April 28, 2012
Indian Wells, Calif. - No. 43 Long Beach State defeated UC Santa Barbara 4-1 in the Big West Tournament semifinals, and returns to the Championship Match for the 12th straight season. The 49ers will face No. 72 UC Irvine for the title at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Long Beach State advanced to the finals on the strength of the top of the lineup, all of whom had an outstanding day. #81 Rachel Manasse and Laura Bernard won 8-3 at No. 1 doubles over Natalia Lozano and Jordan Dockendorf, while Anais Dallara and Klaudia Malenovska defeated Sofia Novak and Erica Cano 8-2 to take the doubles point.
The top of the lineup also came through in singles for Long Beach State. #101 Dallara had a dominant performance at No. 1 singles, defeating Novak 6-0, 6-0 to improve to 10-0 in dual matches against Big West opponents. Manasse and Bernard also each won at No. 2 and No. 3 singles respectively to clinch the match for the 49ers. Manasse won 6-3, 6-3 over Lozano, while Bernard defeated April Scatliffe 6-4, 6-1 in a matchup of two freshmen to seal the match. Long Beach State's only loss came at No. 5, where Dockendorf defeated Malenovska 6-3, 6-3.
Long Beach State and UC Irvine will meet in the finals for the fifth straight season. Long Beach State has won three of those four matches, and will be looking to defend their 2011 Big West Championship. The 49ers have won eight of the last ten Big West championship matches.
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