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UCLA men’s volleyball repeats as NCAA champs with victory over Long Beach State

  • Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins holds the...

    Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins holds the trophy after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Head coach John Speraw of UCLA Bruins poses for pictures...

    Head coach John Speraw of UCLA Bruins poses for pictures with his family as the UCLA Bruins celebrates after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ido David #16 of UCLA Bruins spikes against...

    Outside Hitter Ido David #16 of UCLA Bruins spikes against Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ido David #16 of UCLA Bruins spikes against...

    Outside Hitter Ido David #16 of UCLA Bruins spikes against Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins holds the...

    Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins holds the trophy after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Cooper Robinson, left, along with teammate Guy Genis #9 of...

    Cooper Robinson, left, along with teammate Guy Genis #9 of UCLA Bruins UCLA Bruins celebrates with the trophy after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ido David #16 of UCLA Bruins spikes against...

    Outside Hitter Ido David #16 of UCLA Bruins spikes against Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State eye...

    Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State eye the ball against the UCLA Bruins in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Opposite Skyler Varga #4 of Long Beach State sets up...

    Opposite Skyler Varga #4 of Long Beach State sets up a shot against UCLA Bruins in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State hits...

    Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State hits against Outside Hitter Ido David #16, Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 and Outside Hitter Cooper Robinson #11 of UCLA Bruins in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • UCLA Bruins celebrates after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20,...

    UCLA Bruins celebrates after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 celebrates along with teammate Andrew...

    Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 celebrates along with teammate Andrew Rowan #7 of UCLA Bruins after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State returns...

    Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State returns a shot against UCLA Bruins in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Long Beach State fans hold up signs against UCLA Bruins...

    Long Beach State fans hold up signs against UCLA Bruins in the third set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Setter Aidan Knipe #5 of Long Beach State sets up...

    Setter Aidan Knipe #5 of Long Beach State sets up a shot against the UCLA Bruins in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins reaches for...

    Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins reaches for the ball with his foot against Long Beach State in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Opposite Jaidin Russell #2 of UCLA Bruins reacts after a...

    Opposite Jaidin Russell #2 of UCLA Bruins reacts after a point against Long Beach State in the fourth set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins goes up...

    Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins goes up high for the spike against Long Beach State in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins taks a...

    Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins taks a shot off the face against Long Beach State in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Setter Andrew Rowan #7 of UCLA Bruins reacts after a...

    Setter Andrew Rowan #7 of UCLA Bruins reacts after a point against the Long Beach State in the fourth set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins reacts after...

    Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins reacts after a point against the Long Beach State in the fourth set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Zach Rama #21 of UCLA Bruins reacts after...

    Outside Hitter Zach Rama #21 of UCLA Bruins reacts after a point against Long Beach State in the third set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins reacts after...

    Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins reacts after a point against Long Beach State in the fourth set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State jumps...

    Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State jumps on the scores table chases a shot against the UCLA Bruins in the third set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Long Beach State fans look on as the UCLA Bruins...

    Long Beach State fans look on as the UCLA Bruins defeated the Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Middle Blocker Guy Genis #9 of UCLA Bruins reacts along...

    Middle Blocker Guy Genis #9 of UCLA Bruins reacts along with teammate Setter Andrew Rowan #7 of UCLA Bruins after scoring against Long Beach State in the third set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins hits against...

    Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins hits against Middle Blocker DiAeris McRaven #19 of Long Beach State in the first set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Head coach Alan Knipe of Long Beach State looks on...

    Head coach Alan Knipe of Long Beach State looks on against the UCLA Bruins in the third set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Middle Blocker Guy Genis #9 of UCLA Bruins spikes against...

    Middle Blocker Guy Genis #9 of UCLA Bruins spikes against Opposite Skyler Varga #4 of Long Beach State in the first set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Long Beach State fans react after a point against the...

