Sept. 14, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. - The Long Beach State athletics department will celebrate a first with the 2011 Hall of Fame Class, honoring an entire team in the first 49er team to win an NCAA National Championship, the 1989 Women's Volleyball team.
It was a storybook season for the 49ers in 1989 as Long Beach State captured its first-ever NCAA Championship. In fact, it was the first NCAA Division I Championship by any sport at the school. The 49ers finished the season at 32-5 after compiling a 13-5 mark in the tough Big West Conference.
Leading the way was first-time All-America selection Tara Cross. Cross, who was named the AVCA Co-Player of the Year along with Teee Sanders-Williams of Hawaii, tallied a school-record 779 kills on the season. LBSU defeated San Diego State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament 15-7, 15-7, 15-10. From there it was on to the Northwest Regional in Stockton, Calif. Long Beach State earned a tough 15-11, 9-15, 15-12, 15-9 win over Pacific in the Regional Semifinals, and then defeated No. 1 Hawaii 11-15, 15-13, 10-15, 15-9, 15-10 to advance to its first-ever Final Four.
Once in Honolulu for the Final Four, the 49ers disposed of upstart Texas-Arlington in the semifinals 15-6, 11-15, 15-10, 15-7. That set up a championship match with Nebraska, an easy 3-0 winner over UCLA in the other semifinal. With Tara Cross nailing down 20 kills and a .529 hitting percentage for the match, the 49ers easily downed the Huskers 15-12, 15-0, 15-6. The 49ers hit .366 (42-12-84) for the match and limited Nebraska to a .000 hitting percentage (30-30-102).
The team featured three current LBSU Hall of Famers: Tara Cross, Sheri Sanders and Antoinnette White.
The 2011 Long Beach State Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Long Beach Hotel & Executive Meeting Center.
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NEXT GAME: Saturday, October 1 at Sacramento Capital Cross Challenge
LAST WEEK'S WINNER: Nele Barber, Women's Volleyball