49ers lose thriller with No. 9 Hawaii 3-1 in front of 2,466
Oct. 26, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - The 49ers had set points in both the third and fourth sets, but fell just shy of a monumental upset in front of a tremendous crowd, falling 24-26, 34-32, 26-24, 25-22 to No. 9 Hawaii. Junior setter Tara Roenicke was two kills away from a triple double, making 45 assists, 10 digs, and a career high eight kills.
Roenicke was just one of a number of 49ers that had career nights, despite the loss. Freshman Alex Reid had eight kills in the first set alone on the way to 20 on the night, a career high, while Libby Fontanilla and Janisa Johnson each finished with 24 digs, a season high for each and a career-best for Fontanilla. Johnson added 14 kills as she, along with Roenicke, posted a double-double for the second straight match.
Overall, Long Beach State (11-10, 6-4 Big West) lost for the first time this season when they hit over .200 in 2012, hitting .244, but they were topped by the Rainbow Wahine's .313 hitting, particularly with a big night from outside hitter Emily Hartong, who finished with 33 kills on .329 hitting.
Hawaii (18-2, 11-0 Big West) took an early lead in the first set, moving ahead 5-1 after a block from Jade Vorster and Mita Uiato. Long Beach State rallied, however, tying the set at 6 on a kill by Bre Mackie, and eventually finished an eight-point push with a kill by Tiara Wallace for a 10-6 lead. A kill by Chisom Okpala on serve gave the 49ers a 16-11 lead, but the Rainbow Wahine would once more take the lead, eventually moving ahead 18-16 before a sideout. The 49ers regained the lead however, and a block by Reid and Wallace gave the 49ers a 21-19 lead. Long Beach State hit Reid a couple more times to keep the lead down the stretch, and then a kill by Opala followed by an overpass return by Johnson gave the 49ers a 26-24 first set win.
A Libby Fontanilla ace put the 49ers in the lead at 5-2, but Emily Hartong eventually brought Hawaii back even with Long Beach State at 10-10. Tied 17-17 after a kill by Ried, the 49ers held a service edge until 23-22, but Hawaii scored twice to give the Rainbow Wahine their first set point. The 49ers answered with a sideout, and a kill by Reid gave the 49ers their first of two chances to win the set at 25-24. Hawaii regained the lead on a diving play by libero Alyssa Longo at 27-26, and while the 49ers held off six more set points, the Rainbow Wahine finally finished off LBSU with a Uiato/Vorster block 34-32 in Long Beach State's longest set this year.
Long Beach State opened a 5-3 lead in the third set, and while the 49ers fell behind at one point, the teams moved fairly evenly to an 18-17 49er lead on an Okpala kill. Tied at 20-20, Hawaii scored three straight points, but the 49ers rallied with four straight of their own, tying the set with a Wallace kill and taking a 24-23 lead on a Johnson kill. Wallace had a chance to put away the set with an overpass, but missed, hitting the net for an error, and the Rainbow Wahine capitalized, scoring two points to take a 26-24 win in set three.
The Rainbow Wahine took the first major lead of the fourth set 9-6 on an ace from Alyssa Longo, but Long Beach State again pulled back, tying the set at 11 on a solo block by Johnson. The 49ers took a two-point lead at 15-13 on a kill by Johnson from the back row. Hawaii scored three straight points to take a lead at 20-19 on a solo block by Vorster, and while the 49ers held the score even until 22-22, the Rainbow Wahine scored the final three points to escape with the win.