Position change resulted in Hailey Harward’s Big West honorable mention

Following an underwhelming season for the Long Beach State women’s volleyball team, a silver lining was found in the five players who received All-Big West honors in the 2018 Big West Women’s Volleyball All-Conference Team. Senior outside hitter Tyler Spriggs was the only player to receive a first team selection, while junior outside hitter Hailey Harward, senior outside hitter Emma Kirst and junior middle blocker Yizhi Xue received honorable mentions. Freshman outside hitter Kashauna Williams was named to the All-Freshman Team. While Spriggs and Williams’ had the most impressive of the honors, the most shocking of these selections was Harward’s honorable mention. After making the All-Freshman team her first year and making the First Team last season, an honorable mention is a considerable drop off for Harward, and nowhere near what she deserves. Harward began the season in her usual position as libero, the one that earned her a spot on the First Team last season, but was moved to outside hitter after a few games in order to compensate for the lack of outside hitters in the team’s rotation. Even while Harward was in the position, the team still had senior outside hitter Megan Kruidhof and freshman outside hitter

By | 2018-11-27T00:06:41+00:00 Nov 27, 2018 | 12:06 am|Categories: Commentary, Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball|Tags: , , , |

Long Beach dominates Northridge on senior night

The post-conference silence in the media room in the Water pyramid cast a fitting, somber tone over the 49ers’ (16-13, 8-8 Big West) three set win over CSUN (8-19, 4-12 Big West) Saturday night. The (25-19, 25-14, 25-13) win ends the second consecutive failed season under head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer, who is now 26-23, and 15-17 in conference play at the helm of Long Beach State. She had no interest in making statements about what she thought of the season. “I’m just real proud of this match tonight, a lot of the things we’ve really been working on were things the girls displayed out there,” McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. Long Beach jumped out to a 7-1 start to the match, but sent four balls over the back line to let CSUN back into the set at 14-13. Senior outside hitter Megan Kruidhof came to the rescue with 4 kills and 3 blocks as LBSU took the set 25-19. Kruidhof and senior outside hitter Tyler Spriggs unleashed an offensive onslaught in the second set, leading the team on a 14-6 run. Spriggs had five kills in the first half of the second frame alone. Senior middle blocker Emma Kirst also chipped in with

By | 2018-11-18T20:43:13+00:00 Nov 18, 2018 | 8:43 pm|Categories: Sports, Today, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball|Tags: , , , |

Spriggs grows into natural leadership role

“You don’t stop playing until the whistle blows,” senior outside hitter Tyler Spriggs told her teammates from the sidelines in a tough game against Hawai’i Nov. 3. Leading has always been natural for Spriggs. From her start as a freshman at Arizona State, and now at Long Beach State (15-13, 7-8 Big West), she has never shied away from speaking her mind. This is why it came as no surprise at the home opener against Seattle University in late August, that head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer announced the senior as captain of the women’s volleyball team. “Throughout most of my career I’ve kind of been looked at like, ‘OK you have this natural leader in you so if you see something you need to speak up,’” Spriggs said. The quality is something her new players and coaches picked up on immediately when she joined the team. Within weeks, the players chose her as their captain in a silent vote, and she quickly became a sound board and mentor for a number of players on the team. “She brings years of experience and naturally stepped into that position and that’s something she earned from the players,” McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. “Tyler is really good

By | 2018-11-14T22:55:52+00:00 Nov 14, 2018 | 10:55 pm|Categories: Sports, Today, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball|Tags: , , , |

Long Beach extends losing streak, drops to Hawai’i

Passing and serving were Long Beach’s downfall against Hawai’i Saturday night as it fell in three consecutive sets. The team committed 11 serving errors and exhibited poor communication throughout the night, allowing the Rainbow Wahines to dominate 25-19, 21-25, 17-25, 19-25. “When our main service is on serve and pass and you miss that many serves, it’s hard to win the serve and pass game,” junior outside hitter Hailey Harward said. “For us it’s just picking our spots and being precise with where we’re aiming and getting this other team, a great passing team out of its system.” The 49ers started the night off strong and held a 13-5 lead on the ‘Bows behind senior outside hitter Tyler Spriggs’ eight kills. Their impressive play only lasted one set however, before the team lost focus and dropped the next three sets in a row. “I thought we came out really strong and attacked Hawai’i, but they came back with some answers, and we didn’t win the serve and pass game and that’s the key for us,” head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. “I’m disappointed that we didn’t come out  aggressive.” Although the team was able to keep the sets close with some

By | 2018-11-05T19:43:14+00:00 Nov 4, 2018 | 6:41 pm|Categories: Sports, Today, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball|Tags: , , , , |

