Long Beach leaves message for UH
In soccer, this would have been called a "friendly."
In exhibition men's volleyball, it was anything but.
Two teams who have never cared much for each other jawed and jousted through the last of four matches last night, with Long Beach State salvaging some pride by taking the finale of the series against Hawaii. Paul Lotman had 26 kills and Norm Hutton added 25 to help carry the 49ers past the Warriors 30-24, 30-28, 30-32, 27-30, 15-9 in front of 719 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
"Our passing was not there at the end," said Lauri Hakala, who led Hawaii with 31 kills. "And our serves were not as good as their serves. We made a good comeback but fell short."
The Warriors won an emotional Game 3 despite being assessed two points via yellow cards for unsportsmanlike conduct. Hawaii needed four tries before finally subduing the Beach, with Ernie Vidinha and Matt Rawson teaming to block Hutton on one of the Warriors' 5.5 blocks of the game.
Hawaii's block again came through at the end of Game 4, as the Warriors scored the final four points. Brian Beckwith and Rawson stuffed Lotman for game point, with Lotman then hitting long to force Game 5.
Luke Shea's kill gave the 49ers an 8-5 lead and the Warriors never got closer than 9-8. Hutton served for the final three points, personally closing it out with two kills and an ace.
The Warriors had swept the 49ers twice Thursday and in last night's opener. 49ers coach Alan Knipe was happy to leave with at least one win.
"You couldn't have asked for anything more than to go five and win this kind of match in November," he said. "Both teams are trying to find out about themselves and we both learned a lot."
In the preliminary match, Steven Grgas had 14 kills and Jim Clar added 10 to lead the Warriors to a 32-30, 30-26, 30-22 win. Hawaii outblocked The Beach 14.5-5.5, with Sean Carney and Clar in on seven blocks each.