Long Beach State Records Sweep Over Visiting UC Riverside
In a special Tuesday night appearance, the 49ers were up to the task against the visiting Highlanders.
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State returned home with a sweep of UC Riverside Tuesday night, extending its Big West home winning streak to 13 matches. Nele Barber had a team-high 13 kills and 12 digs to record her 14th double-double of the season in the 25-20, 25-20, 25-17 win.
Peyton Grahovac led the team with a .350 hitting percentage on her way to eight kills while Hayley Benson chipped in nine kills and five blocks. Starting libero Lindsey Lawmaster recorded a team-high 14 digs for the Beach.
Fabiana Rosas paced the Highlanders with 13 kills while Maddie Hubbell had a team-high 14 digs. Long Beach State (14-4, 4-1) took a 9-4 lead in the opening frame as the 49ers had seven kills on their first eight swings. The Beach later used a 4-0 run to extend to their largest lead of the set, 16-10, but UC Riverside (6-11, 1-3) closed to within 20-19 following a timeout. A 5-1 run clinched the set for Long Beach and Jenelle Hudson ended a long final rally with a successful dump shot.
Set two could not have been much closer, with 17 ties and 10 lead changes. Neither team led by more than two points until Long Beach's late 4-0 spurt opened up a 23-19 edge. The Beach ended the set after another long rally on Barber's fifth kill of the set. She also recorded seven digs in the second frame.
There was little drama out of the locker room as Long Beach State raced out to a 9-3 lead in the third set and never let the lead slip below five the rest of the match. Benson had four kills and three blocks in the third while Barber had seven kills to extend her double-digit kills streak to 17 matches.
The 49ers now have a few days to rest before traveling to No. 8 Hawaii this weekend. The meeting of the conference's top two teams is set for 8 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday.
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