No. 7 USC Men’s Volleyball Falls 3-1 to No. 3 Long Beach State
LONG BEACH,Calif.—Alex Nikolov had 24 kills (.476) and Spencer Olivier added 12 kills (.429) as the No. 3 Long Beach State men's volleyball team gave USC its second loss of the season, 15-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-19, on Friday night (Feb. 4) at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.
USC, fell to 8-2 on the season while the Beach improved to 6-1.
Simon Gallas led the Trojans with 17 kills (.500), 4 digs, 2 blocks and 2 aces. Lucas Frassrand added 11 kills (.529), 2 aces, 2 digs and 2 blocks for Troy.
USC had a higher hitting percentage on the night at .388 compared to Long Beach's .356.
USC was firing on all cylinders to start the match. Setter Chris Hall ran an extremely balanced offense and the Trojans sprinted to a 12-6 lead. USC was able to stay in system and passed extremely well, allowing both Frassrand and Gallas to earn 4 kills each. The Trojans continued to push points and dominated the first set. On the final point, Frassrand scored his second ace and USC won 25-15. Seven of Long Beach's 15 points were from mistakes on the Trojan side of the net.
Long Beach came out swinging in the second set and looked much more comfortable. The Trojans and the Beach exchanged points back and forth throughout the entire set. Kobrine and Gallas scored a couple key aces from the service line to keep USC in the set. After being tied at 23-23, the Beach scored the final two points and took the second set 25-23.
The Beach carried its momentum from set two into set three. Long Beach held onto the lead the entire set, but the Trojans managed to stay competitive. At the end of the set, two key kills from Gallas and Flood looked to switch the momentum into USC's favor, but the Beach finished the set with a 25-21 score to take a 2-1 overall lead.
After failing behind 9-13 early in the set, the Trojans battled and tied up the score at 16-16. The two teams remained neck and neck, but the Beach made the final push to take the set 25-19 and win the match.
Up next, USC returns home to the Galen Center to play back-to-back nights. The Trojans take on UC Santa Barbara for the fourth time this season on Wednesday (Feb. 9), and turn around to challenge Cal State Northridge on Thursday night (Feb.10). Both matches start at 7 p.m. PT.