IRVINE, Calif. -- Senior Connor Hughes tied his career high with 19 kills to lead No. 8 UC Irvine to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 26-24) win against No. 4 Long Beach State at the Bren Center Friday.
The Anteaters improve to 16-9 overall and 13-8 in the MPSF, while Long Beach goes to 16-7 on the year and 13-7 in the MPSF. The win gives UCI two points in the Black & Blue Rivalry.
Hughes was almost perfect as he had just one error in 37 attempts for a .486 clip. His 19 kills tied his career best previously set against Stanford on April 28, 2012. He also added seven digs and an ace.
UCI outside hitter Jeremy Dejno recorded 11 kills, an ace and seven digs, while senior setter Daniel Stork guide the Anteaters with 38 set assists, two aces and tied his career-high with 12 digs. Libero Michael Brinkley recorded a season-best 18 digs. Opposite Zack La Cavera totaled nine kills followed by Collin Mehring with six kills and Scott Kevorken with four kills and a team-best four blocks. Tamir Hershko also had two kills.
Long Beach State was led by Taylor Crabb with 12 kills and 11 digs and Dalton Ammerman with 11 kills. Connor Olbright recorded 30 set assists and 12 digs.
In the first set, Long Beach State led 19-18 before UCI had kills by Jeremy Dejno, Zack La Cavera and Collin Mehring and an ace by La Cavera to open a 22-19 advantage. A kill by Tamir Hersko gave UCI the set 25-22. The first set had 11 ties and seven lead changes as the Anteaters hit just .170 and the 49ers hit .225.
UCI took control of the second set scoring four consecutive points on a pair of kills by Dejno and another by Connor Hughes and a LBSU attack error, making it 11-5. The Anteaters would cruise to a 25-14 victory. LBSU was held to a .028 (8-7-36) hitting percentage. Hughes had seven kills in the set.
The third set was a battle of offensive execution as UCI committed just one attacking error (21-1-46) and Long Beach State had three (18-3-43). The 49ers committed their first attack error to give UCI a 21-20 lead. The teams would trade points until back-to-back kills by Hughes, the last a ricochet off his shoulder and over the net for the point to give the Anteaters the 24-23 lead. A kill by Hersko and a Forty-Niner attack error ended the set 26-24 and the match 3-0.
The Anteaters have won seven of their past eight outings.