Oct. 5, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Tara Roenicke, Janisa Johnson and Delainey Aigner-Swesey each finished with double-doubles for the 49ers as strong defense and timely hitting led the 49ers to a 3-1 victory over UC Davis 19-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-19 on Friday night.
Already with two players out for the year, the 49ers were working without starters Alma Serna and Chelsea Cabrajac on Friday, but recovered from a slow start behind big nights from their upperclassmen. Junior setter Tara Roenicke guided the 49ers to .230 hitting with 45 assists and 13 digs, while senior Janisa Johnson led the team with 15 kills to go with 15 digs, and junior Aigner-Swesey had 14 kills and 15 digs as all three finished with double-doubles. Long Beach State's other senior, Libby Fontanilla, made her first appearance as the libero and responded with a career high 20 digs. Allison Whitson finished with 20 kills for UC Davis.
A slow start doomed the 49ers in set one, as the Aggies took a quick lead, moving out to 5-1 on a second block from Victoria Lee and Valerie Brain. That lead would increase to 9-2 on a kill from Whitson before Long Beach State was able to stem the tide. UC Davis would eventually open a 14-6 lead on a kill by Katie Quinn. The 49ers rallied to cut the lead to five at 17-12 on a kill from Bre Mackie, but were never to come close to overcome that large early deficit in a 25-19 defeat.
After never taking the lead in the first set, the 49ers never lost it in the second set, grabbing the first point and eventually taking a 7-4 lead on a kill from Johnson. Back-to-back UC Davis errors handed the 49ers a 12-6 cushion, leading to a UC Davis timeout. Leading 16-8 after an overpass kill by Tiara Wallace, the Aggies cut the lead to four at 16-12 before a sideout, and eventually pulled to within two at 19-17 on a Whitson kill. A sideout from Chisom Okpala broke the Aggies momentum, however, and Long Beach State pushed to 22-17 before winning the second set 25-19.
Leading 5-2 after an error from Whitson, Long Beach State continued to sideout, and eventually made a big push out to 14-9 on back-to-back kills from Okpala. After a UC Davis timeout, a kill by Aigner-Swesey on a free ball and an overpass return gave the 49ers a 16-9 lead. The Aggies rallied to cut the lead all the way to two points at 23-21 on a kill by Devon Damelio, but a block by Mackie and Okpala gave the 49ers set point and LBSU closed out set three 25-22.
Long Beach State scored the first three points in the fourth and final set, and while the Aggies tied things up at 6-6 on a Whitson kill, the 49ers found Okpala again for back-to-back kills, and an ace from Tyler Jackson made the score 10-6. Leading 16-9 after a kill from Aigner-Swesey, Long Beach State held even the rest of the way to take the set and the match 25-19.
The 49ers return to the Walter Pyramid on Saturday night to host Pacific in another Big West match beginning at 7 p.m.
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