Sept. 15, 2012
Peoria, Ill. - Outside hitter Delainey Aigner-Swesey finished with a season-high 18 kills in a three-set victory as Long Beach State defeated Northern Illinois 25-23, 25-12, 25-19 in the first of two matches on Saturday for the 49ers.
Aigner-Swesey hit .429, pacing the 49ers (5-5) who hit .291 overall , easily besting Northern Illinois (8-7) .122. Junior Tara Roenicke had five kills and eight digs to go with 37 assists, while Janisa Johnson led the team with 15 digs.
The first set was a thriller however, with four lead changes and 14 ties as Long beach State rallied late to win it. Tied 9-9, Northern Illinois pushed out to an 11-9 on a kill from Mary Kurish, who led the Huskies with 12 kills on the match. The 49ers tied the set at 14, but after a setting error from Tara Roenicke, the 49ers fell behind 18-16, forcing an LBSU timeout. An ace by the Huskies gave NIU a three-point lead, which held until 22-19.
Out of the 49ers second timeout, Long Beach State found Alma Serna for a quick kill, and then Alex Reid took over down the stretch, pulling the 49ers to within one at 22-21, and then tying the set with a solo block. After a pair of sideouts, Reid put away another kill to give the 49ers the lead at 24-23, and then closed the set with a fourth kill in the final points of the first in a 25-23 win.
Capitalizing on the momentum from the first set victory, Long Beach State cruised in the second set. Opening a 6-3 lead on a block from Chisom Okpala and Aigner-Swesey, the 49ers would eventually push their lead out to 14-7 on another block, this time from Serna and Mackie, and a kill from Reid. With that cushion, Long Beach State easily took the set by a 25-12 margin.
The 49ers trailed again in the third set, falling behind 12-10, and while the 49ers regained the lead at 14-13 on a kill from Aigner-Swesey, the Huskies scored three straight points to take a 16-14 lead. Long Beach State answered back, and after tying the set on a bloc from Serna and Roenicke at 16-16, the 49ers took the lead for good at 18-17 after another block, this time from Serna and Mackie. Finding Aigner-Swesey down the stretch multiple times, the 49ers ended the match with a 25-19 win, as Aigner-Swesey finished with nine kills in the final set.
Long Beach State will try to finish an unbeaten weekend this evening, facing Northern Iowa in the 49ers' third match at the CEFCU Classic at Bradley. That match is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. PT.
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