Oct. 1, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. -
The 49ers look to rebound from a tough road trip as Long Beach State returns to the Walter Pyramid to face UC Davis and Pacific this weekend. Both teams come into the weekend with a 2-1 record in Big West action. All home matches are covered via Gametracker, live audio and live streaming at www.longbeachstate.com.
The Long Road Home
After starting out 2-0 in Big West play, the 49ers faced a tough road trip last weekend, playing at Cal State Northridge on Thursday before heading to Honolulu to play No. 8 Hawaii. Long Beach State ended up dropping both of those games. The 49ers rallied to win the first set at Cal State Northridge, but ultimately lost the next three sets to fall in four, with Delainey Aigner-Swesey leading the team with 14 kills. Against Hawaii, sophomore Chisom Okpala finished with nine kills on .750 hitting, but didn't have much help in a 3-0 setback to the Rainbow Wahine.
Scouting UC Davis
UC Davis started off Big West play with a mild upset of their rivals, Pacific, and then split a pair of five-set matches last week, beating UC Riverside before falling to Cal State Fullerton. .500 overall, the Aggies are led by senior outside hitter Allison Whitson, who is seventh in the Big West with 3.61 kills per set, while middle blocker Victoria Lee is tied for the conference lead with 1.26 blocks per set.
Long Beach State vs. the Aggies
Long Beach State has a perfect 15-0 record against UC Davis in a series dating back to 2004. The 49ers won the first match between the teams in the Walter Pyramid, and have since taken every match in the series since the Aggies joined the conference. Last season, the 49ers swept the Aggies in quick fashion at the Walter Pyramid as Haleigh Hampton had 12 kills on .611 hitting. In the rematch in Davis, Caitlin Ledoux had a big match with 20 kills as the 49ers prevailed in four sets.
Pacific started the season with an impressive run through its non-conference schedule, going 12-1 with the Tigers only loss coming at Stanford. However, the Tigers stumbled against UC Davis to start the Big West slate, falling in four sets. Since then, however, the Tigers had beaten CS Fullerton and UC Riverside to improve to 2-1 in the conference on the year, and at 14-2 overall, receieved three votes in this week's poll. Megan Birch is second in the conference in kills with four per set, and has 244 on the season, while setter Hannah Clancy is hitting .314 while averaging 10.48 assists per set.
Long Beach State vs. the Tigers
Long Beach State leads the all-time series with Pacific 37-26, and has had one of their longest runs of success against Pacific in recent years, having won the last five meetings with the Tigers, and 11 in a row at home. The Tigers took a set off the 49ers last season in the Walter Pyramid, but Long Beach State won 3-1 despite 18 kills from Samantha Misa. Then on the road in Pacific, the 49ers hit .419 on the way to a three-set blowout in Stockton.
Three different 49ers have posted double-doubles in 2012, and all three are making it a habit. Setter Tara Roenicke has led the way for the 49ers with six double-doubles, easily passing the mark in assists, while making ten or more digs in six different matches, most recently at Cal State Northridge. Senior outside hitter Janisa Johnson has five double-doubles, the most recent coming against Northern Iowa, when she had 12 kills and 19 digs. Johnson has now had 19 digs in three different matches, one coming against Wisconsin, when she had 18 kills, and the other against North Carolina, when she had 29. Delainey Aigner-Swesey got into the act back at the CEFCU Classic, making two double-doubles against Arkansas State and Northern Iowa to go along with just the second double-double of her career that she recorded against Kentucky.
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