Three-Headed Monster Leads Beach To Sweep Of CSUN
The Beach hit .333 as a team to pick up a sweep on the road.
Northridge, Calif. -
The Long Beach State (21-6, 11-3 Big West) women's volleyball team got back in the win column with a 25-23, 25-16, 25-23 win at CSUN (6-20, 5-9 Big West) on Friday night. The Beach attack got solid contributions across the net with outside hitter Nele Barber, middle blocker Hayley Benson and opposite Peyton Grahovac each recording double-digit kills to pace the offense.
Barber put up a match-high 14 kills on just 23 swings (.522 hitting), Benson added 11 on 16 swings (.562 hitting) and Grahovac reached double-digits for the sixth straight time with an even 10 kills. Freshman Megan Kruidhof got her fifth start of the season, recording six kills, five digs and a pair of solo roofs. Mykah Wilson led the match with 14 digs from her libero spot.
Cieana Stinson led the Matadors with 10 kills, but hit just .214 dealing with the attention of the 49er block.
Long Beach was able to pull out a very tight opening set that featured 15 tie scores, including the first five points of the match. A 4-0 run by the Beach featuring a pair of aces by Missy Owens afforded them an 8-5 advantage, but it was short-lived as CSUN took the lead back at 11-10. The 49ers trailed 18-16 after a solo roof by Stinson, but Kruidhof responded with a kill and solo block of her own to tie things at 18.
The teams tied at 22 and 23 until the 49ers won the last two points of the set. Barber's spike followed by a double contact called against the Matadors gave Long Beach the 25-23 win. LBSU actually got outhit in the opening frame (.258 to .200), but had the benefit of four service aces--two apiece from Owens and Wilson.
The 49ers were in control early on in the second set, going on a 6-0 run to grab an 11-3 lead on a Lindsey Lawmaster ace. The Matadors would never get within six points of the Beach the rest of the set as the visitors cruised to a 25-16 win. Barber had four kills on four swings in the second set, helping the Beach hit .321. Defensively, LBSU held CSUN to just .107 hitting in the second frame.
The third set was reminiscent of the opening frame, ending with the same score. There were again 15 ties between the teams, but a late run by the Beach gave them an impressive comeback win in the set to complete the sweep. CSUN led 22-20 in the third to force the only Beach timeout of the night, and it worked. Barber tucked a kill just inside the back line and Jenelle Hudson elevated for a huge block alongside Benson to tie the score at 22-all.
Barber then found the far sideline with a huge cross-court kill to give the 49ers a lead at 23-22. On the next point, Lawmaster's serve forced an overpass and Barber was there to clean it up with a thunderous kill. CSUN survived one match point but Benson did the honors with the final kill of the match through the Matador block.
LBSU returns to action next Friday, hosting Cal State Fullerton at 7pm at Walter Pyramid before traveling to UC Riverside the following night to close out Big West Conference play.
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