Long Beach State flexed their muscles in an impressive sweep over Erskine on Monday night to remain undefeated at 2-0. The Beach hit .508 en route to a 25-13, 25-15, 25-11 victory.
“We got to flex a little bit of our depth, which was good,” said Beach coach Alan Knipe after the match. “Hit .508, served well, blocked a lot better. Things are tracking in the right direction as far as getting some depth and getting some comfort with the systems that we wanna run.”
Bulgarian freshman Alex Nikolov led the way for the Beach with another spectacular performance. He had a team-high 11 kills and 6 digs to go along with 2 aces.
Nikolov has only played in two games for the Beach, but he already seems to be jelling with his new group.
“I’m super happy things are turning out well with the guys,” he said. “I think I fit in well with the guys, and the chemistry has been perfect.”
Both sophomore Clarke Godbold and Simon Torwie also contributed well on the offensive side of the ball, with Godbold having 9 kills and Torwie having a career high 4 aces.
However, equally as impressive was the defensive performance from the Beach. Led by setter Aidan Knipe, the Beach had 10 blocks against Erskine, an impressively high number.
“When we are stuffing a lot of balls, it helps to free up my offense,” Knipe said. “And it’s good to get a large amount of blocks per night.”
With how sharp the Beach looked on the court Monday night, you would never guess that the team had been struggling with getting guys back and lacking training due to Covid.
“We feel like we’re behind on our training due to Covid, as half of our starting lineup didn’t come back until Thursday,” said Knipe. “So we take a lot of pride in being able to be good in a lot of areas.”
The Beach will look to continue their strong play when they travel to Chicago to face Lewis on Friday Night.