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Long Beach State 3, McKendree 0

Long Beach State 3, McKendree 0

The McKendree University men's volleyball team started its fifth overall season in program history on Wednesday night, falling in three sets at #2 Long Beach State in California.

Outside hitter Jared Wilcox led the Bearcats on offense with 8 kills, while senior Nolan Rueter contributed 7 kills and 5 digs. Preseason All-MIVA selection Brendan Schmidt (O'Fallon, MO/Fort Zumwalt West) recorded 5 kills, hitting .833.

Junior libero Zach Thompson led McKendree in digs, collecting seven total, while setter Pasquale Fiduccia had four, to go along with a team-high 27 assists. Freshman Patrick Ross and middle blocker Wyatt Dimke both added four kills as well.

Long Beach State opened up a 14-10 lead early in the first set, forcing the Bearcats to take a timeout. The 49ers controlled play the rest of the set, finishing on an 11-6 scoring run to take a 1-0 overall advantage.

The second set was tightly contested, with both teams battling to a 22-22 score. The Bearcats ended up dropping the set 28-26, despite a hard-fought effort.

The Beach built a 17-13 lead in the third set, but the Bearcats responded in a must-win situation, with a 6-1 scoring run, taking the lead with a Jared Wilcox kill. LBSU answered with four straight points, on their way to a 25-22 win, taking the match 3-0.

The Bearcats return to action this weekend, as they will face UC San Diego, UCLA and King University at the Wooden Classic Tournament in Los Angeles, California.