Chisom Okpala led the 49ers with nine kills on .750 hitting.
Sept. 29, 2012
Honolulu, Hawaii - The 49ers had trouble slowing down a strong attack from No. 8 Hawaii, as the Rainbow Wahine defeated Long Beach State in straight sets 25-17, 25-16, 25-19 on Saturday night. Chisom Okpala had nine kills with no errors on .750 hitting in a solid night for the sophomore.
Okpala's nine kills led the way for the 49ers, while Bre Mackie and Alma Serna each finished with eight kills each and freshman Alex Reid came in to make seven for the 49ers. On the other side of the net, Emily Hartong led all hitters with 12 kills, and middle blocker Kalei Adolpho led the Rainbow Wahine on .900 hitting, making nine kills with no errors on ten swings.
Long Beach State took a quick lead in the first set, scoring four points after a sideout to start the match, capped by a block by Serna and Mackie to take a 4-1 lead. That advantage didn't last long, however, as an Ashley Kastl kill gave Hawaii a 6-5 lead. That lead grew in a big push in the middle of the set, as Hawaii took a 13-9 lead on an ace from Emily Maeda, and took a five-point lead on a kill from Hartong before a 49er sideout. That lead was never threatened in the set as the Rainbow Wahine took the first 25-17.
Down three points early, the 49ers eventually fell behind 10-5 on a kill by Jane Croson. Back-to-back kills from Reid cut the lead back to three at 10-7, but Hawaii made a quick push back, and a service error made the score 14-8. Both teams would side out for most of the rest of the set, but .636 hitting from the Rainbow Wahine held the 49ers at bay in a 25-16 Hawaii set two win.
Trailing 6-3 early on a kill from Hartong, Long Beach State use the second of its two timeouts at 10-4 on a kill from Croson. The 49ers rallied to pull closer, eventually getting to within four points at 19-15 on a kill from Okpala. The rally ultimately fell short, however, and Hawaii won the final set 25-19.
Long Beach State continues Big West Conference play next week, returning home to Long Beach. The 49ers will host UC Davis on Friday, October 5 at 7 p.m. before taking on Pacific on Saturday, October 6, also at 7 p.m.
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