Aug. 26, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State put on a hitting clinic in the first match of the season, tallying a .588 hitting percentage, the fifth-highest in school history as the 49ers defeated Prairie View A&M 25-13, 25-14, 25-11. Haleigh Hampton led the way for the 49ers with 16 kills for Long Beach State.
The 49ers had a well-rounded effort throughout the team however, leading to the team's highest hitting percentage since 1998. Long Beach State had 46 kills on 68 attempts with just six errors, totaling .588. Freshman Alma Serna had a perfect hitting day, notching four kills on four swings, while every hitter on the 49ers was higher than .350 on the day. Hampton had 16 kills on .619 hitting, while Janisa Johnson added nine on .538 hitting.
Setter Ashley Vazquez was two-for-for on her hitting attempts, and had three aces, part of seven total on the day for Long Beach State. The 49ers also had 10 blocks, led by Serna who had seven total blocks for The Beach. Senior libero Lauren Minkel had eight digs to lead the 49ers, and added a kill.
It was a quick start to the season, as the 49ers dominated the first set of 2011 against the Panthers. Two early kills from Ledoux bought the 49ers a quick lead. Long Beach State's first ace of the year, coming from Libby Fontanilla , extended the 49ers lead to 11-5, leading to a Prairie View timeout. Hampton put together two kills sandwiched around another 49er ace, this one coming from Lauren Minkel, to extend the Long Beach State lead to nine at 16-7. The 49ers were never really threatened in the remainder of the set, taking a 25-13 victory.
The Panthers responded with a better start in set two, and held an early lead at 3-2 after scoring the first two points. Early service errors from the 49ers kept things close, but Long Beach State took their first lead at 7-6, and moved ahead 10-8 after a Hampton kill following a PVAMU overpass. The 49ers continued to push, scoring five straight points to take a 15-9 lead, and lead 21-12 after the Panthers took their second timeout. After two kills and a block from Serna, the 49ers closed out the set 25-14.
Prairie View A&M again took a quick lead in the third set, but a Janisa Johnson kill and a block from Serna and Delainey Aigner-Swesey gave the 49ers a 5-3 advantage. Another Hampton kill helped the 49ers to a four-point advantage at 11-7, and an Aigner-Swesey kill sparked a three-point run leading to a Panther timeout at 13-7. The run continued though, as the 49ers continued to push through to a 18-7 lead on the way to a 25-11 victory as the 49ers closed out with another Fontanilla kill, her second and the seventh of the match for the 49ers.
Long Beach State plays once more on Friday, hosting UMBC in the third match of the Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational at 7 p.m.
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