Long Beach State Thumps Cal State Fullerton, 3-0
The Beach took care of business in a 3-0 sweep of Fullerton, setting up a first-place showdown with Hawai'i on Friday.
Nov. 1, 2016
Long Beach, Calif. - The Beach made quick work of visiting Cal State Fullerton (6-18, 1-9 Big West) on Tuesday night, racking up a 25-12, 25-11, 25-20 sweep of the visiting Titans. Long Beach State improves to 16-8 overall and 10-1 in Big West action, setting up a first-place rematch with No. 15 Hawai'i this Friday on the islands.
Senior Nele Barber recorded her 17th double-double of the season, putting down 14 kills to go with 18 digs, leading the match in both categories. Freshman Kjersti Norveel made her second career start in as many matches, and set a new career high with nine digs. Ashley Murray posted 11 kills on .474 hitting and YiZhi Xue had six kills and no errors on eight swings. Libero Mykah Wilson added 17 digs and Missy Owens had 39 assists while all five starting hitters hit .350 or better.
LBSU started hot early, hitting .515 in the first set, recording 20 kills opposed to just seven digs for the Titans. The Beach lost the first point, but went on an immediate 6-0 run and led 10-2 to set up a comfortable set win. Barber had six kills and seven digs in the first set while hitting .857 on the outside.
The defense stepped up in set two for the Beach, as Fullerton could only muster a .022 hitting percentage. The 49ers had three players record seven or more digs in set three, totaling 27 as a team. Murray had kills on each of her first four swings in the set, finishing with five in the frame.
Fullerton put up a good fight in the third set, using a 6-0 run late to pull within 23-19, but that only delayed the inevitable as Barber clinched the sweep with a kill.
The victory sets up a huge first-place showdown in Hawai'i on Friday night, as the Beach go into the rematch with a half-game lead on the Rainbow Wahine. A win puts LBSU in the driver's seat for a Big West title and an automatic NCAA Tournament bid, but a loss would make it a steep climb for the 49ers with just three weeks left in the regular season. The match starts at 7 p.m. on the islands, which is 10 p.m. Pacific Time.
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