Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball

LBSU women’s volleyball wins one, drops one

Long Beach State’s volleyball team closed the first week of Big West conference play with a loss to Cal State Northridge on Saturday. The 49ers endured a 15-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 defeat.

Junior outside hitter Megan Kruidhof led the team with 17 kills and four digs. Senior setter Alexis Patterson had a double-double with 33 assists and 12 digs.

The 49ers (4-11) came out with energy, starting off the first set with an impressive .522 hitting percentage. LBSU was dominant on defense, keeping CSUN at a .000 hitting percentage. Though 49ers had momentum the team eased off of the gas while heading into their next three sets.

“We didn’t start the rest of the sets with the same intensity and ‘go getter’ attitude that we did the first set,” Patterson said. “Our major fallbacks were our confidence and mental toughness, which are both things we can control outside of skills.”

The offense from earlier sets was gone as the 49ers began to hit in the negative. LBSU showed frustration after multiple attack errors stopped the team from rallying back to end the second set. The Matadors took full advantage of LBSU’s offensive struggle by never looking back and comfortably tying the match up.

Coming into the final two sets, the 49ers had more fight, but it was not enough for them to overcome CSUN. The 49ers were able to gain leads down the stretch, but CSUN proved to be an offensive powerhouse going on multiple 5-0 runs.

“Once we started to get behind, players started getting frantic and timid,” Patterson said. “Instead of going after it and trying to score points, we were just trying to keep the ball in the court.”

A strong start for LBSU ended with a troubling loss as the team could not find its rhythm. Patterson believes that the team has enough skill to win every match, but is not mentally prepared to finish matches.

“As a team we need to learn how to play in the moment and understand that volleyball is a game of errors, each point is a clean slate to make a positive contribution,” Patterson said. “Once we fix the mental side of it, I think we will bounce back very quickly.”

LBSU returns home to face Cal Poly on Friday and UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, both at 7 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid.

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