Taylor, No. 3 Long Beach State down in-state rival Cal State Northridge 3-1
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -- Third-ranked Long Beach State earned its fourth victory in a row with a 22-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23 triumph against No. 8 Cal State Northridge on Friday at The Matadome.
Junior Taylor Crabb led the 49ers with 22 kills on .386 hitting. He also had seven digs and four blocks. Junior Dalton Ammerman finished with 11 kills and five blocks, while Jeff Ornee added seven kills, seven digs and five blocks. Junior Connor Olbright totaled 47 assists and a match-high eight digs and senior Colten Echave chipped in a team-best eight blocks.
It was a seesaw battle in the opening set with seven tied scores before Cal State Northridge pulled ahead 10-8. The Matadors stayed out front until Long Beach State scored three consecutive points to take a 17-16 lead. After calling a timeout, CSUN evened it up and the set went back-and-forth again. In the end, Cal State Northridge made the final push for the 25-22 victory.
In set two, LBSU raced out to an 8-3 lead and was eventually on top 13-7, following a kill from Crabb. Cal State Northridge slowly chipped away and came within one at 22-21. The 49ers then regrouped and scored the final three points to prevail 25-21 on a double block by Ornee and Taylor Gregory.
Long Beach State (12-4, 10-3 MPSF) used an early 6-0 spurt, which ended with an Ornee kill, to go up 7-2 in the third frame. LBSU didn’t relinquish the lead as it held off a couple of Matador runs that cut the deficit to two, and eventually scored four unanswered to go back on top at 23-17. CSUN survived two set points before Crabb put away the kill for the 25-22 win.
The 49ers again held the early momentum, starting the fourth set with a 5-1 advantage. Northridge then came back with a 6-1 sprint to take the lead at 7-6. The two teams traded points before LBSU scored four consecutive to pull ahead 13-9 on an Ammerman kill. The Matadors stayed in it and held a late 23-21 lead, but Long Beach State stepped up by scoring the last four points to take the set and match at 25-23 on Crabb’s 22nd kill.
Cal State Northridge (7-6, 5-6 MPSF) was paced by John Baker, who finished with 14 kills, while Brandon Lebrock recorded 12 kills. The Matadors hit just .152 on the night.