Lights Out Offense Leads Beach to Sweep of CSUN
Long Beach State won its 14th straight Big West home match with a 25-21, 25-19, 25-16 sweep of CSUN.
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State (15-5, 5-2) hit a sparkling .389 for the match, on its way to an impressive sweep of visiting CSUN, 25-21, 25-19, 25-16. That is the second-highest attack percentage posted by the Beach this season, behind only a .473 mark against Stony Brook on Sep. 12.
Nele Barber recorded her 16th double-double of the season with 18 kills on .400 hitting, while also putting up 14 digs, two aces and two blocks. Ashley Murray was highly efficient in the middle with 11 kills on .500 hitting. Leading the offense, Jenelle Hudson had another great all-around match, finishing with 36 assists, six digs, three kills and a pair of blocks.
The Matadors (4-14, 3-3) got a great performance from senior Cieana Stinson, who tied Barber for a match high with 18 kills. No other CSUN player recorded more than five.
Barber came out firing in the opening set, recording six kills and two blocks to lead the Beach to a 25-21 win. Long Beach never trailed in the set and was tied just three times. Megan Kruidhof responded to plenty of action in the back row, recording a new career high in digs with 11 in the first set alone, easily surpassing her previous high of eight. She ended the night tied with Barber for the match high at 14.
Carly Beddingfield had three kills and a block over LBSU's first 12 points, helping her team off to a good start. A 7-1 run pushed the 49ers to an 18-12 advantage, and despite the Matadors closing within 23-20, Barber had plenty left to put them away. Her sixth kill of the opening frame was on set point to end a lengthy rally and put her team up 1-0.
Both teams were very efficient offensively in the second set, with Long Beach State putting up a gaudy .531 attack percentage to surpass CSUN's .370 clip. Stinson had eight kills in the second on just 13 swings, and her seventh kill of the frame had the Matadors within 14-13. Long Beach was able to pull away thanks to Barber and Murray. Barber posted seven kills on 10 swings (adding five digs and an ace) while Murray added six kills on seven swings with no errors in the 25-19 set two win.
The gap between the teams grew even larger in set three as Hudson showed off the full repertoire to push her team to a sweep. The reigning Big West Player of the Year did a little bit of everything in set three, helping the offense hit a solid .324 while recording three digs, a solo roof, and perhaps the most devastating kill of the night to force a CSUN timeout. Long Beach closed the evening on a 7-2 run, capped by a nifty tip shot from Barber to cap off the sweep.
The first 200 fans in attendance received commemorative pint glasses in honor of head coach Brian Gimmillaro's 800th win, accomplished earlier this season against UC Davis. Prior to the starting lineups, a video was shown to honor Gimmillaro's accomplishment.
Next up, Long Beach State continues its three-match homestand hosting UC Santa Barbara next Friday and Cal Poly next Saturday. Both matches start at 7 p.m.
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