Oct. 22, 2011
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Long Beach State earned another important win on the road, defeating UC Santa Barbara 22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 to improve to 8-2 in the conference, giving the 49ers a two-game lead in the standings.
Haleigh Hampton led the way for the 49ers with 19 kills and four blocks. Freshman Alma Serna had a career high with six solo blocks, and also made eight kills on .368 hitting. Defensively, senior Lauren Minkel had a tremendous night, making a season-high 27 digs to lead the 49ers, who finished with 75 digs and held the Gauchos to .174 hitting. Long Beach State hit .215, as Erin Juley also finished with a double-double, making 50 assists and 12 digs.
With five digs over the first two sets, senior Caitlin Ledoux also reached a nice milestone, joining Tara Cross and Antoinnette White as the only 49ers to record both 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills. Ledoux finished the night with her fifth double-double of the year, making 15 kills and 10 digs on the night.
The Gauchos took an early 4-1 lead in the first set, but Long Beach State answered back with a small run to take a 7-6 lead on a block from Ledoux and Serna. The 49ers eventually took a 13-9 lead, but UCSB answered back with five straight points, capped by an ace from Kara Sherrard to regain the lead 14-13. With UCSB leading 18-15, Long Beach State scored three straight points to force a Gaucho timeout, but USCB continued to hold the service edge, and after taking a 23-22 lead, closed out the set with a 25-22 win.
Long Beach State pulled out of an early hole to tie the second set at 5-5 on a dump from Erin Juley, and took a two-point lead at 8-6 on a Caitlin Ledoux kill. Finding Janisa Johnson for the first of five second set kills for the junior after she replaced Delainey Aigner-Swesey, Long Beach State opened up an 11-7 lead. Eventually pushing to a six point lead on a block from Hampton and Mackie, Long Beach State looked in control, but the Gauchos made a run to cut the lead to two at 16-14 on a Taylor Pischke kill. The 49ers answered with another block, this one coming from Mackie and Serna to take a 19-15 lead, and Serna made two more blocks down the stretch to give the 49ers a 25-18 win.
Long Beach State took an 8-6 lead out of the break on a Mackie kill, which was followed by an Juley ace for a three point lead. Opening a five-point lead at 15-10 on a Hampton and Johnson block, UCSB and Long Beach State traded serves for much of the rest of the set, as 49ers regained a five-point edge at 23-18 on a Hampton kill. The sophomore middle blocker then sent back an overpass, and the 49ers finished the set with a 25-19 win.
Taking a 4-2 lead with a Ledoux shot into the corner, Long Beach State would hold off the Gauchos the rest of the way. The 49ers took a four-point lead at 10-6, which UCSB cut to one at 11-10, but Long Beach State answered with a giant Hampton kill followed by a Juley dump and a Juley joust to retake a 14-10 lead. Ahead by five, Long Beach State held that lead at 22-17, and while UCSB held off two match points, Hampton was able to finish it off with her 19th kill for a 25-22 win.
Long Beach State returns home to host two matches next weekend, welcoming UC Riverside and CS Northridge to the Walter Pyramid. The 49ers will start with the Highlanders on Friday, October 28 at 7 p.m.
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