Nov. 25, 2016
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Beach put up 20 total blocks in a 25-27, 25-18, 25-21, 25-9 win over North Texas on Friday afternoon, improving to 20-10 with one match left in the regular season. YiZhi Xue had her first career double-double with 10 kills and 11 blocks, leading Long Beach's efforts.
Nele Barber recorded another double-double, leading the 49ers with 12 kills and 14 digs. Missy Owens finished three kills shy of a triple-double, recording seven kills, 11 digs and 30 assists. Megan Kruidhof chipped in eight kills, 10 digs, and had a career-best four blocks.
LBSU had seven solo blocks in the match, getting two apiece from Kruidhof, Xue and Peyton Grahovac. Long Beach's previous season high in blocks was 20.5 against Duke on Sept. 9. That match also saw Xue record 11 blocks.
LBSU got off to a good start in a competitive first set, leading 6-1 to force a North Texas timeout. The Mean Green made their move in the set with a 5-0 run late to grab a 22-19 advantage. LBSU responded with a 4-0 run to take the lead back at 23-22. Both teams squandered set point before North Texas took the set with a 3-0 spurt.
The Beach won the first four points of set two thanks to a pair of blocks from Xue. The 49ers also had kills on each of their first four swings to lead 7-3 and force a NT timeout. LBSU had six blocks in the set and Owens ended the frame with a dump to tie things at 1-1 going to the locker room.
Set three was another close set, but a roof by Barber and Xue gave Long Beach a 20-16 edge to force a Mean Green timeout. LBSU maintained its edge and Kruidhof's off-speed effort put the home team up 2-1.
Long Beach State's defense was dominant in set four, holding North Texas to -.208 hitting. The visitors had just four kills and nine hitting errors in the set, and LBSU recorded five more blocks. Barber had four kills on five swings and Ashley Murray added four kills on seven swings to close out the match in dominant fashion for the 49ers.
LBSU concluded the regular season on Saturday at Walter Pyramid with Denver in town for a 1 p.m. match.