Gulf Shores, Ala. - Tied 1-1 with LSU in the elimination bracket, Long Beach State and Tigers had all three matches decided by two points. Ultimately, it was heartbreak for the Beach as LSU took two out of those three matches to win 3-2 and end Long Beach State's time at the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship.
Jenelle Hudson and Megan Kruidhof highlighted the day's opening match for the Beach, as the pair was one point away from a win over Pepperdine (25-3) when play was halted. The pair won the first first set 21-17, and were up 21-20 over Nikki Lyons and Sarah Seiber at the conclusion of the match.
That happened as the Waves clinched on three courts. Deahna Kraft and Anika Wilson rolled to a 21-10, 21-12 win over Heather Weiss and Morea Wagner to give the Waves a 1-0 lead. Brittany Howard and Corinne Quiggle then won 21-16, 21-14 over Anete Brinke and Hailey Harward, and Delaney Knudsen and Maddy Roh clinched the match with a 21-12, 21-18 win over Nele Barber and Rachel Nieto in the top flight.
Long Beach State (26-10) and LSU (27-6) were then matched up in the elimination bracket in what would end up being a fantastic match. Brinke and Harward bounced back for a 21-15, 21-18 win at No. 2 over LSU's Emmy Allen and Maddie Ligon, making just one error and closing out the match with an ace to give the 49ers a 1-0 lead.
LSU quickly answered back, winning 21-18, 21-18 at No. 5 as Megan Davenport and Riley Young defeated Hudson and Kruidhof to tie the match at 1-1.
The three remaining matches all went to a third set, and all three went down to the wire, as all three were tied at late in the third set. Wagner and Weiss at No. 4 were the first done, winning 21-10, 17-21, 15-13 as Weiss finished with 23 kills in her final match.
LSU evened up the match once more, as Barber and Nieto fell 21-17, 18-21, 16-14 in the top flight to Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss, quickly turning attention to the third flight for the final points.
Long Beach State finishes the season with a 26-10 overall record in 2017. The Beach set a program record with 26 wins and made its first appearance in the NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship.
(3) Pepperdine 3, (6) Long Beach State 0
1) Delaney Knudsen/Maddy Roh, PEP def. Nele Barber/Rachel Nieto, LBSU 21-12, 21-18
2) Brittany Howard/Corinne Quiggle, PEP def. Anete Brinke/Hailey Harward, LBSU 21-16, 21-14
3) Sasha Karelov/Kobi Pekich, LBSU vs. Heidi Dyer/Skylar Caputo, PEP DNF (18-21, 14-14)
4) Deahna Kraft/Anika Wilson, PEP def. Morea Wagner/Heather Weiss, LBSU 21-10, 21-12
5) Jenelle Hudson/Megan Kruidhof, LBSU vs. Nikki Lyons/Sarah Seiber, PEP DNF (21-17, 21-20)
(7) LSU 3, (6) Long Beach State 2
1) Claire Coppola/Kristen Nuss, LSU def. Nele Barber/Rachel Nieto, LBSU 21-17, 18-21, 16-14
2) Anete Brinke/Hailey Harward, LBSU def. Emmy Allen/Maddie Ligon, LSU 21-15, 21-18
3) Katie Lindelow/Olivia Powers, LSU def. Sasha Karelov/Kobi Pekich, LBSU 14-21, 21-19, 17-15
4) Morea Wagner/Heather Weiss, LBSU def. Cati Leak/Callan Molle, LSU 21-10, 17-21, 15-13
5) Megan Davenport/Riley Young, LSU def. Jenelle Hudson/Megan Kruidhof, LBSU 21-18, 21-18
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