No. 1 BYU topples No. 4 Long Beach State in conference, top-five showdown 3-0
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- In a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation showdown, No. 1 BYU made quick work of No. 4 Long Beach State in consecutive sets (25-22, 25-13, 25-15) Saturday on the road.
The victory extends the Cougars’ win streak to nine matches. BYU improved to 17-3 overall and 16-2 in the MPSF while the 49ers fell to 17-7 overall and 13-6 in the MPSF.
Freshman Ben Patch led the Cougars with a match-high 12 kills, while junior Taylor Sander and sophomore Josue Rivera added 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Sander hit at a match-high .476 clip and added six digs. Rivera contributed six blocks, tying a match-best. Senior Ryan Boyce distributed 35 assists.
BYU outblocked the 49ers 13.5–4 and recorded a .434 attack while holding Long Beach State to a .154 clip.
The first set had multiple ties after back-and-forth action. The 49ers took a 13-12 advantage but the Cougars fought back to pull ahead 17-15. A 3-1 Long Beach State run tied the set once again at 18. BYU answered with back-to-back kills from Patch and Rivera to move in front 20-18. Tied at 21, the Cougars went on a 3-0 run capped off by an ace from Rivera for set point. BYU wrapped up the set 25-22 with a kill from Sander.
BYU started the second set strong with a 7-0 run to take an early 8-1 lead and kept the momentum throughout. The Cougars went on to extend their lead to a commanding double-digit advantage 17-7 after a balanced offensive attack. Rivera set up BYU with set point and Russ Lavaja finished off the set with a kill 25-13.
The Cougars took a quick 5-2 lead in the third. The 49ers pulled within one but BYU went on a 6-0 run to pad its lead to 14-7. The Cougars stayed on pace for an eight-point edge 19-11. Long Beach State managed a 3-0 run to cut into BYU’s lead 20-14 but a Patch kill and 49er error stopped the run. BYU capped off the set with its own 5-1 run. Sander completed the sweep with a kill for the 25-15 set three win.