Oct. 11, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. -
Complete Women's Volleyball Weekly Release
Long Beach State hosts two important Big West matches this weekend, playing two teams in the top half of the Big West Conference standings as the 49ers face UC Davis and Pacific. The 49ers start by taking on the Aggies on Friday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m., and then play Pacific on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. Gametracker as well as live audio and video streaming will be available through www.longbeachstate.com.
Fighting Against Fullerton
Returning to the friendly confines of the Walter Pyramid on Saturday for the only match of the weekend, Long Beach State extended their winning streak against Cal State Fullerton to 58 matches with a 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-11 victory. Long Beach State got the win on the strength of their big three hitters, who all had double-doubles on Saturday. Caitlin Ledoux had 17 kills and 11 digs, while Janisa Johnson had 12 kills and 10 digs, and Haleigh Hampton recorded her second double-double of the season with 13 kills and 10 total blocks. Hampton hit .417 on the night, and was joined in hitting over .400 by Delainey Aigner-Swesey who had eight kills on 14 swings, hitting .429. Senior libero Lauren Minkel had 19 digs to lead the 49ers defensively, who had four players in double-digit digs. Freshman setter Erin Juley had four kills and 48 assists while leading the 49ers to .328 hitting as a team.
Sophomore Haleigh Hampton was named the Big West Player of the Week for her work in two wins over UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. Hampton had her second double-double of the year with 13 kills and 10 blocks against the Titans, and hit .500 with nine kills with no errors in a Tuesday sweep at UC Irivne, adding five blocks in that contest.
Long Beach State got a boost on Caitlin Ledoux's poster night, as the senior returned to the 49er lineup Saturday against Cal State Fullerton, posting a double-double with 17 kills and 11 digs in her return. Ledoux had missed six matches for Long Beach State, dating back to September 10 against Oregon State, missing nearly an entire month of the season.
Scouting UC Davis
UC Davis had a tremendous start to the sesson, opening up the season with 16-1 record before a pair of losses on the road at UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly brought the Aggies to a tie in the Big West standings with Long Beach State. The Aggies came back to form last week in a pair of home sweeps against Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside. Junior Allison Whitson, a first-team All-Big West selection a year ago, leads the Aggies with 3.68 kills per set, while Betsy Sedlak averages 2.20 kills per set whil hitting .336 from the middle, and is fourth in the Big West in blocking.
Long Beach State vs. the Aggies
Long Beach State has never lost to UC Davis, posting a 13-0 record against the Aggies since UC Davis moved to Division I. However, the Aggies came very close to toppling the 49ers last season in Davis, when the 49ers prevailed in five sets 19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 26-28, 16-14. In the last meeting in Long Beach, Caitlin Ledoux had 13 kills on .619 hitting to lead the 49ers to a 25-13, 25-19, 25-13 sweep in the Walter Pyramid.
The Tigers sit one game behind Long Beach State and UC Davis in the Big West standings at 3-3, and are led by outside hitter Samantha Misa, whose 3.96 kills per set are second-best in the conference behind Caitlin Ledoux at 4.00. Junior setter Hannah Clancy is also one of the best in the conference, and averages a league-best 11.19 assists per set.
Long Beach State vs. the Tigers
In another traditional conference rivalry, Long Beach State leads a close series with the Tigers 35-26 all-time. Long Beach State has won three straight matches after sweeping the home-and-home with Pacific last season, and has won 10 straight in the Walter Pyramid. Last season's match was a battle, however, as Svenja Engelhardt of Pacific nearly led the Tigers to a win in five sets with 28 kills, but Long Beach State answered with 32 digs by Lauren Minkel and 19 kills from Caitlin Ledoux as the 49ers won 25-19, 23-25, 25-14, 23-25, 15-11.
Long Beach State has one of the youngest teams in the nation in 2011. Seniors Lauren Minkel and Caitlin Ledoux are the only two members of Long Beach State's current roration that has more than one full year of experience on the floor, and five freshman have had more than 20 sets played this season in middle blocker Alma Serna, outside hitter Bre Mackie, setter Erin Juley, and two DS players in Tyler Jackson and Chelsea Cabrajac. Long Beach State ranks in a tie for fourth in the nation in the number of freshman and sophomores on the team with 13 in total.
Keep On Digging
Senior Libero Lauren Minkel is within sight of a tremendous career mark, as she continues to climb the career digs list at Long Beach State. Making 19 digs against Cal State Fullerton last weekend, Minkel now has 1,445 career digs. To reach the top of the list, Minkel has to pass one more legend in Tara Cross, and then would reach the top of the list by passing Long Beach State's first full-time libero, Heather Laudato who recorded 1,686 career digs from 2002-05.
One season after ranking eighth nationally in blocking, the 49ers are back at it in 2011. After finishing third in the nation in 2010, Haleigh Hampton ranks second nationally at 1.63 blocks per set, which is also the best in the Big West. Freshman Alma Serna is also joining the party, ranking third in the Big West and 40th nationally, averaging 1.24 blocks per set. The 49ers are leading the conference in all matches, averaging 3.06 blocks per set. Long Beach State also is currently sixth in the nation in blocking as a team.