Pepperdine's Season Ends in 3-1 Loss to Long Beach State
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Julie Rubenstein led all players with 17 kills and Sophia Milo added 12 but it was not enough to extend Pepperdine's season as the Waves fell to Long Beach State 3-1 (30-22, 30-27, 25-30, 30-26) in the first round of the NCAA Championship.
Cassi Chamberlain added 11 kills for Pepperdine (16-12), while Kekai Crabbe led the team with 14 digs.
The night got off to an auspicious start when an overpass by Long Beach State (26-5) landed in on Pepperdine's side of the net for the first point of the night.
Long Beach State would fall into a 6-2 hole in game one but scored five straight points out of a timeout for its second lead of the night. Kills from Kayla Walker and Chamberlain were followed by a ball handling error on the 49er setter but, in what would prove to be a running theme throughout the match, untimely service errors halted the run of success and turned into a 4-0 run for Long Beach.
Rubenstein tied the game at 14 but it would be as close as Pepperdine would get to regaining the lead in game one after three straight Waves' attacks resulted in Long Beach points and a 20-16 lead.
Pepperdine hit just .051 for the game despite recording more kills than Long Beach but a 14-11 margin.
Pepperdine used an 8-1 run in game two to erase a 7-1 deficit and tie the game at 14. A kill by Rubenstein, a block by Milo and Kiah Fiers and a kill by Rachel Lumsden put the Waves on top 18-16.
The lead would be short lived as Long Beach outscored Pepperdine 5-2 to take a 21-19 lead.
A solo block by Fiers started a 3-0 Pepperdine run but Long Beach answered with four straight points to go up 25-22.
Chamberlain stopped the run with a kill and teamed up with Rubenstein on consecutive blocks to tie the score at 25. The next serve sailed long and Long Beach took a 2-0 lead into the locker room by scoring four of the final six points in the set.
Pepperdine fell into a large hole in game three letting Long Beach get out to a 17-11 lead. Trailing 20-14, something clicked for the Waves. Chamberlain recorded a kill and Lumsden picked up an ace to get the gap to four.
Following a Pepperdine service error Chamberlain served the Waves right back into the game. Rubenstein picked up kill, Chamberlain followed with an ace, Walker recorded a kill, Rubenstein struck again, Milo and Walker stuffed Quincy Verdin and an Alexis Crimes attack was errant as Peppperdine took its first lead since 1-0, 22-21.
Long Beach would score the next two points before Pepperdine closed out the game with eight of the final 10 points and forced a fourth game.
Again, Pepperdine fell behind early as Long Beach used five Wave miscues to build an 11-6 lead. Still training by five, 19-14, Pepperdine began to chip away at the lead.
The Waves closed within two at 25-23 but Long Beach responded with a kill and a block for the 27-23 edge. Rubenstein and Chamberlain connected on consecutive kills and a Mariko Crum attack sailed long as the Waves pulled within one at 27-26. But it would prove to be the last point of the season for Pepperdine as consecutive hitting errors were followed by a tap to the right by Michaela Hasalikova on an overpass and Long Beach had picked up its 12th straight victory over Pepperdine.
Crimes ended the night with 16 kills, while Verdin and Hasalikova recorded 11 apiece.