Oct. 11, 2012
Riverside, Calif. - After two big wins and one close loss, the 49ers trailed by five points in set four at UC Riverside, but Long Beach State found junior Delainey Aigner-Swesey for big kills down the stretch as the 49ers rallied for a 25-15, 23-25, 25-12, 25-22 victory over the Highlanders.
Aigner-Swesey led Long Beach State (10-8, 5-2) with 14 kills on the match, but had six in the fourth set with the match on the line to help offset a huge night from UC Riverside's Ashley Cox who finished with 25 kills for the Highlanders.
Trailing 13-8 after an ace from Amanda Vialpando, the 49ers made one push into the lead but UC Riverside (5-14, 0-6) regained a five-point edge at 19-14 on a kill from Jasmin White. The 49ers picked up a sideout and went on a run behind senior libero Libby Fontanilla's serving. A kill from Aigner-Swesey brought the score to 19-17, and a score by freshman Tiara Wallace pulled the 49ers to within one at 19-18. The Highlanders picked up a pair of sideouts, but Aigner-Swesey scored from the back-row to tie the set, and then scored again out of the back row to put the 49ers on top 23-21 while on serve. A tip from Janisa Johnson brought the 49ers to match point, and Long Beach State finished the set with a 25-22 victory to finish the match.
Both Aigner-Swesey and setter Tara Roenicke finished with double-doubles, as Aigner-Swesey had 13 digs to go with her 14 kills, and Roenicke had 45 assists and 10 digs for the 49ers. Fontanilla led the team with 20 digs, while Johnson nearly reached that total with 17 digs and nine kills while Wallace, the true freshman stepping back into the lineup, finished with a career high seven kills on .357 hitting.
An overpass kill by Chisom Okpala gave the 49ers a lead they would never relinquish in the first set. Leading by five at 11-6 after an ace from Fontanilla, the Highlanders cut the Long Beach State lead to two at 12-10. The 49ers then scored eight straight points, capped by an ace by Aigner-Swesey to take a 20-10 lead, and finished the set with a 25-15 win.
Set two was much closer, as the teams had 12 tie scores in total. The 49ers had the lead at 12-11 after an error, but the Highlanders recovered to take an 18-15 lead on a kill by JWhite, matching the largest of the set for UCR. Long Beach State pulled to within one point at 20-19 after a block from Johnson and Okpala, but the 49ers couldn't tie the set. The 49ers had one final chance at 24-23, but a third straight net error by Long Beach State on Highlander serve gave UC Riverside a 25-23 victory.
Back-to-back aces by Whitney Wilkerson gave the 49ers a 7-3 lead in set three, which quickly ballooned to a 10-3 advantage following a block by Okpala and Johnson. Leading 15-5 after a third ace in the set, this time from Johnson, Long Beach State cruised to a 25-12 in in set three, hitting .370 overall.
Long Beach State looks to maintain their current winning streak as the 49ers continue their road swing on Saturday, when they play Cal State Fullerton on the road in Titan Gym at 7 p.m.
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