    Long Beach State fans react after a point against the UCLA Bruins in the first set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins returns a...

    Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins returns a hit against UCLA Bruins in the third set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis, right, of Long Beach State spikes...

    Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis, right, of Long Beach State spikes against Outside Hitter Luca Curci, left, and teammate Outside Hitter Ido David, center, of UCLA Bruins in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Cooper Robinson #11 of UCLA Bruins kicks the...

    Outside Hitter Cooper Robinson #11 of UCLA Bruins kicks the ball against Long Beach State in the first set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins dives for...

    Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins dives for the shot against UCLA Bruins in the third set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins holds the...

    Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins holds the trophy after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Opposite Skyler Varga #4 of Long Beach State spikes against...

    Opposite Skyler Varga #4 of Long Beach State spikes against Outside Hitter Cooper Robinson #11 of UCLA Bruins and teammate Middle Blocker Guy Genis #9 of UCLA Bruins in the second set of a NCAA men’s volleyball championship match in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Guy Genis, left, celebrates with teammate Matthew Aziz #14 of...

    Guy Genis, left, celebrates with teammate Matthew Aziz #14 of UCLA Bruins after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Nathan Harlan #9 of Long Beach State dejected...

    Outside Hitter Nathan Harlan #9 of Long Beach State dejected as UCLA Bruins defeated Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Cooper Robinson, left, along with teammate Guy Genis #9 of...

    Cooper Robinson, left, along with teammate Guy Genis #9 of UCLA Bruins UCLA Bruins celebrates with the trophy after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Cooper Robinson, left, along with teammate Guy Genis #9 of...

    Cooper Robinson, left, along with teammate Guy Genis #9 of UCLA Bruins UCLA Bruins celebrates with the trophy after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Ido David #16 of UCLA Bruins celebrates after defeating Long...

    Ido David #16 of UCLA Bruins celebrates after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins holds the...

    Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins holds the trophy as they celebrate after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins is overcome...

    Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 of UCLA Bruins is overcome with emotion as the UCLA Bruins celebrates after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 celebrates along with teammate Andrew...

    Outside Hitter Ethan Champlin #20 celebrates along with teammate Andrew Rowan #7 of UCLA Bruins after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Long Beach State fans look on as the UCLA Bruins...

    Long Beach State fans look on as the UCLA Bruins defeated the Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • UCLA Bruins celebrates by cutting the net after defeating Long...

    UCLA Bruins celebrates by cutting the net after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State walks...

    Outside Hitter Sotiris Siapanis #8 of Long Beach State walks off the coach as the UCLA Bruins defeated Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • UCLA Bruins celebrates after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20,...

    UCLA Bruins celebrates after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins holds the...

    Middle Blocker Merrick McHenry #13 of UCLA Bruins holds the trophy as they celebrate after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Setter Andrew Rowan #7 of UCLA Bruins reacts as Opposite...

    Setter Andrew Rowan #7 of UCLA Bruins reacts as Opposite Skyler Varga #4 of Long Beach State shot goes wide to defeat Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Andrew Rowan #7 of UCLA Bruins celebrates after defeating Long...

    Andrew Rowan #7 of UCLA Bruins celebrates after defeating Long Beach State 25-21, 25-20, (29-27), 25-21 to win the NCAA men’s volleyball national championship in the Walter Pyramid on the campus of Cal State Long Beach in Long Beach on Saturday, May 4, 2024. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

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LONG BEACH — There were enough twists and turns at the NCAA Championships on Saturday afternoon to write a bestseller.

The top-seeded UCLA men’s volleyball team ultimately wrote the final chapter with a four-set victory over second-seeded Long Beach State in front of a sold-out crowd at the Walter Pyramid, giving the Bruins their second straight national title and 21st in program history.

The 25-21, 25-20, 27-29, 25-21 victory also clinched the 122nd national title for the UCLA athletics department.

“This was a hard match and a well-deserved win,” UCLA coach John Speraw said.

