No. 13 Kentucky tops 49ers in four sets in Kentucky Classic finale
Aug. 25, 2012
Lexington, Ky. - Long Beach State received another 20-kill performance from senior Janisa Johnson, but was held to .132 hitting overall as the 49ers lost to No. 13 Kentucky in the final match of the Kentucky Classic 19-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-19.
Johnson finished with 20 kills and six digs, and Delainey Aigner-Swesey had a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs to lead the 49ers, while sophomore Lauren O'Connor led the Wildcats with 16 kills on the night.
Defense carried the day for both teams, as the 49ers hit just .132 overall, while limiting the No. 13 Wildcats to .222 hitting, their lowest of the tournament.
The 49ers looked very impressive moving out to a first-set win however, hitting .324 as a team in a 25-19 victory. Aigner-Swesey finished with six kills, hitting a few early to spot the 49ers to a six-point lead, and a solo block from Chisom Okpala gave the 49ers a 13-6 lead. Running a 6-2 throughout the set, Tara Roenicke had eight assists and Erin Juley had four in the first.
Any momentum the 49ers had from their strong start was lost as Kentucky scored the first six points of the second set, eventually opening a 10-1 lead before LBSU was able to make any headway. A solo block by Tiara Wallace cut the lead down to five at 20-15, but that was the closest the 49ers got in a 25-18 set two loss.
The third set was the closest of the night, and in fact, the only set of the four that featured a lead change. Long Beach State started quickly with two early points, and the 49ers pulled back from a three-point deficit to tie the set at 13-13 on a kill from Johnson. The Wildcats answered with a four-point run of their own however, and the 49ers were unable to mount a counter-attack in a 25-20 set three loss.
A slow start again hurt the 49ers in the fourth set, as the Wildcats opened a 10-7 lead on a kill from O'Connor and then a five point run from 10-8 to 15-8 proved too much for the 49ers to overcome in a 25-19 loss in the final set.
Johnson was named to the All-Tournament team after finished the weekend with 60 kills, including back-to-back 20 kill matches against North Carolina and Kentucky. She finished the weekend with a pair of double-doubles and averaged 5.0 kills per set and 3.0 digs per set.
The 49ers return to Long Beach for their season opener next weekend, hosting the Mizuno Invitational in the Walter Pyramid. Long Beach State will face James Madison on Thursday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m., followed by matches against San Diego and Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday.