Northern Iowa tops 49ers in four sets as Long Beach State finishes non-conference schedule
Sept. 15, 2012
Peoria, Ill. - Long Beach State's perfect weekend was upset by Northern Iowa, as the 49ers fell in four sets to the Panthers 25-18, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20. Both Janisa Johnson and Delainey Aigner-Swesey finished with double-doubles despite the loss.
The three pin hitters for Long Beach State (5-6) led the 49ers against Northern Iowa (9-5), as Bre Mackie and Janisa Johnson tied for the team lead with 12 kills each, and Aigner-Swesey made 11. Johnson and Aigner-Swesey also made 19 and 16 digs respectively, and the team was led by Tyler Jackson who had 23 digs.
Defensively, however, the Panthers topped the 49ers, as Northern Iowa's senior libero Candice Burke finished with 35 digs, and as a team the Panthers made 19.5 blocks paired with eight aces that undid the 49ers chances.
Northern Iowa took the first set easily, moving to a 6-4 edge on an error from freshman Alex Reid, and then out to 9-5 on an ace from Krista DeGeest. That edge would increase to 16-9 on the way to a 25-18 Northern Iowa win.
After taking an early lead, Long Beach State surrendered a 7-6 lead following an ace from Macy Ubben, and then the Panthers pushed to an 11-8 lead after a kill from Shelby Kintzel. Long Beach State tied the set at 11-11 on a block from Mackie and Alma Serna, and continued to push, taking the lead and eventually moving in front by three points following a back-row kill from Johnson.
That lead was short-lived, however, as back-to-back blocks by Megan Lehman tied the set at 14, and the Panthers pushed out to a three point lead before Long Beach State was able to record a sideout. The 49ers managed to pull the UNI advantage back to 23-22 on a kill from Aigner-Swesey, but another Panther block and kill from Lehman gave Northern Iowa a two set advantage.
Long Beach State again opened an early lead in the third set, taking advantage of strong early blocking, as a fourth block in the beginning stages of the set put the 49ers on top 8-4. Northern Iowa rallied to tie the set at 9-9 however, and a sixth kill by Panthers setter Molly Turk gave Northern Iowa the lead at 13-12. The 49ers turned to Johnson to come back, and after regaining the lead at 15-14 following two Johnson kills, the 49ers pushed out to a 19-14 lead, and a pair of kills from Tara Roenicke down the stretch helped the 49ers take a 25-20 win.
Again taking an early lead at 8-6 following a back-row kill from Johnson, Long Beach State surrendered the lead at 9-7, and then a block from Ubben and Kintzel pushed the lead to 11-9. The 49ers pulled to within one a number of times, but eventually another kill from setter Turk, her eighth, put Northern Iowa up by three points at 19-16, and UNI finished off the match with a 25-20 fourth set victory.
Aigner-Swesey finished the week as a CEFCU All-Tournament selection, making 45 kills and 38 digs while hitting .288 on the weekend and leading Long Beach State to a pair of victories in Illinois.
With the loss, Long Beach State finishes their non-conference schedule with a 5-6 overall record. The 49ers begin Big West action next weekend, returning to the Walter Pyramid to host Cal Poly at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 21.