Dec. 2, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Senior Delainey Aigner-Swesey and junior Chisom Okpala were each recognized for outstanding seasons on the All-Big West First Team, the conference announced on Monday. Okpala earned the honor for the second year in a row while Aigner-Swesey capped her career with her first First Team selection.
Aigner-Swesey, an outside hitter, had her best year as a senior with a team-leading 390 kills to go along with 350 digs. She earned a spot on the First Team for the first time in her career and will add the accolade to her selections to the Big West’s All-Freshmen Team in 2010 and Honorable Mention selection in 2011. She ranked second in the Big West this year with 3.48 kills per set and was third with just under four points per set. She hit 20 or more kills three times this year with a season-high of 25 coming in a comeback win over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 18.
Okpala earned her second consecutive nod on the First Team after leading the 49ers in hitting percentage this year. The junior middle blocker was one of the conference-leaders in hitting percentage, hitting at a .351 clip overall and a .352 clip in Big West matches. During the conference season, Okpala ranked second in the Big West in hitting percentage. She also ranked fifth in the Big West with 1.15 blocks per set during conference matches. She had eight total blocks in a match three times this year and led the squad with 20 solo blacks and 112 block assists.
Hawaii’s Emily Hartong was named the Player of the Year and UC Santa Barbara’s Ali Spindt was the Freshman of the Year. The Coach of the Year award was shared for the second year in a row. This time, UCSB’s Nicole Lantagne-Welch and Cal State Northridge’s Jeff Stork shared the honor.
The 49ers finished the season on a season long winning streak of five matches to run their record to 18-11 overall and 11-5 in the Big West. It was the 27th consecutive season that Long Beach State finished with a winning record.
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