July 29, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State women's volleyball prepares for the 2013 season with high hopes for a return to the NCAA Tournament as well as a run at a 13th Big West Championship.
Long Beach State will face a tremendous schedule which features home matches against Illinois, Florida State, and Kentucky during the first week of the season, as well as hosting Pac-12 foes UCLA and Oregon State before the usual difficult and exciting Big West schedule, including the second season with Hawai'i back as a member of the conference.
In all, the 49ers will face seven teams that reached the postseason a season ago, matching up with the College of Charleston and Loyola Marymount as well as the three first-weekend schools, Hawai'i and UCLA.
Long Beach State returns five starters from a season ago, highlighted by 2012 All-American Chisom Okpala and senior outside hitter Delainey Aigner-Swesey. Also returning are opposite Bre Mackie and libero Tyler Jackson, each of whom played in all 107 sets in 2012, as is senior defensive specialist Chelsea Cabrajac, who started 19 matches. The 49ers also welcome back 2011 All-American middle blocker Haleigh Hampton, who missed the entirety of the 2012 season due to injury.
Key newcomers for the 49ers include outside hitter Joy Miley, the No. 24 prospect in the country rated by PrepVolleyball.com, as well as setter Taylor Johnson, who will compete with sophomore Erin Juley for the team's starting setter role.
The 49ers will host their annual exhibition match with the alumni on August 24, and will then begin the regular season by hosting the Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational, a four-team round-robin tournament with Kentucky, Florida State and Illinois.
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