Nov. 10, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Trailing 23-21 in the final set, senior libero Libby Fontanilla ripped back-to-back aces to bring the 49ers even with the Highlanders and then Janisa Johson finished off the match with a kill as the 49ers defeated UC Riverside 25-14, 25-17, 25-23 on Saturday night.
Johnson led the 49ers with 12 kills and 17 digs, both team highs as she collected her seventh consecutive double-double against the Highlanders. Fontanilla finished with four aces, tying a career-high., and had 10 digs along with a kill to lead the 49ers. Long Beach State hit .269 overall on the night, and out-blocked the Highlanders 11 to five, with Chisom Okpala finishing with six blocks to go with 11 kills.
Long Beach State controlled the action from the get-go in the first set, taking a 7-5 lead on a kill by Alex Reid, and then opening an 11-6 lead with four blocks in the first 17 points, the final one by Reid and Chisom Okpala. Continuing to push, an ace by Fontanilla made the score 19-9, and the 49ers closed out the set with a 25-14 win. UC Riverside finished the set in the negative, hitting -.052, in part due to six blocks by the 49ers in the set.
Tied 8-8, the 49ers scored three straight points on two errors and a block by Roenicke and Okpala to take an 11-8 lead. A three-point push with a Johnson kill as the third put the 49ers on top by five at 14-9, and then a second ace by Fontanilla made the score 18-12. Up 22-13 on a kill from Tiara Wallace, the 49ers picked up set point, and a dig by Chelsea Cabrajac slid inside the antenna to land on the UCR side and close out the set 25-17.
UC Riverside bounced back with the Highlanders' best set in the third. UCR held a 10-7 lead after a 49ers error, and while Long Beach State came back to regain the lead, the Highlanders again pushed on top by two at 18-16 after a kill from Cox. Down 23-20, a sideout on a kill from Johnson brought Fontanilla back to serve and set the stage for the night's heroics.
Long Beach State finishes off the home portion of their schedule next weekend, hosting UC Irvine at 7 p.m. on Saturday, November 17. Prior to the match, the 49ers will honor their two seniors, Janisa Johnson and Libby Fontanilla.
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