Oct. 12, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - Momentum swung in the second set and stayed with the Long Beach State women's volleyball team in a 18-25, 26-24, 25-23 , 25-19 win at UC Davis on Saturday. The much-needed win snapped a three-match skid and moved the 49ers (9-9, 2-3 Big West) back to .500 on the season.
Chisom Okpala led the attack with 15 kills on 42 swings but it was the defense that propelled the team to the win. The Beach blocked 15 attacks at the net and dug out 91 attacks compared to UC Davis' 81 digs and 10 blocks. Thirteen of those 15 blocks came after the first set and eight came in the third set alone.
Haleigh Hampton got her hands on nine attacks for a career-high nine block assists to lead the defense at the net. Both Tyler Jackson and Delainey Aigner-Swesey were solid in the back row, as the pair combined for 53 digs. Jackson had a career-high 28 digs and Aigner-Swesey also had a career-high with 25 digs.
The Aggies (10-8, 2-3 Big West) came out swinging in the first set, looking to take advantage of the 49ers recent woes. They started on a 5-1 run on a 5-1 run and never looked back. It seemed as though the Aggies were comfortably out in front for the entire set on the way to the early lead in the match.
The second set appeared to be a carbon copy as the hosts were out to a 5-1 lead again and built and early 10-3 lead. Their usual hot-hitting duo of Devon Damelio and Kaylin Squyres led the charge. They finished with 15 and 13 kills, respectively.
With their backs to the wall, the 49ers climbed back into the set and seized all the momentum. A four-point run with two kills from Okpala, a kill from Aigner-Swesey and a Chelsea Cabrajac ace tied the match at 19-19. However, UC Davis stayed out in front and had set point after a kill from Valerie Brain at 24-22. The 49ers earned the sideout after a UC Davis attacking error and Erin Juley hit back-to-back service aces to give set point to the Beach. Bre Mackie stuffed an Aggie attack to end the next rally and tie up the match at 1-1.
The third set was the most back and forth but the 49ers continued to ride their momentum to stay out in front for the majority of it. With eight blocks in the set, the 49ers took a 2-1 lead. They continued to roll in the fourth set and never trailed as they came away with their second Big West victory.
Juley had three of the 49ers six service aces in addition to her 42 assists. Mackie added in 10 kills and six total blocks. Alex Reid posted a double-double with 13 kills and 13 digs.
Women's volleyball is back at the Beach next week to host Cal State Fullerton on Friday and UC Riverside on Saturday. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m.
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