Freshly back from an East Coast road trip, the Long Beach State women’s volleyball team has three matches coming up this weekend, starting with No. 16 UCLA Thursday night followed by two easier matches against Lamar University and Fresno State.
Long Beach (6-4) returns to the Walter Pyramid after racking up three straight wins against Texas Tech at home, and Princeton and Towson at the Towson Invitational. They’ll look to continue their winning streak and keep up their perfect record at home behind team leaders in junior Hailey Harward (2.97 kills) and freshman Kashauna Williams (2.74 kills).
The Bruins have defeated the 49ers the last eight times they’ve met, but Long Beach hopes to extend its recent winning streak. UCLA (4-2) will visit the Walter Pyramid looking to snap its losing streak, dropping its last two games in a row to No. 14 Cal Poly.
“I think UCLA is going to come out with some vengeance and we know that, I think it’s going to be a good test of where we’re at,” head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. “You learn a lot more and there’s more urgency when you lose, and we’ve reminded the girls of that and they’re very aware of where UCLA is at and where we’re at.”
Following the match against the Bruins, the 49ers will have to bounce back for the LBSU Mizuno Invitational, where it will face the Cardinals from Lamar University. Long Beach has never dropped a game to Lamar (3-6), and has high hopes to improve its record.
“I think as long as we stay in our system and as long as we trust each other that we can win all of our matches,” Harward said.
To close out the weekend, Long Beach will go up against Fresno State (7-3). The 49ers have not dropped a match to the Bulldogs since 1987.
On paper, it looks like the team will be able to finish the weekend with a 2-1 record, 3-0 if it can pull off the upset over UCLA.
Once Long Beach survives the trenches of the weekend it’ll enter Big West play at home, beginning at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 against UC Riverside.