Oct. 16, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. -
Complete Women's Volleyball Release
Long Beach State has a light week this week, with only one match on the schedule as the 49ers play their travel partner, UC Irvine, in the first competition of the 2012-13 Black and Blue Rivalry. The 49ers will play the first of two matches with the Anteaters this season on the road on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Bren Events Center. Live audio coverage of the match can be found at www.longbeachstate.com.
The Last Meeting
|Long Beach State||3
November 19, 2011
Long Beach, Calif.
Freshmen lead Long Beach State past UC Irvine in final Big West match
A pair of first-year players came through for the 49ers on Saturday night, as Long Beach State closed out conference play with another win, defeating UC Irvine 19-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-17. Bre Mackie tied a career-high with 15 kills on .560 hitting, and Alma Serna added 11 kills on .444 hitting to lead the 49ers.
A Tough Split
Going on the road at UC Riverside on Thursday, Long Beach State picked up its fifth win of the conference season in a 3-1 decision over the Highlanders. Delainey Aigner-Swsey had 14 kills on .273 hitting while Chisom Okpala added 11 as the 49ers improved to 5-2 in the Big West. On Saturday, however, the 49ers' three-game winning streak was snapped, as was LBSU's remarkable winning streak over Cal State Fullerton, as the Titans took advantage of a hobbled Tara Roenicke and 49ers roster in a 3-1 loss. Cal State Fullerton's Kayla Neto earned Big West Player of the Week honors after making a double-double with 17 kills in snapping a 30-year streak for the 49ers.
Sophomore Chisom Okpala has responded to an increased role for the 49ers in the Big West season after joining the starting lineup at the start of the season. Through eight Big West matches, Okpala is leading the 49ers with 2.72 kills per set, and her .370 hitting is second best in the Big West, just behind UC Davis' Victoria Lee who leads the lead with a .374 hitting percentage. Additionally, Okpala ranks in the conference's top 10 in blocking in Big West matches at 1.24 blocks per set.
Under The Bright Lights
When Long Beach State hosts No. 9 Hawai'i on Saturday, October 26 at 7 p.m., that match will be televised live on Fox Sport Prime Ticket, the first match covered as part of a new television deal brokered between the Big West and Fox Sports. The match is the first televised match for the 49ers since the 2008 season, when Long Beach State hosted Cal Poly in the Walter Pyramid.
Scouting UC Irvine
Saturday's match with UC Irvine, along with the soccer match that is also being held on Friday at 7 p.m., are the first official contests in the annual Black and Blue Rivalry with UCI. This year's Anteater team comes in with a record of 9-12 overall, and are part of a pack of seven teams in the middle of the Big West, along with LBSU, with a record of 5-4, 4-3, or 4-4 (UH on one end, UCR and CP on the other account for the other three). Junior Aly Squires was an honorable mention All-Big West selection a year ago, and leads the Anteaters with 293 kills on the season, averaging 3.96 kills per set. Senior libero Kristen Winkler averages 5.20 digs per set, second-most in the Big West. UCI's biggest win on the year came at Cal State Northridge in a 3-1 victory, but the Anteaters are just 3-4 at home on the year.
Long Beach State vs. the Anteaters
Long Beach State leads the all-time series with UC Irvine with a 62-8 record, and the 49ers have won five straight times over the Anteaters. Both of the team's last two losses came at UC Irvine however, in back-to-back meetings in 2008 and 2009. Long Beach State won easily in Irvine last season in a 3-0 victory as Haleigh Hampton finished with nine kills on .500 hitting with no errors. The Anteaters took a set off of the 49ers in the last meeting with the 49ers, Nov. 19 in the Walter Pyramid, but the 49ers rallied for a 3-1 win behind a career-high 15 kills from Bre Mackie.
Three different 49ers have posted double-doubles in 2012, and all three are making it a habit, including all three posting double-doubles this weekend against UC Davis. Setter Tara Roenicke now has nine double-doubles on the year, reaching the mark in assists in every match and nine times in digs. Senior outside hitter Janisa Johnson has six double-doubles on the year, including a 29 kill, 19 dig outing against North Carolina. Finally, junior outside hitter Delainey Aigner-Swesey has five double-doubles, the last coming at UC Riverside last week when she led the 49ers with 14 kills and 13 digs.
With 17 digs against UC Riverside, and 14 against Cal State Fullerton last weekend, senior Janisa Johnson hit the 1,000 digs milestone, becoming just the 11th player at Long Beach State to make that many digs, and the 5th outside hitter, joining four All-Americans in Tara Cross, Christine Romero, Nichelle Burton, and Antoinnette White. Johnson can reach the Top 10 with 15 digs, passing former setter and current volunteer assistant Nicole Vargas.