Nov. 13, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. -
The 49ers end the home portion of their 2012 schedule this Saturdady, when Long Beach State hosts UC Irvine in the second-half of the women's volleybal portion of the Black and Blue Rivalry. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Walter Pyramid. Gametracker, Live video and live audio streaming of both matches will be provided through www.longbeachstate.com.
Tack On Two More
Long Beach State is in the midst of its longest winning streak of the season after picking up two more wins at home last weekend. The 49ers, now winners of four straight, moved into second place in the Big West as the 49ers defeated Cal State Fullerton in four sets, avenging an earlier loss to the Titans behind 16 kills and 16 digs from Janisa Johnson and a triple-double from setter Tara Roenicke, the first for any 49er since 2012. Roenicke finished the match with career highs in both kills (11) and digs (14), while making 43 assists in the win. The 49ers then continued their roll with a three-set sweep of UC Riverside, as Johnson again led the way with 12 kills and 17 digs.
Long Beach State bids farewell to two seniors who will be playing their final game in the Walter Pyramid on Saturday. Both outside hitter Janisa Johnson and Libby Fontanilla have played over 300 sets for the 49ers over their productive careers. Fontanilla passed 500 career digs this past weekend, and she comes into the weekend with 47 career aces. Meanwhile, Johnson will finish her career as one of the finest all-around players in Long Beach State history, with over 900 kill and 1100 digs in her career, averaging over 2.75 of each per set in her career.
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 year. Through 15 Big West matches, Okpala is leading the 49ers with 3.25 kills per set, and her .347 is second-best in the conference, just behind Hawaii's Jade Vorster, who is hitting .384. Additionally, Okpala ranks third in the conference's top 10 in blocking in Big West matches at 1.29 blocks per set.
Scouting UC Irvine
UC Irvine comes into the week with a 10-19 overall record, and the Anteaters are 5-10 in the Big West, but have been on a skid recently, losing five matches in a row and six of their last seven. Aly Squires is the top hitter for the Anteaters, averaging 3.74 kills per set while also making 2.85 digs per set. Libero Kristen Winkler averages 5.59 digs per set, good for second in the Big West.
Long Beach State vs. the Anteaters
Long Beach State holds a 63-9 all-time edge over UC Irvine in a series dating back to 1973. The 49ers won the last meeting between the teams on Oct. 20 in Irvine, as Chisom Okpala had 14 kills on .545 hitting to lead he 49ers in a three-set win with three identical 25-23 scores. With that win, the 49ers have now six straight over UC Irvine, and haven't lost on their home floor since 2003. In the last meeting in the Walter Pyramid, the 49ers won in four sets after dropping the first, as Bre Mackie had a career night with 15 kills on .560 hitting.
Senior Janisa Johnson picked up two more double-doubles last weekend with 16 kills and 16 digs against Fullerton and 12 kills and 17 digs against UC Riverside. She has now passed the mark in seven straight matches and 13 overall in 2012. That passes setter Tara Roenicke, who has 12 double-doubles in 2012, as well as one triple-double, which she recorded Nov. 8 against the Titans with 11 kills, 14 digs, and 43 assists. Junior Delainey Aigner-Swesey also had four double-doubles during 2012.
Coming Up Big On The Road
Senior outside hitter Janisa Johnson was a big part of the two wins for the 49ers in Northern California, earning Big West Player of the Week honors for the second time in her career. Johnson averaged 4.75 kill and 5.88 digs per set on the weekend, extending her double-double streak to five matches with 19 kills and 22 digs against Pacific and 19 kills and 25 digs at UC Davis.
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