Long Beach State Advances To Championship Match But Falls To Hawai'i At Big West Tournament
No. 5 Long Beach State awaits Sunday's NCAA Tournament announcement.
Pismo Beach, Calif. - For the second straight season, Long Beach State advanced through the consolation bracket to reach the Big West Tournament finals, but fell to Hawai'i in the championship. Jenelle Hudson and Megan Kruidhof won two matches on Sunday to set the school record for pairs wins in a season at 27.
Hawai'i (26-5) opened the day's action with a win over the Beach. Jenelle Hudson and Megan Kruidhof were 21-14, 26-24 winners at No. 5 over Amy Ozee and Hannah Zalopany, setting the school record for single-season wins for a pair in the process.
Nele Barber and Rachel Nieto rolled to a 21-9, 21-19 win in the first flight over Morgan Martin and Mikayla Tucker for a second win for Long Beach State (26-8), but Hawai'i took the remaining three flights to advance in the winner's bracket.
Ka'iwi Shucht and Nikki Taylor won 21-14, 21-18 over Sasha Karelov and Kobi Pekich, while Emily Maglio and Laurel Weaver won 21-13, 21-19 at No. 3 over Anete Brinke and Hailey Harward. Ari Homayun and Carly Kan picked up the final victory for the Rainbow Wahine at No. 4, winning 21-18, 21-16 over Morea Wagner and Heather Weiss.
Long Beach State rebounded with an excellent win over Cal Poly (14-23) after moving into the consolation bracket. The Mustangs were 5-0 winners over CSU Bakersfield in their first match of the day, and grabbed a first win at No. 2 as Taylor Nelson and Adlee Van Winden won 21-17, 21-15 over Karelov/Pekich, but the Beach quickly evened the score as Brinke/Harward won 21-13, 21-15 over Holland Boege and Raeann Greisen at No. 3.
Moving up to No. 4 due to an injury, Hudson and Kruidhof rallied from a first-set loss to win 17-21, 21-14, 15-9 over Anna Gorman and Savannah Niemen, and then Morea and Ciana Wagner sealed the win with a 22-20, 23-21 win over Dora Beilin and Brayden Gruenwald. Barber/Nieto forced a third set from Hannah Hubbard and Emily Sonny, but the Mustang duo picked up Cal Poly's final win 21-14, 19-21, 21-19 in a fantastic back and forth match in the top flight.
Ultimately, the championship match proceeded much as the first match of the day did despite the change in lineup. Homayun/Kan and Shucht/Taylor picked up wins at No. 4 and No. 2 respectively over Hudson/Kruidhof and Karelov/Pekich. Maglio/Weaver then clinched the championship with a 22-20, 21-18 win over Brinke/Harward at No. 3. The Wagner twins won their second match of the day with a 21-21, 16-21, 15-10 victory over Ozee/Zalopany at No. 5. The only change in results came at No. 1, where after a first set victory, Barber/Nieto fell to Martin/Tucker 13-21, 21-19, 15-11.
No. 5 Long Beach State will find out if they will make their return to Gulf Shores on Sunday, as the NCAA Selection Show will be live at 4 p.m. PT on NCAA.com.
(2) Hawai'i 3, (1) Long Beach State 2
1) Nele Barber/Rachel Nieto, LBSU def. Morgan Martin/Mikayla Tucker, UH 21-9, 21-19
2) Ka'iwi Schucht/Nikki Taylor, UH def. Sasha Karelov/Kobi Pekich, LBSU 21-14, 21-18
3) Emily Maglio/Laurel Weaver, UH def. Anete Brinnke/Hailey Harward, LBSU 21-13, 21-19
4) Ari Homayun/Carly Kan, UH def. Morea Wagner/Heather Weiss, LBSU 21-18, 21-16
5) Jenelle Hudson/Megan Kruidhof, LBSU def. Amy Ozee/Hannah Zalopany, UH 21-14, 26-24
(1) Long Beach State 3, (3) Cal Poly 2
1) Hannah Hubbard/Emily Sonny, CP def. Nele Barber/Rachel Nieto, LBSU 21-14, 19-21, 21-19
2) Taylor Nelson/Adlee Van Winden, CP def. Sasha Karelov/Kobi Pekich, LBSU 21-17, 21-15
3) Anete Brinke/Hailey Harward, LBSU def. Holland Boege/Raeann Greisen, CP 21-13, 21-15
4) Jenelle Hudson/Megan Kruidhof, LBSU Def. Anna Gorman/Savannah Nieman, CP 17-21, 21-14, 15-9
5) Ciana Wagner/Morea Wagner, LBSU def. Dora Beilin/Brayden Gruenwald, CP 22-20, 23-21
(2) Hawai'i 4, (1) Long Beach State 1
1) Morgan Martin/Mikayla Tucker, UH def. Nele Barber/Rachel Nieto, LBSU 13-21, 21-19, 15-11
2) Ka'iwi Shucht/Nikki Taylor, UH def. Sasha Karelov/Kobi Pekich, LBSU 21-18, 21-12
3) Emily Maglio/Laurel Weaver, UH def. Anete Brinke/Hailey Harward, LBSU 22-20, 21-18
4) Ari Homayun/Carly Kan, UH def. Jenelle Hudson/Megan Kruidhof, LBSU 21-19, 21-14
5) Ciana Wagner/Morea Wagner, LBSU def. Amy Ozee/Hannah Zalopany, UH 23-21, 16-21, 15-10
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