Nov. 26, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. - Senior Caitlin Ledoux finished with her 37th career double-double, making a team-high 16 kills and 12 digs, while fellow senior Lauren Minkel made 17 digs to lead Long Beach State as the 49ers defeated New Mexico 25-17, 21-25, 25-13, 25-22 to win their 15th straight match and conclude the regular season.
Setter Erin Juley had an outstanding match, making 56 assists and guiding the 49ers to .389 hitting against the Lobos while making four kills herself with no errors. The 49ers had four hitters in double-figures in kills, led by Ledoux. Janisa Johnson finished with 13 kills, Haleigh Hampton had 11, and Alma Serna finished with 10 kills on .571 hitting. Bre Mackie also added eight kills for LBSU.
Long Beach State took a two-point lead in the first set on an overpass return from Alma Serna at 8-6, and moved ahead by four points on an ace from Hampton. Leading by five, the 49ers continued to push, hitting Delainey Aigner-Swesey for a kill down the line for a 20-14 lead. The 49ers run continued to 22-14 on another Aigner-Swesey kill, and Long Beach State finished the set on top 25-17.
Lobos came out on top early in set two 4-1 on a Kelly Williamson kill. Lobo ace from Allison Buck made score 5-1, and Johnson came in to pass for 49ers, picking up two quick kills. Long Beach State finally pulled back even at 13-13 on an ace from Tyler Jackson. The Lobos kept the 49ers from taking the lead, and took a 17-14 lead on a kill from Ashley Newman. The Lobos would hold the lead the rest of the way, and took the set 25-21.
The 49ers took the momentum out of the break, eventually opening an 8-3 lead on a kill from Johnson leading to a New Mexico timeout. Out of the timeout, a block from Mackie and Serna made the score 9-3, and the teams would start to trade sideouts. Leading 19-13, Long Beach State pushed two more points, the second coming on another block from Mackie and Serna, and the 49ers closed out the third with rest of that run, winning 25-13 and hitting .440 on the set.
In by far the closest set to that point, New Mexico took the first two-point lead for either team at 13-11 following a block from Chantale Riddle and Lexi Ross. Trailing 18-15, Long Beach State scored three straight, tying the set with an ace from Minkel, and then retook the lead on a kill from Hampton. The 49ers took their first two-point lead on a Lobo error at 21-19, but New Mexico tied the set once more at 21-21. Long Beach State answered back once more, taking a 23-21 lead on a kill from Hampton. The 49ers found Hampton once more for set point, and closed out the regular season with a kill by Ledoux and a 25-22 win.
Prior to the match, the 49ers honored their four graduates - Minkel, Ledoux, Jocelyn Neely and Michelle Osunbor. Long Beach State will make its 25th consecutive NCAA appearance starting next weekend. The 49ers will find out their destination when the bracket is announced at 3 p.m. on Sunday on ESPNU.
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