Long Beach City College Long Beach State

Notebook: Long Beach State Volleyball Falls, Long Beach City College Baseball Wins

A consistent big block helped No. 8 UCLA upset No. 4 Long Beach State at Walter Pyramid last Saturday night 25-23, 25-18, 22-25, 25-23 to snap a record-setting home winning streak for the Beach. VIDEO

The Bruins outblocked the Beach 14-3 and held LBSU to a .226 team hitting percentage.

“We struggled with consistency and the ability to get to the next point,” LBSU coach Alan Knipe said. “It was two teams trying to play real physical volleyball. These matches get us ready for our goals this season.”

LBSU had a balanced attack as Simon Anderson (11 kills, 2 aces), Shane Holdaway (11 kills) and Ethan Siegfried (10 kills, 12 digs) led the way. Setter Carlos Rivera finished with 41 assists and libero Mason Briggs had 11 digs.

This match started and finished incredibly close with 25 tie scores and 13 lead changes. LBSU led for most of the tight first set, but UCLA scored the last four points to take it. Knipe said his team suffered a hangover from not closing out the first set, and the Bruins used a 4-0 run at the end of the second set to grab the dominating lead.

The Beach stepped up at the net and held the Bruins to .100 hitting it the third set. LBSU broke a 19-19 tie with a kill from Holdaway and an ace from Siegfried that sparked a 4-1 run.

UCLA took a lead in the middle of the fourth set on a few LBSU miscues, and then held off a late charge from the Beach to clinch the victory.

“I think we were slow to adjust to things and we have to be better picking up the tendencies of the game,” Anderson said.

UCLA’s Cole Ketrzynski put down a game-high 17 kills as the Bruins beat the Beach for the first time in seven meetings.

The Beach had won a program-record 45 consecutive matches at home before Saturday— a streak that started after a 2016 loss to UCLA.

“The atmosphere here has been amazing and that’s a credit to the brand of volleyball we’ve been playing and the loyal fans who come and watch it,” Knipe said. “As for the streak goes, I haven’t said anything about it before and I’m not going to start now. I just don’t care. It’s just completely irrelevant to our team to talk about that at all… Let’s go play another game. Let’s go start another one.”

LBSU Men’s Basketball

Coach Dan Monson was quick to take blame for the 87-62 loss to UC Santa Barbara last Saturday at Walter Pyramid.

“I apologize,” Monson said to open the post-game press conference. “We’re a fragile team right now. We broke for the first time this year (in the second half) and I as a coach have to take responsibility for that. We panicked and quit defending.”

LBSU (7-16, 2-5) upset UCSB on the road in the first conference game of the season 55-52. The Beach held the Gauchos to just 33.3 percent shooting from the field in the first half on Saturday, but gave up 55 points in the second half while UCSB shot 6-for-11 from 3-point range. VIDEO

“We’re not at that place offensively to outscore teams,” Monson said. “We have to win at the defensive end like we did at Santa Barbara. We have to get ourselves comfortable with winning games uncomfortably. Today we weren’t.”

LBSU took a 17-15 lead in the middle of first half, but never led again. UCSB took a 32-27 lead into halftime, and opened the second half on a run and doubled its advantage in just four minutes. The Gauchos led by double digits for the last nine minutes of the game.

Sophomore Chance Hunter scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for the Beach. Senior Jordan Roberts came off the bench to score a season-high 18 points and collect seven rebounds. LBSU only had nine assists.

UCSB guard Max Heidegger led the way for his team with 14 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. Forward Matt Freeman scored a game-high 24 points, and fellow big man Amadou Sow had a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

UCSB (14-8, 3-4) outrebounded LBSU 41-32 while pulling down 11 offensive boards. The Gouaches had 13 of their 22 assists in the second half.

LBSU Women’s Basketball

The Beach (10-11, 5-3) had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 68-44 loss at Hawaii (10-10, 4-3) last Saturday.

LBSU junior Shanaijah Davison scored a team-high 14 points and sophomore Justina King chipped in 12 points. The Beach defense forced 19 Hawaii turnovers, but only scored nine points from those opportunities.

LBCC Men’s Basketball

The Vikings (15-6, 2-1) picked up a 103-71 South Coast Conference win over visiting Compton last week. Sophomore guard Kester Ofoegbu filled the state box with a double-double of 34 points and 12 rebounds plus five assists and two steals. Freshman guard Stephon Leonard chipped in 21 points. LBCC is still ranked No. 24 in California.

LBCC Women’s Basketball

A five-game winning streak has moved the Vikings (14-8, 4-0) into the top spot in the South Coast Conference standings. LBCC beat Compton 86-37 and L.A. Harbor 84-56 last week. Guard Donavion Huskey scored a total of 53 points in the two games.

LBCC Baseball

The No. 11 Vikings (4-1) started their season on a winning streak at the Rawlings Southern California Challenge but lost to No. 1 San Joaquin Delta in the championship game. LBCC did pick up a 2-1 win over the top-ranked Mustangs earlier in the tournament thanks to a walk-off home run from Millikan High alum Moises Guzman. Lakewood High alums Sebastian Irwin and Mitchell Knight combined on the mound to get that win. Irwin scattered five hits and a run over seven innings, and Knight gave up one hit and struck out two in two innings.

LBSU Women’s Tennis

The Beach (1-1) opened its home conference schedule last weekend with a 6-1 victory over UC Davis (4-2) at Rhodes Tennis Center. LBSU won eight of nine matches in a close battle that saw four of the six singles matches go to three sets. Sadaf Sadeghvaziri and Emma Bardet were straight-set winners in singles play.

LBSU Indoor Track & Field

Senior Jason Smith leaped to the top of the LBSU record book last Saturday by matching the school record in the indoor long jump with a mark of 25’ 7.25”. Smith won the UW Invitational in Washington by 4.5 inches with the jump, and it tied him with former teammate and 2019 indoor and outdoor NCAA All-American Kemonie Briggs.

LBSU Women’s Water Polo

The Beach (5-0) picked up a pair of wins over Loyola Marymount and San Jose State last weekend at the UCLA Mini Tournament. Sophomore Orsi Hertzka scored a total of nine goals in the matches.

LBSU Men’s Golf

LBSU opened the spring portion of its schedule at the Arizona Intercollegiate last week and freshman Clay Seeber had a top 20 finish after shooting 2-over par. LBSU placed 8th out of 14 teams.

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.