LONG BEACH -- Despite four players producing 20 or more kills in the match, the sixth-ranked BYU men's volleyball team dropped a five-game thriller to No. 2 Long Beach State late Wednesday evening, 7-15, 14-16, 15-7, 16-14, 12-15. With the loss, the Cougars fall to 7-2, 4-2, while the 49ers improve to 7-1, 4-0.
The 49ers won the first two games, only to see a furious BYU rally to win the next two games. LBSU won game one, 15-7, hitting nearly 41 percent at the net (25-4-49). The 49er defense held the Cougars to just under 19 percent (18-9-48). In game two the 49ers led 14-9, only to see BYU fight back and tie the game, 14-14. LBSU was able to recover and pull out the 16-14 victory. The Cougars held off the LBSU win for as long as they could, forcing the 49ers to battle through 15 game-point attempts.
In game three, the Cougars' Jaime Mayol took control. The 6-2 outside hitter finished the night with a season-high 24 kills and six blocks while hitting .419 (24-6-43). BYU forced 16 LBSU hitting errors and went on to win easily, 15-7. Game four saw BYU break an 11-11 tie to win, 16-14, as Mayol teamed with senior Casey Jennings to control the BYU offense. Jennings finished the match with his third double-double performance of the season, recording a season-high 29 kills and 10 digs. Outside hitter Joaquin Acosta also had a big night, recording his ninth straight double-digit effort. Acosta produced 21 kills, while freshman Zachary Robinson had a career night, recording 20 kills.
In the final game of the match, the 49ers took a 6-4 lead and were able to sideout throughout the remainder of the game. LBSU led, 12-11, before scoring consecutive points on a block by Scott Faber and a service ace from Chris Seiffert. The 49ers hit .615 (9-1-13) in game five, while the Cougars had five hitting errors and hit just .143 (7-5-14).
Senior Chris Pitzak led BYU with 14 digs and a season-high 101 assists, while Matt Olsen produced nine blocks in the match. The Cougars produced 36 blocks on the night, while LBSU posted 40 blocks, marking the first time this season the Cougars have been outblocked.
The Cougars will be back in action on Thursday night, taking on third-ranked Pepperdine. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m. (PST).