March 28, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State won the first two matches of the day handily against No. 4 USC, but it took the All-American duo of Caitlin Ledoux and Tara Roenicke to carry the 49ers to the win, a 21-17, 17-21 16-14 barnburner to capture a 3-2 win.
No. 2 Long Beach State (7-1) took just 30 minutes to take a 2-0 lead over the Trojans, as the pairs of Lauren Minkel/Jocelyn Neely and Janisa Johnson/Tyler Jackson stayed unbeaten in 2012. In flight four, Neely and Minkel had a high-percentage attack, finishing with 25 kills and just three errors in a 21-14, 21-10 victory over Natasha Siljkovic and Brooke Fournier. Johnson and Jackson had a closer match against Alexa Stonish and Sam Hirschmann, but also prevailed in straight sets 21-15, 21-19 behind 10 combined aces from the pair and 13 digs by Johnson.
Long Beach State looked to clinch the action early with an early third flight lead over USC (9-4). However, after a 21-14 first-set win by the 49ers' Delainey Aigner-Swesey and Libby Fontanilla, Eve Ettinger and Bria Russ rallied for a 21-18 second set win behind eight kills in the set by Russ, and held off the 49ers 15-13 to keep the Trojan hopes alive.
Ledoux and Roenicke had won a 21-17 victory in the first set, but Stevi Robinson and Kirby Burnham recovered to win the second by the same score, and took that momentum into the third set, capturing a 4-1 edge and then holding an 8-5 lead. Long Beach State pulled back however, finally tying the set at 12, and after a sideout, taking a 14-13 lead on a kill by Roenicke. After a pair of sideouts, Long Beach State closed out the match with a 16-14 win as an attempt by Robinson sailed just long and the 49ers took the victory.
Ledoux finished with 24 kills in the match, and had seven in the final set along with a pair of aces. Robinson led the USC effort in the final match, also making 24 kills.
With the win, the 49ers are now 2-0 against USC on the season, and have strongly improved their position for a second invitation to the AVCA National Championships, held in Gulf Shores, Ala. in May.
#2 Long Beach State 3, #4 USC 2
1) Caitlin Ledoux/Tara Roenicke, LBSU def. Stevi Robinson/Kirby Burnham, USC 21-17, 17-21, 16-14
2) Katie Fuller/Cinnamon Sary, USC def. Bre Mackie/Chelsea Cabrajac, LBSU 22-20, 21-18
3) Eve Ettinger/Bria Russ USC def. Delainey Aigner-Swesey/Libby Fontanilla, LBSU 14-21, 21-18, 15-13
4) Lauren Minkel/Jocelyn Neely, LBSU def. Natasha Siljkovic/Brooke Fournier, USC 21-14, 21-10
5) Tyler Jackson/Janisa Johnson, LBSU def. Alexa Stonish/Sam Hirschmann, USC 21-15, 21-19
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