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 a rare ace making “senior night” a fitting label for the match.
“Everybody has been so receptive to just fighting for every point and that really showed tonight; we played great steady volleyball the entire night and that’s something that we’ve been working toward this whole season,” Spriggs said.
Long Beach State won the set by a score of 25-14 on a CSUN serve that went long. Spriggs finished the frame with 13 kills hitting at a .600 clip. She hit .515 with 18 kills in the match.
“I was just trying to go up and hit, I just wanted to do as much as I could offensively for my team,” Spriggs said.
Setter Carly Aigner-Swesey was the unsung hero of the offense. The freshman from Wrightwood dished out 26 assists through two sets and played every point of the game. She finished the match with 42 assists.
“[Aigner-Swesey] did a great job of decision making, a lot of the setting position is who to set at what time and who are the matchups and she just set a great game tonight,” McKienzie-Fuerbringer said.
The 49ers walked to a win, but will not play in any postseason tournaments.