LBSU Women's Volleyball Sweeps Pacific on Senior Night
Long Beach State has just one match left in the regular season, Saturday at 1 p.m. against Denver.
Long Beach, Calif. -
Long Beach State (24-6) celebrated its Senior Night in winning fashion with a sweep of visiting Pacific (17-13) on Friday night at Walter Pyramid. LBSU's four departing seniors-- Hayley Benson, Jenelle Hudson, Lindsey Lawmaster and Tiara Wallace --were honored prior to the match, and the 49ers went on to handle business against the visiting Tigers, 26-24, 25-20, 25-21.
Nele Barber led the Beach in both kills and digs, recording 11 and 13, respectively. That gives the junior her 22nd double-double of the season with one match remaining. Hudson, the senior captain setter, dished out 28 assists and had a pair of aces on the night. Freshman opposite Peyton Grahovac had a solid match, recording eight kills with a .412 attack percentage. Classmate Megan Kruidhof reached nine kills and Ashley Murray chipped in seven for the Beach.
Maycie LaBass (12 kills) and Alicja Wilk (10 kills) led the Tigers while Lexi Elman put up a match-high 18 digs.
Long Beach looked to be riding the excitement of the pre-match festivities as the 49ers raced out to a 7-1 lead to force a Pacific timeout. The Tigers helped in the run, committing four errors, and Barber added a pair of early kills. Another kill from the Beach's top offensive weapon gave the hosts a 20-13 lead, but Pacific wouldn't go quietly. The Tigers rattled off five straight points, kicking off an 11-3 run that gave them set point at 24-23.
LBSU head coach Brian Gimmillaro took his second timeout to settle his team, and they responded. The 49ers won three straight points out of the timeout to win the first set, 26-24. Barber did the honors at the end of a long rally, collecting her fourth kill of the opening frame. Grahovac and Kruidhof also had four kills in set one.
The Beach held another early advantage in the second set, going up 11-6 when Hudson's serve crept over the net for an ace. The Tigers clawed back to tie the score at 13-all thanks to a 5-0 run, but a well-placed dump by Hudson sparked a quick 3-0 run and the Beach maintained its lead the rest of the set. Pacific pulled to within 17-16, but the 49ers responded with four straight points. Grahovac put down two of the final three points for the Beach to secure the 25-20 win and the 2-0 advantage.
Following the break, it was Pacific that came out ready to play, using a 7-0 run to grab a 9-3 lead in the early stages of set three. It didn't take Long Beach much time to get back level, however, as Barber's back-row kill tied the set at 12 apiece. The teams remained close until the Beach was able to put a few points together, taking a 21-19 lead when Lawmaster set Kruidhof for a key kill on the outside. A pair of kills from Murray pushed the 49ers to match point at 24-21, and a Pacific hitting error ended the match.
Long Beach State faces a quick turnaround for its final regular season match, hosting Summit League champions Denver (27-6) on Saturday at 1 p.m.
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