Sept. 22, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State improved to 2-0 in Big West conference play, finishing the weekend with a 25-19, 25-13, 25-16 sweep of UC Santa Barbara. Alma Serna led the 49ers with 11 kills on .611 hitting.
One night after setting a career high with 16 kills on .448 hitting, Serna topped herself with a .611 hitting percentage, making 11 kills with no errors along with three solo blocks to help lead the 49ers to a convincing win over UCSB (7-9, 0-2 Big West). Junior setter Tara Roenicke guided the 49ers to hitting over .290 for the second night in a row while Long Beach State benefited from strong defense by Janisa Johnson and Tyler Jackson along with 27 hitting errors by the Gauchos. Johnson finished with 15 digs along with seven kills, and Jackson added 11, part of 51 total for the 49ers over three sets.
Long Beach State (7-6, 2-0 Big West) opened the first set with a quick start and never trailed. With a Jackson ace and a Serna overpass kill, the 49ers took 4-0 lead. A Roenicke dump led UCSB into their first timeout at 11-6, and a third solo block by Serna in the set gave the 49ers a 17-11 lead. That would hold the rest of the way for LBSU in a 25-19 win.
The Gauchos took a lead in the second set, leading by as many as three at 6-3 following an ace by Kara Sharrard, but the 49ers scored four straight to lead 7-6 after an error from Katey Thompson. Long Beach State pushed to 12-9 to force a UCSB timeout, and scored four straight points out of the break before the Gauchos could pick up a sideout. The 49ers would easily take the set from there, winning 25-13.
Long Beach State took a 5-2 early in the set on a kill from Bre Mackie, and opened up a four-point cushion on a dump from Roenicke. An ace by Delainey Aigner-Swesey gave the 49ers a 15-9 lead, and the push after the next sideout brought the 49ers to 21-10 on the way to a 25-16 victory.
With a perfect record in Big West play after one week, the 49ers will face their toughest road trip of the conference slate next week, traveling to face Cal State Northridge on Thursday, September 27 before heading to the islands to play No. 7 Hawai'i.
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