Nov. 17, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Facing yet more adversity, the 49ers got tough play down the stretch from freshman Alex Reid and their two seniors, Libby Fontanilla and Janisa Johnson as Long Beach State rallied to defeat UC Irvine 23-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20 in the final home match of the 2012 season.
Already with five players from the original roster unavailable, the 49ers lost Chisom Okpala on the final play of the third set. Okpala had 11 kills on .455 hitting through three sets, but Reid stepped up in her absence, finishing with nine kills in the fourth and 18 overall to lead the 49ers in the match on .472 hitting with only one error on the night. Johnson led the 49ers with 23 digs and had her eighth straight double-double with 14 kills, while Fontanilla added 18 digs from the libero position.
Setter Tara Roenicke also finished with a double-double, handing out 52 assists and 15 digs while guiding the 49ers to .240 hitting overall as the 49ers forced the Anteaters into 24 total errors to help take the win.
Long Beach State opened an 8-6 lead on a kill from freshman Alex Reid, and another Reid kill eventually helped the 49ers take an 11-8 lead. A kill by Bre Mackie helped the 49ers push one more point at 16-12, but after a timeout, the `Eaters rallied to cut the lead to one at 18-17, tie the set at 20, and take the lead at 23-22 on a block by Marisa Bubica and Shannon Fleming. Tied at 23-23, two consecutive 49er miscues allowed the Anteaters to take the set 25-23.
A Tiara Wallace overpass kill followed by another kill from Reid gave Long Beach State a 7-4 lead early in the set. The Anteaters worked their way back into a tie at 15-15, but the 49ers held onto the lead with a kill from Wallace and pushed five more points behind strong serving from Chelsea Cabrajac, including an ace, before UC Irvine picked up a sideout at 21-16. Long Beach State went on to win the set 25-19.
Back-to-back blocks by Alex Reid helped the 49ers grab a 10-7 lead in the first set, and eventually Long Beach State took a 15-10 lead on a kill by Chisom Okpala. Two straight aces from Shannon Fleming cut the 49er lead to 16-14, but an overpass kill by Roenicke brought LBSU to a four-point lead at 19-15. Two Johnson kills kept the lead at four, and the 49ers finished the set 25-19.
A Victoria Dennis kill gave the Anteaters an early fourth set lead at 9-6, but a Reid overpass return following a kill gave the 49ers a 10-9 lead. Two Dennis errors pushed the LBSU lead to 13-9, and a Reid kill opened up a six-point lead for the 49ers at 16-10. UC Irvine cut the lead to three points a trio of times, but each time Johnson or Reid had an answer down the stretch, and kill by Reid gave the 49ers a 25-20 set and match victory.
Long Beach State finishes the regular season next week, traveling to the Central Coast for a pair of matches. The 49ers will start with a 7 p.m. match at UC Santa Barbara on Friday, November 23 before closing out Big West play at Cal Poly on Saturday, November 24.
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