Ethan Champlin had 15 kills and six blocks for the Bruins (26-5), who hit .297 as a team. Cooper Robinson had 12 kills and just two hitting errors and Merrick McHenry had 10 kills and five blocks. Ido David served three of UCLA’s six aces while also contributing nine kills and four blocks.

“They served the ball great, played good blocking defense,” Long Beach setter Aidan Knipe said of UCLA.

Speraw also singled out senior libero Alex Knight, who had 31 service receptions without an error, and sophomore outside hitter Zach Rama, who substituted into the game late in the fourth set and delivered back-to-back kills to give the Bruins a 22-20 lead before his third kill of the match made it 23-21.

Sotiris Siapanis led Long Beach with 12 kills, but he also committed seven hitting errors for a .161 hitting percentage. Skyler Varga had 11 kills, but 10 of his swings were errant, leaving him with a .034 hitting percentage.

LBSU hit .214 as a team, well off its .348 mark on the season.

The loss also ended a 19-match winning streak for LBSU at the Pyramid.

“We will be back to fight another day,” Long Beach coach Alan Knipe said. “The match tonight doesn’t define them. The fight of the third set defines them, the three straight Finals Four appearances, the (semifinal) match against Grand Canyon, the reverse sweep against UCLA at UCLA two years ago, that’s what defines them. … I could be happier for them, but I absolutely could not be prouder.”

Long Beach (27-3) erased an early three-point deficit in the opening set and moved ahead 12-9, prompting Speraw to use his second and final timeout.

The Bruins regrouped and scored four straight to move ahead 16-14. Long Beach evened the score three times before another four-point run moved the Bruins back ahead 22-18 on an off-speed kill by Champlin.

LBSU scored the next two points before another kill by Champlin was followed by his one-hand dig. He then finished off the play by bouncing another spike off the floor, giving UCLA set point before McHenry closed the set with a kill.

“The first story was the amount of guts we had to be down early in their gym against a team that was feeling pretty good early,” Speraw said. “For me to not have any more timeouts, and for us to come back and win that set pretty handily, I thought was a complete and total team effort and a tremendous start to the match.”

Early passing errors by Long Beach in the second set caused it to fall behind 7-2, and Long Beach never got closer than three the rest of the way.

Clarke Godbold came off the bench midway through the set and served an ace to cut it to 23-19, but his next serve went into the net, giving the Bruins set point at 24-19. After a service error by UCLA, Robinson finished it with a kill that went off the block and out of bounds.

“We weren’t’ good enough long enough tonight and there’s no way around that,” Alan Knipe said.

The third set featured 18 ties and seven lead changes.

Long Beach built a 23-21 lead, but the Bruins scored four straight points to reach match point.

Godbold answered with a kill to tie it back up and, after UCLA warded off two set points by LBSU, David’s service error gave Long Beach set point again. This time, DiAeris McRaven put down a block to give LBSU the win.

“I thought we weathered that incredibly well and battled, battled, battled in a set where I didn’t feel like we had the momentum, but we somehow managed to get to match point,” Speraw said. “That swing that Godbold took, it went right through (the block), so when you almost win it and you don’t, it’s really tough emotionally.”

Long Beach got off to its best start in the final set, taking an early 3-1 lead, but UCLA would score four in a row to move ahead 8-6.

The Bruins extended the lead to 18-15 before Long Beach knotted it back up at 18, 19 and 20-all.

Rama’s kill moved UCLA ahead 23-21 before Varga was called for a net violation on a kill attempt, giving the Bruins match point.

Varga’s two-hand stuff then went wide and the Bruins dogpiled in the middle of the floor for the second straight season.

“I didn’t have anything left to give in that fourth set,” Champlin said.”I was trying my best to have some energy. I was lightheaded, I couldn’t feel my legs. If we would have gone five, it wouldn’t have gone too well.”

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