Movin’ on up
Before going on break, then-No. 21 LBSU women’s water polo team thumped Chapman University 16-3 at home on March 24. Sophomore utility Virginia Smith scored a team-high three goals and four other 49ers finished with two goals each.
Then on March 26, the 49ers made a statement in the Big West with an 8-4 upset away at No. 5 UC Davis in the conference opener behind senior goalie Alexis Butler’s nine saves. However, California brought the 49ers back to Earth by picking up an 11-5 win in Berkeley on March 27. Butler made seven saves against Cal and even though they weren’t enough to get the win, they were enough to earn Butler Big West Player of the Week honors.
After a successful weekend, the 49ers moved up the national rankings, landing at No. 16. On Thursday, LBSU split a homestand, losing 8-7 in a non-conference matchup against No. 20 San Diego State before beating Brown University 7-4.
The LBSU baseball team also moved up the rankings over the break, going from No. 20 to No. 17 to wrap up non-conference play.
In their annual non-conference series against Cal State Fullerton the Dirtbags took two of three games at Goodwin Field March 24-26. In game one the Dirtbags beat the Titans 5-4 after 12 innings. In game two the Titans tied the series, defeating LBSU 4-2 after scoring all four runs in the final four innings. The Dirtbags took the rubber match the next day, moving past CSUF 5-4.
In their second meeting of the season with Fresno State, the Dirtbags lost 10-5 on Tuesday in Fresno. After the loss, LBSU learned redshirt sophomore Tristan Mercadel will have season-ending surgery after suffering a knee injury during the series against Fullerton.
Movin’ on down
The LBSU men’s volleyball team started the break on a historic but sour note. On March 26, a record-breaking crowd of 2,682 for volleyball watched then-No. 4 LBSU lose 3-0 against then-No. 2 UCLA inside the Walter Pyramid. Freshman outside hitter T.J. DeFalco was the only player with double-digit kills, picking up 10 in the loss.
The 49ers bounced back with a 3-2 win against Pepperdine on Thursday in Malibu. DeFalco and fellow freshman outside hitter Kyle Ensing combined for 53 kills in the win. Ensing picked up a career-high 27 kills while DeFalco finished with 26.
However, LBSU failed to pick up any momentum from the win and lost 3-1 against No. 4 Stanford on Saturday in Stanford. DeFalco once again led the 49ers with 20 kills.
The LBSU softball team swept through a doubleheader against Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles and opened Big West play by taking the series 2-1 against CSUN in Northridge over spring break. The 49ers outscored the Lions 16-5 on Wednesday as a tuneup for their conference opener against the Matadors.
The 49ers dropped the first game of the series 2-1 in an eight-inning thriller on Saturday, but bounced back with a 3-2 win later in the day to even things up.
On Sunday, LBSU took home the rubber match 2-0 behind a complete game shutout by junior right-hander Christina Clermont. Clermont allowed just two hits and struck out seven Matador batters.
The No. 7 LBSU beach volleyball team also ran through the break, going a perfect 6-0 since March 24 when they beat Nebraska 4-1 at the LBSU Sand Courts. On March 25, the 49ers swept a doubleheader, winning 4-1 against both LMU and California at home.
On Thursday, LBSU swept another doubleheader, that time beating both Concordia University and CSUN 4-1 in Northridge.
The 49ers returned to the LBSU Sand Courts on Friday and defeated No. 6 Arizona 4-1. The LBSU beach volleyball team has now won eight of their last 10 games after starting the season 0-5.