Nov. 30, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Both teams came in riding high on dramatic comeback wins but it was the Long Beach State women’s volleyball that kept riding high in a sweep of visiting Cal Poly. The 49ers (18-11, 11-5 Big West) kept all the drama out of this one as they cruised to a 25-12, 25-16, 25-14 victory to extended their current winning streak to five and send off the lone 49er senior on a positive note.
Senior outside hitter Delainey Aigner-Swesey made her final appearance on the volleyball hardwood and led her squad through a dominating performance against the Mustangs (12-17, 6-10 Big West), who swept the 49ers two months ago. Aigner-Swesey had a match-high 12 kills without committing an error on 27 swings. Chisom Okpala was also errorless on the night with nine kills and .600 hitting percentage.
The Beach cruised to wins in sets one and two as they never trailed and were never even with Cal Poly in either set. They scored the first three points of the first set and the first five points of the second as thy left the visitors in their rear view mirror. The third set featured a couple lead changes early on before the Beach pulled away for the sweep.
Five Beach blocks were put in the first set, then again in the second set and again in the third for a total of 15 team blocks in the three set win. Cal Poly was held to .090 hitting in the match, hitting just .023 in the first set and .000 in the third. Okpala had seven total blocks to lead the 49ers at the net while Alex Reid and Haleigh Hampton each totaled five.
The 49ers set the tone in the first set as they sprinted out of the gates. They scored the first three points and failed to sideout only twice in the set, keeping Cal Poly from countering their lengthy runs. The longest run came in the middle of the set when Aigner-Swesey stepped back to serve with a 9-5 lead and continued to do so until the Beach held a 19-6 advantage. Three blocks and four kills helped fuel the run that put the advantage in Long Beach State’s possession.
A three point run here and four point run there fueled the second set. Reid served the sets first five points and the Beach never looked back. Aigner-Swesey had seven kills in the set and the 49ers made just one attacking error on the way to .486 hitting percentage and a 2-0 advantage in the match. The team hit .394 in the match.
The Mustangs challenged early on in the third and took a 4-3 lead. Kills from Bre Mackie and Okpala put the Beach back out in front 5-4 and a later kill from Okpala gave the 49ers the lead for good at 6-5. The 49ers failed to sideout just once after taking the 6-5 lead as they slowly built a big lead behind four Okpala kills and another five blocks.
The season came to an end as Reid hammered home an overpass that clinched the match for her 10th kill. Tyler Jackson had 14 digs and Erin Juley distributed 36 assists. Megan McConnell led the Mustangs with nine kills while Taylor Gruenewald tallied eight.
Mackie hit .600 on the night to finish her season with seven kills and Hampton put down seven kills of her own.
The Beach closed the 2013 season on a season-high five match winning streak. With only Aigner-Swesey running out of eligibility, they will return six starters in 2014. Postseason accolades are due to be announced next week.
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