSU proceeded to take set point at 14-13, and Stanford’s Spencer McLachlin hit the ball long to give the 49ers the set and match.
Brad Lawson paced Stanford with 27 kills and 15 digs, while Erik Shoji finished with a match-high 16 digs.