49ers block their way to their 13th straight win
Nov. 23, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State started its final trio of matches with another victory, extending its winning streak to 13 straight matches with a 25-21, 25-17, 25-22 victory over Loyola Marymount in the Walter Pyramid on Wednesday night. Sophomore Haleigh Hampton finished with eight kills on .538 hitting with nine total blocks for the 49ers.
While the 49ers hit .232 on the night, it was the blocking that got the job done for the 49ers, as Long Beach State put up 15 total, besting the season average per set and holding the Lions to .140 hitting. That, along with 13 digs from libero Lauren Minkel, helped a balanced offensive attack that saw Hampton, Alma Serna, and Bre Mackie each finish with eight kills apiece to pace the 49ers.
Loyola Marymount started the match strong, opening up a 6-3 after Keil solo block. The Lions run continued, as Keil struck again, making her third block to help Loyola Marymount take a 9-3 lead. Long Beach State battled back, however. Behind some great digs from Lauren Minkel, Long Beach State cut the lead in half, and a solo block from Hampton cut the Lion lead to two at 14-12. The 49ers finally pushed to within one at 19-18, and Bre Mackie and Aigner-Swesey each picked up kills to give LBSU its first lead at 20-19. Catching the momentum along with the lead, Long Beach State closed out the set with a 25-21 win behind six team blocks and eight digs in the set from Minkel.
In a closer set, Long Beach State held onto the early edge, and took a 10-7 lead on a service error by LMU. Taking advantage of an LMU miscue, Serna hammered home a kill to give the 49ers their largest lead of the set at 14-9 and forcing the Lions into their second timeout. The 49ers continued to push to an 18-9 lead before a Lions sideout, and took a 25-17 second set victory.
LMU again grabbed an early lead in the third set, eventually leading by five points at 10-5 after an ace from Diana Hiromoto. Trailing 12-6, Long Beach State turned to Janisa Johnson in a front-row substitution which showed immediate dividends. Two kills from the junior helped the 49ers cut the lead back to two at 13-11, and a block from Hampton and Ledoux brought the 49ers within one. Serna gave the 49ers a 15-14 lead on a tip. A Ledoux solo block after a diving scramble by the setter Juley put the 49ers on top 17-15, and the run continued with a kill by Mackie forcing an LMU timeout. The Lions were able to tie the set at 18 out of the timeout, which held until Hampton picked up a kill at 23-22. The 49ers then found Johnson out of the back row, and a block by Juley and Serna finished up the match with a 25-22 win.
Long Beach State plays two more matches this weekend, hosting Central Michigan on Friday before playing New Mexico on Senior Night on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. The 49ers will honor their four graduates, Jocelyn Neely, Michelle Osunbor, Lauren Minkel, and Caitlin Ledoux prior to the match.