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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Player of the Week
Flores Showcases Utility Ability In Sweep At Cal Poly
Junior Jessica Flores played a big part in Long Beach State's sweep at Cal Poly, particularly on the first day. In game one, Flores pitched eight scoreless innings of relief and scored one of two runs in the 12th in a 2-0 win, and then hit a game-winning single in the top of the 9th in a 1-0 game two victory.
NEXT GAME: Saturday, April 22 at 1 p.m. (DH), vs. UC Santa Barbara, LBSU Softball Complex
LAST WEEK'S WINNER: Amir Lugo-Rodriguez, Men's Volleyball