Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball

CSULB women’s volleyball topples Cal Poly on Senior Night

The Long Beach State women’s volleyball team put on a show for senior night as it took down Cal Poly three sets to one, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17, 25-19  Saturday at the Walter Pyramid.

“I was really proud [of our seniors],” head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. “Just a wonderful performance.”

The Beach (12-15, 9-6 Big West) honored senior libero Hailey Harward and middle blockers YiZhi Xue, and Kjersti Norveel before the match in their last collegiate at the Pyramid.

Senior middle blocker YiZhi Xue celebrates with her teammates during the Beach’s upset over Cal Poly Saturday night. Benjamin DuBow/Daily Forty-Niner

“We all cried at the end,” Xue said. “But this is the greatest memory, winning the last game.”

Freshman setter Tia Chivara paced the team in kills for the second game in a row with 16 after moving to outside hitter. Norveel finished with 13 kills and Xue added 12. Harward collected 15 digs and four service aces while sophomore setter Carly Aigner-Swesey handed out 45 assists.

After surrendering the first two points of the first set to the Mustangs (18-8, 10-2 Big West), Long Beach never again trailed. The Beach found their rhythm early and rode its energy, taking set one 25-18.

Freshman setter Tia Chavira has been showing her versatility, moving over to outside hitter the last two matches for the Beach. Benjamin DuBow/Daily Forty-Niner

The second set saw both teams lead by no more than two points up until the Mustangs led 12-10. The lead then went up 22-14, but three straight points from the Beach cut the lead to 22-17, forcing a time out from the Mustangs.

Long Beach then scored four consecutive points to bring the score to 22-21. Leading 24-22, the Beach saved one set point thanks to a kill from Chavira, but a kill from junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek gave Cal Poly set two 25-23.

Long Beach led 15-12 in a tight third set, but three straight points from the Mustangs capped off by a Dvoracek ace forced the Beach into a time out. The time out worked for the Beach and never trailed again in the set, winning 25-17.

In the fourth set with the score at 10-6 with the Mustangs in the lead, a 6-1 run from the Beach sparked momentum, forcing a timeout by the Mustangs. The Beach ended the match with a double block from Norveel and freshman outside hitter Katie Kennedy.

Dvoracek ended the match with 20 kills and was the only player with double-digit kills for the Mustangs.

Long Beach concludes its season Friday against Hawaii in the Stan Sheriff Center at 9 p.m.

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