Men's Volleyball, Sports

Women’s volleyball runs up winning streak to six

The 49ers closed out their two-match road swing at the Central Coast with a four-set win over UC Santa Barbara — 22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 25-22 — to take a two and a half match lead in the conference standings.

Haleigh Hampton led the way for LBSU (14-6, 8-2 Big West) with 19 kills and four blocks. Freshman Alma Serna had a career high with six solo blocks, and also made eight kills on .368 hitting.

Defensively, senior Lauren Minkel had a tremendous night against the Gauchos (12-10, 5-4 Big West), making a season-high 27 digs to lead the ‘Niners, who finished with 75 digs and held the Gauchos to .174 hitting.

Long Beach hit .215, as Erin Juley also finished with a double-double, making 50 assists and 12 digs.

With five digs over the first two sets, senior Caitlin Ledoux also reached an LBSU milestone, joining Tara Cross and Antoinnette White as the only 49ers to record both 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills.

Ledoux finished the night with her fifth double-double of the year, making 15 kills and 10 digs on the night.

The Gauchos took an early 4-1 lead in the first set, but Long Beach answered back with a small run to take a 7-6 lead on a block from Ledoux and Serna. The 49ers eventually took a 13-9 lead, but UCSB answered back with five straight points, capped by an ace from Kara Sherrard to regain the lead 14-13. With UCSB leading 18-15, Long Beach scored three straight points to force a Gauchos timeout, but USCB continued to hold the service edge, and after taking a 23-22 lead, closed out the set with a 25-22 win.

LBSU pulled out of an early hole to tie the second set at 5-5 on a dump from Juley, and took a two-point lead at 8-6 on a Ledoux kill. Finding Janisa Johnson for the first of five second set kills for the junior after she replaced Delainey Aigner-Swesey, LBSU opened up an 11-7 lead. The Gauchos made a run to cut the lead to two at 16-14 on a Taylor Pischke kill. The 49ers answered with another block, coming from Mackie and Serna to take a 19-15 lead. Serna then made two more blocks down the stretch to give the 49ers a 25-18 win.

Long Beach took an 8-6 lead out of the break on a Mackie kill, which was followed by an Juley ace for a three-point lead. Opening a five-point lead at 15-10 on a Hampton and Johnson block, UCSB and LBSU traded serves for much of the rest of the set as the 49ers regained a five-point edge at 23-18 on a Hampton kill. The sophomore middle blocker then sent back an overpass, and the 49ers finished the set with a 25-19 win.

Long Beach State would hold off the Gauchos the rest of the way. The 49ers took a four-point lead at 10-6 in the forth. Up by five, The Beach held a 22-17 edge, and while UCSB held off two match points, Hampton was able to finish it off with her 19th kill for a 25-22 win.

LBSU will return home to host two matches next weekend, welcoming UC Riverside and Cal State Northridge to the Walter Pyramid. The 49ers will face the Highlanders on Friday at 7 p.m.


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