PROVO, Utah – Behind junior Dalton Ammerman’s career-high 21 kills, seventh-ranked Long Beach State upended No. 1 BYU 3-2 (25-23, 19-25, 25-18, 16-25, 15-10) in front of a crowd of 3,368 on Friday at Smith Fieldhouse.
LBSU, which handed BYU its first conference loss of the season, improved to 8-3 overall and 6-2 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. The 49ers are off to their best MPSF start since 2008 when they went 7-1. It is also the second year in a row that they have defeated a top-ranked team, as they took down No. 1 UCLA in 2012.
Ammerman, who registered his first career 20-plus kill match, finished the night hitting .459 (21-4-37). Junior Taylor Crabb also totaled 19 kills, seven digs and five blocks. Freshman Taylor Gregory and junior Ian Satterfield had seven kills apiece, while Gregory added a team-best six blocks.
Junior Connor Olbright directed the 49er offense to a .301 hitting percentage with 49 assists, and notched a team-high 10 digs for his third double-double of the season. Freshman Andrew Sato also contributed nine digs.
BYU (5-2, 4-1 MPSF) was in control to start the first set, going up 15-10, but Long Beach State came storming back with five unanswered points to tie it up at 15. Ammerman sparked the rally with two kills and an ace during that stretch. The Cougars then pulled ahead by three before the 49ers went on a 7-1 run, capped by Ammerman’s eighth kill to go on top 23-20. LBSU took set point at 24-21 and a Crabb kill eventually gave the 49ers a 25-23 victory.
In set two, neither team led by more than a pair until BYU used a 5-1 spurt to hold a 19-15 advantage. The 49ers came within two (19-17) following a double block by Crabb and Gregory, but the Cougars went on to outscore Long Beach State 6-2 down the stretch to take the 25-19 win and even the match at one set a piece.
LBSU never trailed in the third frame, racing out to a 6-2 lead. The teams traded points until back-to-back kills from Gregory and Satterfield made it 10-5. The 49ers continued to cruise as a late 4-1 run put them on top 21-12. BYU cut the deficit to five, but consecutive kills from Crabb closed it out at 25-18.
The fourth set started off as a back-and-forth affair and was tied up at four before the Cougars went up 21-11 after a 17-7 run. The 49ers scored three consecutive points to pull within seven, but BYU was able to finish it off at 25-16 following back-to-back kills from Ben Patch.
Long Beach State jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the fifth set. The 49ers stayed out front and a Crabb kill gave them an 8-5 edge at the side switch. LBSU then pulled ahead 13-8 before BYU scored two points forcing Long Beach State to call a timeout. The 49ers came out strong as consecutive kills from Crabb and Ammerman ended it at 15-10. Crabb finished with five kills in the fifth set.
BYU hit .290 as a team and was paced by Taylor Sander’s 21 kills and nine digs. Patch also had 17 kills, while Josue Rivera registered 13 kills and 11 digs.