Long Beach State 3, Utah 0



LOS ANGELES Long Beach State's Makini Thompson had 16 kills and Robin Miramontes added 12 kills as the 49ers (24-6) knocked off Utah (24-7) in Friday's opening round of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, 30-19, 30-25, 33-31.

LBSU controlled all of game one as the 49ers scored the first three points of the match and opened an 11-4 lead before the Utes finally got on track. Utah would close the gap to 12-8, but a service error by Danielle Liechliter halted the Utes' momentum. LBSU slowly pulled away as the lead reached double figures for the first time at 23-13 on a service ace by Taylor Peyton. A Utah ball handling error wrapped up game one at 30-19.

Utah scored the opening point of game two for its first lead of the match, but the margin would be short lived as back-to-back Utah errors gave LBSU a 2-1 margin. The lead changed hands five times throughout game two, with the game tied at 19-19 before LBSU went on a small run to open up a 22-19 lead. Utah would get within two points on a Shelley Summerfeldt kill at 24-22, but block assists by LBSU's Dyanne Lawlor and Mariko Crum ended game two at 30-25.

Game three went back-and-forth as the teams would be tied nine times and trade the lead another four times. The game was tied at 21-21 before Utah took control, scoring three-straight points to take a 24-21 lead. The Utes eventually had four game points at 29-25, but LBSU got a kill and an ace from Lawlor and Thompson also added a kill as the 49ers erased the deficit to tie the game at 29-29. Utah had another game point at 30-29, but once again a kill by Thompson knotted the game at 30-30. Thompson's final kill of the match gave LBSU match point at 32-31. Utah's Liana Bortoto hit the ball into the net on the next play to give Long Beach State the sweep and send the 49ers into the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001.

Thompson had 16 kills while hitting .448 while Miramontes' 16 kills came with just one error on 26 swings for a .423 percentage. Lawlor and Alexis Crimes added 10 kills for the 49ers. Summerfeldt was the lone Utes player with double-figure kills, tying for match-high honors with 16.

Long Beach State advances to the second round where the 49ers will face the winner of the UCLA-Loyola Marymount match. That second round match will begin at 7 p.m. PST in Pauley Pavilion.

-- Courtesy UCLA