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Blocked by Beach

Feb 25, 2022

LONG BEACH, Calif. – No. 12 Stanford was held to .170 hitting as it dropped a 25-19, 25-22, 25-18 decision at No. 2 Long Beach State, Friday, at Walter Pyramid.

Long Beach State (8-2) hit .202 as a team and registered 9.0 blocks and seven aces. Stanford (8-4) out dug the Beach, 36-34, but could not overcome 18 hitting errors and 18 service errors on the road.

Redshirt junior Justin Lui racked up a career-high 16 digs, including 13 through the first two sets. It marks the sixth double-digit dig game of the season for the libero.

Stanford was held to .188 in the first set. The Cardinal committed eight service errors in the opening frame.

Junior outside hitter Will Rottman had a match-high 12 kills to go with four digs and two blocks. Middle blocker Nathaniel Gates finished with six kills on nine errorless swings to hit .667 and two blocks, while opposite Luke Turner added eight kills and five digs.

Stanford led for much of the second, but the Beach went on a 7-0 run, including five consecutive aces by Alex Nikolov, to win the set.

Junior setter Nathan Lietzke controlled the offense with 31 assists and had four digs, two kills and a block.

Middle blocker Ethan Hill totaled five kills, two blocks and two digs. The redshirt sophomore also had the lone ace for the Cardinal. Outside hitter Kevin Lamp chipped in with five digs and two kills.

Nikolov led the Beach with nine kills, three digs and a solo block to go with the five aces. Libero Mason Briggs had a team-high nine digs.

Stanford closes out the weekend at CSUN on Saturday. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. on ESPN+.