Nov. 18, 2013
It's a Black and Blue weekend for women's volleyball as the 49ers head to UC Irvine for their lone match of the week. The 7 p.m. match will be their final one away from Walter Pyramid as they return home for their final two matches of the year.
Last Time Out
Long Beach State went 2-for-2 last week with a pair of four set wins on the road. The Beach downed UC Riverside in four and beat Cal State Fullerton by the same count. For the second time this year, Cal State Fullerton grabbed the first set but this time the 49ers won the next three to clinch an overall winning record for the season.
Scouting UC Irvine
The Anteaters come into the Black and Blue weekend on a hot streak. They are winners of their last three matches and three of their last four at home. They sport a 5-3 record on their home floor. Marissa Bubica leads the attack with three kills per set but Cassidy Pickrell is coming off a 25-kill outburst against Cal State Fullerton and leads the squad in conference matches with a 2.81 kills per set average. The Anteaters lead the conference in service aces as a team (1.52 per set) with Shannon Fleming leading the team and the Big West individually with 43 aces on the year (0.41 per set).
History With The Anteaters
Long Beach State won the first matchup of the season between these two rivals with a decisive sweep in Walter Pyramid. Delainey Aigner-Swesey had 11 kills and Chisom Okpala had 10. The 49ers also posted 10 team blocks in the sweep compared to two for UCI. The 49ers have now won the last eight in a row against UCI with five of those wins coming via the sweep.
Another Winning Season At The Beach
For the 27th consecutive time, the 49ers will end the year with a winning record. Two wins last weekend ran Long Beach State's record to 15-11 and guaranteed the 49ers an above .500 record for the 27th year in a row and 28 out of the last 29 years under head coach Brian Gimmillaro. That streak reaches all the way back to the 1987 season - only the third under Gimmillaro. Gimmillaro has shown tremendous success in the 29 years he has been at the helm of the women's volleyball program at Long Beach State, winning over 79 percent of the time. He has led the 49ers to winning seasons in 28 of his 29 seasons. His only season spent under .500 was 1986 when the 49ers finished 15-17.
Aigner-Swesey On A Tear
Senior Delainey Aigner-Swesey is on somewhat of a hot streak as of late with double digit kills in each of the last six matches and seven of the last eight. She has also reached double digit digs in six of the last eight matches, including a career-best 27-dig performance last Saturday. During that stretch she is averaging a double-double with 3.78 kills and 3.34 digs per set. She now has over 300 kills and over 300 digs in a season for the first time in her career and ranks second in the Big West with 3.43 kills per set on the season. Her hot streak continues into the blocking game where she is average just under one block per set. Of her 68 total blocks in 26 matches this season, 30 have come in the last eight matches.
Aigner-Swesey vs. The OC
Senior Delainey Aigner-Swesey has enjoyed playing both rivals from Orange County this year. In three matches (that combine for 12 sets), she has 52 kills, 45 digs, 14 blocks and 60.5 points. She is averaging over five points per set against Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine with 4.33 kills and 1.17 blocks per set. She is also recording 3.75 digs per set. All three numbers are well above her season average. With the senior leading the way, the Beach has posted a perfect 3-0 record against its OC rivals.
Juley Continues Her Climb Up The Record Book
Sophomore Erin Juley set her way into the Long Beach State record book this year as one of the Beach's top distributors of all-time. A top-10 list that is topped by Sheri Sanders and includes the likes of two-time national Player of the Year Misty May now includes Juley as well. Juley dished out her 2,000th assist in the first set at Hawai'i - only the ninth 49er to make that mark. With 46 assists on Friday, Juley recorded her second 1,000 assist season. She backed that up with 50 more assists on Saturday to reach 1,072 assists on the season and 2,232 in her career. She ranks ninth all-time ahead of Joy McKienzie (1,743 assists from 1990-93) and behind Ashley Lee (2,437 assists from 2007-10). With an average of 10.31 assists per set, Juley ranks fifth in the Big West and is on pace for a career-best season total.
Jackson With A Career Year
Junior libero Tyler Jackson made this year her best ever in her years at the Beach. With 19 digs against Cal State Fullerton, Jackson ran her season total to 351 digs - the highest single season total of her career. She now has 936 digs in her career and is averaging 3.38 per set this year, which ranks ninth in the Big West. With her current average, Jackson will finish 2013 just shy of 1,000 career digs. Only 11 players in 49ers history have reached 1,000 digs in their career.
Mackie Forms A Pattern
Bre Mackie is enjoying one of her best runs of the season. The junior right side has hit double digit kills in each of the last five matches. She has a pattern going over those five matches of 11, 14, 11, 14, 11. Those numbers represent the number of kills that Mackie recorded in order. Her 14 kills against UC Riverside and UC Davis tie her season-high.
Reid Reaches 300
After a Big West All-Freshmen team selection in 2012, Alex Reid is putting together a strong sophomore campaign in 2013. The sophomore outside hitter has put down 306 kills for an average of 2.94 per set. She is also averaging 2.34 digs per set and hitting .215 on the year. Reid's kill total trails only senior Delainey Aigner-Swesey on the Long Beach State squad while her 243 digs ranks third. Three more kills will give Reid 500 for her career as she approaches the halfway mark of her time as a 49er.
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