UCLA, Long Beach State reach men's volleyball national final

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UCLA and Long Beach State will meet for the NCAA men's volleyball national title Saturday after outlasting their opponents in Thursday's semifinals in Long Beach, Calif.

No. 1 seed UCLA beat No. 4 UC Irvine 22-25, 25-20, 25-16, 18-25, 15-12, and No. 2 seed Long Beach State defeated No. 3 Grand Canyon 24-26, 26-28, 25-18, 25-23, 15-10.

The final will be broadcast Saturday on ESPN at 11 a.m. The host Beach are 18-0 at home this season.

The Bruins are the defending national champions and have won 20 overall titles. The school with the second-most crowns is Pepperdine with five.

The Beach have won three championships, with the last coming in 2019 with a triumph over Hawaii in the final. In 2018, Long Beach State defeated UCLA in five sets in the final.

On Thursday, Ethan Champlin finished with 19 kills and 13 digs for the Bruins (25-5). Cooper Robinson added 11 kills, Merrick McHenry had 10, and Andrew Rowan recorded 41 assists.

Hilir Henno had 22 kills and Brett Sheward, a former Hawaii player, posted 43 assists for the Anteaters (20-11). Nolan Flexen added 13 kills and Maxim Grigoriev had 11.

In the second semifinal, Skyler Varga recorded 20 kills, Sotiris Siapanis added 16, and Aidan Knipe had 52 assists for the Beach (27-2).

Camden Gianni finished with 17 kills, Jarrett Anderson added 16, and Nicholas Slight recorded 50 assists for the Antelopes (26-5).

UCLA and Long Beach State won four-set matches on their home courts against each other in February.

In mid-March, Hawaii was swept and fell in five sets to host Long Beach State. The Rainbow Warriors didn't play UCLA.

Middle blocker DiAeris McRaven of Moanalua is a junior for Long Beach State and UCLA has freshman outside hitter Kahale Clini of Punahou.