Long Beach faces tough match in the midst of losing streak

Long Beach faces tough match in the midst of losing streak Long Beach will return home to a tough match after losing two games in a row last weekend. The team will take on Hawai’i, second place in the Big West standings, Saturday in the Walter Pyramid. Long Beach (13-12, 5-7 Big West) is in a slump after losing to UC Davis and UC Irvine in consecutive 3-1 losses, but it’ll have to pull a near miracle to break the losing streak. Hawaii (14-7, 10-2 Big West) has won five of its last six games, even taking a 3-2 win over No. 11 Cal Poly last Friday, only the second loss of the season for the team. Long Beach’s only silver lining is that Hawaii is coming to the Pyramid on the second leg of a back-to-back road trip, where it’ll face CSUN the day before. The 49ers will hope to catch the Rainbow Wahine’s on an off day and complete an upset. Long Beach has been on fire offensively, and currently leads the Big West in kills and assists behind senior outside hitter Tyler Spriggs and freshman outside hitter Kashauna Williams. Spriggs is the only 49er in the top

By | 2018-10-30T23:45:21+00:00 Oct 30, 2018 | 11:44 pm|Categories: Sports, Today, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball|Tags: , , , |

Long Beach comes back in thrilling five set upset

Before the match had even begun, all eyes were on Hailey Harward. She opened up the night by singing the National Anthem in front of the crowd of 901, which was met with thunderous applause. The spotlight would stay on her throughout Long Beach’s thrilling five set comeback over Santa Barbara 20-25, 18-25, 25-20, 26-24, 19-17. Going into the match, the junior outside hitter was three digs away from hitting a milestone 1,000 for LBSU. She reached the number at the tail end of the first set and went on to reach a season-high of 24. “It’s just exciting, I’m excited,” Harward said about the milestone. “It’s been interesting learning defense from two different coaching staffs, and I feel like I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned from Bryan [Gimmillaro] and Erica [Dillard] and when Mike [Campbell] was with us and kind of combining it now, along with our really good game plan.” It seemed the celebration would be short lived, as Long Beach (13-9, 5-4 Big West) dropped the first two sets to Santa Barbara (12-9, 4-5 Big West) behind stagnant defense and inconsistent offense. The 49ers struggled to get past the Gauchos blockers at first, and couldn’t

By | 2018-10-21T12:10:20+00:00 Oct 20, 2018 | 5:13 pm|Categories: Sports, Today, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball|Tags: , , , , , |

Harward seeks 1,000 career digs Friday

Though the winner of the women’s volleyball matchup Friday against UCSB is yet to be determined, one outcome is all but certain. Barring injury or lack of playing time, junior outside hitter Hailey Harward will likely record the 1,000th dig of her career. Harward needs only three to meet the milestone, which is about as many as she averages each set. “Last match I knew I needed 10, that’s the only match [that I’ve kept count]. I got seven so hopefully I’ll get three more this next match,” Harward said. “I just need to contribute to the team however I can.” Personal milestones aside, Long Beach is also seeking a winning conference record for the first time since Sept. 28. A win Friday would give them such a record and grant them fourth place in the Big west. Both teams come into the match 4-4 in conference and 2-3 in their last five games. Under head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch, the Gauchos have won just two of their 11 meetings against the 49ers. However, those wins have come in the two most recent meetings between the teams. “They’re a great defensive team, they’re very scrappy and they’ve got the best

By | 2018-10-19T17:43:16+00:00 Oct 19, 2018 | 5:43 pm|Categories: Sports, Today, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball|

Long Beach regroups against Fullerton

The Long Beach State women’s volleyball team is back in the mainland and looking to get back in the win column Tuesday 7 p.m. against Cal State Fullerton. The 49ers are coming off a loss against Hawaii, but have had some success at home this season boasting a 6-2 record at the Walter Pyramid. The team has dropped four of its last five games, creating a riff between many players on the team. “It’s been frustrating lately because of our losing streak, we have gone away from each other and have been struggling to find ways to win,” junior outside hitter Megan Kruidhof said. To bring the team back together, head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer printed out copies of “Power of a Positive Team” for the team to read. This week there was one quote the she focused on after the Hawai’i loss to bring the team back on track. “There’s a reason why all great teams have a great culture. Its because culture is the living and breathing essence of what a team believes, values, and does. Team culture is the written and unwritten rules that say how a team communicates, connects, thinks, works and acts.” Fullerton (6-14, 0-7 Big

By | 2018-10-15T23:41:57+00:00 Oct 15, 2018 | 11:41 pm|Categories: Sports, Today, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball|Tags: , , , |
Load More Posts