Red-hot LBSU sweeps No. 2 Stanford
49ers limit Cardinal attack to .021 hitting percentage.
In stunning fashion, the No. 5 Long Beach State men’s volleyball team swept No. 2 Stanford — 25-21, 25-21, 25-13 — at the Walter Pyramid on Saturday afternoon.
The victory increased the 49ers’ win streak to four matches.
LBSU (5-2, 5-1 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) had not defeated Stanford (6-3, 5-1 MPSF) since April 2008. The win puts LBSU in sole possession of second place in the conference and in prime position to move up in national rankings for the third straight week.
Senior outside hitter Josh Riley came down with the stomach flu early this morning and was unable to go for the 49ers. Classmate Kyle Friend, who got the nod in his place, led the 49ers with 11 kills on .500 hitting to go with eight digs — two shy of a double-double.
Friend had not appeared since a poor performance in the first set of the UCLA match a week before.
“Josh wasn’t feeling good so I got to step up my game and help my team out,” Friend said.
LBSU has now faced all four of the teams ranked ahead of them and have come out 2-2 with wins against No. 4 UCLA and now Stanford.
The Cardinal were able to keep the match close in the first two sets, but were held to just .021 hitting for the match.
The third set was all LBSU. The 49ers out blocked the Cardinal, 6-1, in the third set alone and held the Cardinal to a -.276 hitting percentage. Stanford did not help itself by committing 14 errors in the set.
Junior outside hitter Brad Lawson and senior outside hitter Spencer McLachlin have averaged a combined 29 kills on .330 hitting percentage per match over their first six matches. Against the 49ers, they put up just 20 kills combined on .091 hitting.
Lawson and McLachlin led the Cardinal with 10 kills apiece.
“I thought we did a pretty good job against [Lawson and McLachlin],” LBSU interim head coach Andy Read said. “Those two guys have been playing there for years. That’s the core of their team.”
Junior opposite Jim Baughman had an off attacking day, hitting just .179, but led the team in kills with 12.
“We imposed our will on them with our blocks and serves,” Read said.
The 49ers will now take a week off before returning to action at the Matadome to kick off a three-game road trip against No. 13 Cal State Northridge on Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.