Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball

The women’s volleyball team go 2-1 in the LBSU/UCI Mizuno Invitational

After extending its losing streak to nine, the Long Beach State women’s volleyball team looked to bounce back on Saturday in a double header against the San Francisco Dons and the Montana State Bobcats.

The 49ers cruised past the Dons, sweeping them 25-19, 25-19, 25-16 to win their second game of the season.

Energy played a huge factor in the match, as the 49ers (3-10) came out in each set with a sense of urgency. LBSU showed consistency throughout the match, hitting a season best .369 with only seven hitting errors.

Sophomore middle blocker, Kjersti Norveel, put up a career-high 10 kills on only 15 swings, while also adding three digs and four block assists.

“It feels really good because this feels like the first game where we can actually trust each other,” Norveel said. “In other games we weren’t sure if we could do it or not, but now we know that we can trust the system.”

With only a few hours to prepare, LBSU played against the Montana State Bobcats.

The 49ers showed plenty of heart against the Bobcats, coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the match to win it in five.

In the first two sets, LBSU stayed close to the Bobcats but could not hang on down the stretch. Both teams seemed to be evenly matched, but the 49ers faced a recurring situation in not being able to execute near the end of sets.

After the 10-minute intermission, LBSU came out as a completely new team. The 49ers were unbothered by the position they were in, and just took the match a set at a time. They dominated the third set taking a 21-12 lead and never looked back. The 49ers finished the third set on a 4-2 run winning the set 25-14.

The fourth set showed more of the same starting it off with a 7-4 lead and extending it to 14-9. Momentum did not leave the 49ers finishing the set on 11-5 run, taking the set 25-14. The match was evened up at 2-2 and the Walter Pyramid was filled with excitement.

The 49ers were unstoppable in the fifth set taking an early 8-3 lead. The Dons could not keep up with LBSU’s energy and were stunned by the 49ers performance. LBSU took the fifth and final set 15-5 and completed the comeback. The reserves ran onto the court to congratulate the starters and the Walter Pyramid was electrified.

Freshman Radi Marinova posted eight kills, while also adding a career-high 14 digs and six blocks. Patterson had a great game with 32 assists, eight digs and five blocks.

“We battled hard and this was a great finish before we start conference play next week,” Marinova said.

Before winning two in a row, Long Beach State looked to regroup at home when it took on No. 13 UCLA on Friday night. The 49ers dropped the match in four sets, but showed plenty of heart against the Bruins. With a loss to the Bruins, the women’s volleyball team extended its losing streak to nine games.

The Bruins came out with an intensity that the 49ers could not level with throughout the match. UCLA consistently blocked LBSU’s kill attempts, wearing them down in the process. The 49ers understood what they were going up against but just could not hang on. Though defeated, head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer was proud of her team.

“We weren’t able to execute our game plan how we wanted to,” McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. “We are improving and starting to implement what we’re doing in practicing much better.”

Senior setter Alexis Patterson had a double-double with 26 assists and 11 digs, and junior defensive specialist Gigi Alex made her return with five digs.

LBSU hits the road on Tuesday to begin Big West Conference play against UC Riverside.

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