Long Beach State extends win streak to seven, edges Ohio State in five sets
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Second-ranked Long Beach State won its seventh consecutive match as it held off a tough No. 15 Ohio State team in a five-set thriller on the first day of the Active Ankle Classic at the Walter Pyramid Friday evening. Set scores were 25-19, 22-25, 19-25, 25-22, 15-11.
Senior Dalton Ammerman provided the late heroics as he came up big in the fourth and fifth sets where he combined for 10 of his season-high 19 kills. He also had nine digs and two aces.
Senior Taylor Crabb recorded his seventh double-double of the year with a match-high 23 kills to go along with 11 digs. Classmate Jeff Ornee added a season-best 11 kills on .529 hitting.
Sophomore Andrew Sato contributed 13 digs, while senior Connor Olbright directed the offense to a .370 hitting percentage with a career and MPSF season-high 63 assists.
Long Beach State (14-4) broke open the seventh tie of the first set with a 6-1 run to pull ahead 13-8. The 49ers never looked back from there as a kill from Crabb gave them set point at 24-18. After Ohio State sided out, a Buckeye hitting error ended it at 25-19.
Ohio State (8-10) led for most of set two and went up 23-19 on a kill by Driss Guessous. LBSU then sided out on an Ornee kill and followed with a real point to close the gap to two. The Buckeyes were able to hold off the late push, however, as they emerged with the 25-22 win.
The visitors took a 6-3 lead early in the third frame, but Long Beach State answered with a 4-1 spurt, capped by a Taylor Gregory kill, to knot it up at 7-7. The two teams then traded points before the 49ers scored four in a row to go on top 16-13. LBSU stayed out front until OSU reclaimed the lead at 19-18 following back-to-back service aces. The Buckeyes then outscored Long Beach State 6-1 down the stretch for the 25-19 victory.
The 49ers grabbed their first lead of set four at 9-8 and continued to go up 16-12 on a Gregory ace. Ohio State was able to come within two, but LBSU eventually went back on top by four at 22-18. The Buckeyes made it interesting as they responded with three unanswered to cut the deficit to one. Ammerman then stepped up to the plate, providing a big kill out of a timeout before putting another one down for set point at 24-22. Ornee would cap it off with a kill on the next play for the 25-22 triumph.
Ohio State went up 8-6 in the decisive fifth set, but Long Beach State regrouped at the side switch as it reeled off four unanswered behind the strong serving of Ammerman. His second ace of the night gave LBSU a 10-8 advantage. The Buckeyes stayed within striking distance before the 49ers accounted for the last three points to win the set and match at 15-11.
Ohio State had five players finish with double-figure kills, led by Andrew Lutz's team-best 21 kills. Michael Henchy added a double-double with 11 kills and a match-high 15 digs.