Beach Drops Oakland 3-1 In Return To Walter Pyramid
Jenelle Hudson finishes with 45 assists, seven kills and seven digs.
Long Beach, Calif. - Senior setter Jenelle Hudson had a return to her player of the year form, making seven kills, seven digs and 45 assists while guiding the Beach to .273 hitting as Long Beach State defeated Oakland 25-21, 24-26, 25-17, 25-17.
Nele Barber added 20 kills for the Beach, marking two straight matches with a double-double and at least 20 kills for the junior outside hitter. Ashley Murray and Carly Beddingfield also each finished with double-digit kills. The 49ers were in control in all but the second set, hitting .300 or better in each set that Long Beach State won.
Both teams traded points early through the first set, with Long Beach State (6-2) taking its first two-point lead at 14-12, which grew to three points on a block from Peyton Grahovac and Nele Barber. That cushion would hold briefly, but Oakland (2-6) was able to tie the set at 20-20. Barber kept the Beach in front with a kill for a 22-21 lead, and the 49ers ran off three more points to take the set 25-21.
Set two was very close as well, with the first three-point lead coming at 14-11 as Oakland picked up their third block of the set. Long Beach State answered back however, retaking the lead at 16-15 on an Ashley Murray kill, her fifth of the set. The back and forth continued, as Oakland took a two-point lead at 20-18. Long Beach State scored four straight points to take a two-point lead. Oakland, however, held off a 49er set point at 24-23, and took the set 26-24 on a kill from Allia Knight.
Two Barber kills got the 49ers started early in a convincing set three win, pushing the Beach in front 6-3. Leading 9-4 after a block by Hudson and Grahovac, a solo block by Murray at 13-7 started a run to a 10-point lead for the 49ers at 17-7. With a big cushion, the Beach went on to cruise to a 25-17 victory.
Oakland roared to a quick start in the fourth set, taking a 5-1 lead, but a Megan Kruidhof ace pulled the 49ers within one point at 11-10. Two points later, a Murray kill gave the Beach a 12-11 lead. Riding that momentum, the 49ers pushed out to a five point edge at 17-12 after Murray and Beddingfield combined for a block. The Golden Grizzlies had a final push in them, cutting the LBSU lead to three, but a Grahovac kill shut down the rally at 21-17, and Long Beach State took the final four points to win 25-17.
Action continues and concludes tomorrow for the LBSU/LMU Mizuno Invitational, as the Walter Pyramid plays host to three matches. The Beach will play Stony Brook in the opening match at 11 a.m., and then Oakland returns to face Central Arkansas at 3 p.m. before the final match at 8 p.m. featuring the 49ers against Central Arkansas.
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