Long Beach State rallies to top UCLA, win 2018 men's volleyball national title match in five sets
In the fifth and final set of the season, after UCLA and Long Beach State traded two-point runs and each refused to budge, the best team in the country summoned all of its energy and threw down a 4-0 run. Long Beach State made its move when tensions were at their zenith, and rode that 4-0 run until it was all over and it had won the 2018 men's volleyball national championship.
The Beach are national champs for the first time since 1991 and the second time ever.
Long Beach State began the night with a breezy 25-19 first set victory. The best team in the country seemed at ease, scorching near .500 and recording 14 kills.
And then, late in Set 2, after trading points the Bruins woke up in a big way. They stormed to a 22-19 lead, withstood three straight from LBSU, and took the second set to even it at 1-1.
In Set 3, the Bruins' defense really came alive, limiting an LBSU squad that hit .478 in Set 1 to just .091 in the third.
Set 4 looked, in the early going, to be the one that would give UCLA the match. The Bruins jumped out to a few four-point leads, but LBSU managed to whittle it away as the set progressed, fliipped the set in its favor around the 20-point mark, and took control. When Josh Tuaniga scorched an ace in extra points for the win, we were right back where we started: on even ground.
In the fifth and final set, UCLA's serve problems wouldn't disappear, and LBSU's stars did just enough to put the Beach over the top and into the history books.
Relive the action below: