No. 1 Long Beach State Defeats Ohio State to Advance to National Championship Match
Courtesy of Long Beach State Athletics Media Relations
QUOTES | NOTES
In an epic battle with No. 6 Ohio State, top-ranked Long Beach State earned a 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 25-27, 32-30) victory to knock off the two-time defending National Champions and advance to the National Championship match on Saturday, May 5 at 4 p.m. inside Pauley Pavilion. The contest will be televised on ESPN2.
Long Beach State (27-1) will play the winner of the No. 2 BYU/No. 3 UCLA match for the National Title. The Beach will make their seventh appearance in the National Championship match, and first since 2004. LBSU is 1-5 in National Championship matches with its lone win coming in 1991
The Beach earned the victory with a gritty performance as they hit .339 behind a pair of double-doubles from Kyle Ensing and TJ DeFalco. Ensing knocked down a season-high 20 kills in the match as he added 10 digs for his third double-double of the season. Meanwhile, DeFalco tallied a 16-kill, 10-dig effort for his fifth double-double of the year.
Ohio State (25-6) posted a solid effort and pushed Long Beach State to the brink in the fourth set as the Buckeyes received a 21-kill performance from Jake Hanes, to go along with a pair of double-doubles by Nicolas Szerszen (16 kills, 12 digs) and Maxime Hervoir (17 kills, 11 digs).
LBSU was led, once again, by National Player of the Year Josh Tuaniga who dished out 42 assists in the match to pace the offense. With Tuaniga's solid passes, the Beach hit over .300 for the 26th time this season.