In its first match, LBSU (6-15, 3-5 Big West) swept UCSB at Walter Pyramid (4-15, 3-4 Big West) on Sept. 30.
“We’re feeling great, but we know we still have a long road to get to where we want to be,” senior setter Alexis Patterson said.
In its last meeting, Long Beach’s offense did a nice job of limiting mistakes, committing just four hitting errors in each of the three sets. A career night from redshirt freshman Brooke Earkman helped push the 49ers over the top, but the team continues to put its efforts into stopping Gauchos sophomore outside hitter Lindsey Ruddins.
Ruddins averages 5.48 kills/set which leads the Big West Conference, while hitting at .256 percent. She posted 18 kills and nine digs against the 49ers on Sept. 30, but LBSU head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer believed the team did a good job in deterring her.
“The team did a good job in the first matchup against Santa Barbara,” McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. “As long as we continue to contain Ruddins, we can stick to the game plan and take another road win.”
Another player the 49ers should look out for is UCSB’s junior defensive specialist Emilia Petrachi, who averages 4.94 digs/set, second in the Big West Conference. UC Santa Barbara has struggled in its last five games, losing four in a row but picking up a win against UC Davis.
“They are much better than their record shows, so we need to stay locked in the entire time,” Mckienzie-Fuerbringer said.
After the match against Santa Barbara, LBSU will travel to Cal Poly at 7 p.m. on Saturday by having a light practice beforehand.