49ers battle past Pacific 3-1 in first of two on the road
Nov. 2, 2012
Stockton, Calif. - Senior Janisa Johnson had another great match at Pacific, leading a huge defensive effort for the 49ers with 22 digs and 19 kills for the 49ers in a 20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 29-27 victory in Stockton. Senior libero Libby Fontanilla set a career high with 29 digs while adding three aces, and setter Tara Roenicke guided the 49ers in a tremendous effort.
On a hobbled ankle, Roenicke was masterful on Thursday, making 44 assists, six kills, and seven digs while to help lead the 49ers in a back-and-forth match. The 49ers made 82 digs total in support of the offense, and out-blocked the Tigers ten to four on the night.
The match opened with the Tigers scoring the first four points, but an ace by Libby Fontanilla capped a small comeback for the 49ers as Long Beach State tied the score at 5-5. The Tigers held onto the lead, at that point, and opened up another four-point lead. Long Bach State cut into the Tigers edge, eventually taking their only lead at 14-13 after three straight kills by Johnson. Tied 20-20, a Gabby Cowden ace put the Tigers up by two at 22-20, and Pacific won the remaining points for a 25-20 first set win.
The 49ers took a 2-1 lead when Chisom Okpala put away an early overpass, and while the Tigers took the lead twice early, after an 8-8 tie, the 49ers moved in front for good. Taking a 10-8 lead on a kill from Alex Reid, Long Beach State moved out by three on a Johnson kill after a rolling dig from Chelsea Cabrajac. Fontanilla's second ace followed by a block from Tiara Wallace and Bre Mackie made the score 17-12, and while the Tigers briefly cut the lead to two, another Reid kill stopped the run and the 49ers took the second set 25-20.
Long Beach State scored the first five points of the third set, but Pacific scored five straight of their own to even up the score. A kill from Reid gave the 49ers a two point lead at 10-8, and two straight kill from Johnson put the 49ers ahead by four at 15-11. Already leading 19-13 after Fontanilla's third ace, Reid put away a kill to give the 49ers their largest lead at 23-15 on the way to a 25-16 third set win.
While the match had been close all night, the roller coaster nature was at its peak in a wild fourth set, with 15 ties and eight lead changes. Tied 22-22 after a Kat Schulz kill, the Tigers had set point at 24-23, but the 49ers picked up a sideout on a clutch kill from Reid, and picked up their first match point on a solo block by Bre Mackie. Pacific scored two straight to again take the lead and force the 49ers to defend set point. A miss by Anne-Sophie Bauer brought the score even once more, and the 49ers grabbed the advantage with another kill by Reid. Back-to-back errors brought a third match point, and finally the 49ers finished the match with a block by Roenicke and Chisom Okpala at 29-27.
Long Beach State continues their current road trip with another match on Saturday, playing UC Davis at 7 p.m.