Sept. 5, 2008
Gainesville, Fla. - Less than 24 hours after playing across the state, the 49ers struggled through the opening set but responded in strong fashion, defeating Florida A&M 19-25, 25-14, 25-12, 25-10 in Gainesville. Senior Quincy Verdin led the 49ers with 10 kills on .529 hitting, while Nicole Vargas added her fourth double-double of the young season.
After hitting just .135 in the first set and allowing Maria Gomez five kills and two aces in a 19-25, loss, the 49ers really poured it on against the Rattlers in the remaining sets. The team hit .448 in the next three sets, led by Ashley Lee, who made her first appearance in the front row and responded with four kills on seven swings with no errors. Long Beach State also had their best game defensively at the net, totaling 13 total blocks behind six block assists from Brittney Herzog.
Florida A&M came out with a quick start in the match, scoring the first three points to immediately set the tone. The 49ers worked back to ties at 5-5 and 10-10, but the Rattlers ran off a 7-1 run to take a commanding lead in the set behind the play of Gomez. From there, Florida A&M would finish off a 25-19 set win, out-hitting the 49ers .154 to .135.
That would really be the end of the success for the Rattlers in the match however. A rejuvenated 49er squad came out in the second set and after working to a 7-7 tie, expanded the Long Beach State lead to 17-10 behind a string of kills from Caitlin Ledoux, who tied for the team lead with 10 kills. The 49ers held onto that lead, eventually extending it to nine in a 25-14 game two win.
With the commanding win in set two behind them, the 49ers locked down on the Rattlers in the remaining two sets, winning 25-12 and 25-10. The 49ers were never behind in the third set, and after a 5-5 tie in set four, responded with a 12-2 run which quickly put the match out of reach. The 49ers forced the Rattlers into negative hitting the final two sets at -.100 and -.235, as the Rattlers had 21 attack errors in the two sets.
With the win, No. 23 Long Beach State improves to 5-0 on the season, but will face their toughest test to date in the season against No. 8 Florida on Saturday. The Beach takes on the host Gators at 2 p.m. Pacific.
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