Long Beach State (7-6) fought a difficult match at home versus UC Santa Barbara that resulted in a 3-1 win on Oct 7.
While this win for The Beach came off of back-to-back losses, Santa Barbara’s six-game winning streak came to an end.
Throughout the entire game, LBSU and Santa Barbara had a competitive battle, as the game resulted in 33 tied scores and 8 lead changes. The Gauchos took the first set 25-20 and did not allow The Beach to take any lead through.
The next two sets saw Long Beach win the first two serves, but Santa Barbara put up a battle that ended in close scores in favor of The Beach, with set two at 25-20 and set three 25-22.
The final set was not an easy battle, as the game tied nine times throughout. However, it eventually ended 25-22, securing a Long Beach State win.
The Beach served well throughout the game, but it was UCSB’s passes that kept the game close.
A big improvement in tonight’s matchup for Long Beach was their floor defense as they struggled in maintain in previous matches.
Tonight’s match was a big win for The Beach, as head coach Tyler Hilderbrand knew that tonight’s matchup against the Gauchos was going to be a test because they started the conference going 1-3 both losses to Cal State Fullerton and Hawaii.
“Today was bigger than a lot of wins because we needed to do it, we need to do [it] in front of our home crowd,” Hilderbrand said. “In this conference [Big West], it’s getting better every year.”
Redshirt junior Morgan Chacon said the crowd was electric, standing up on their feet during the final set. Sophomore Savanna Chacon also felt this energy.
“It feels really good to play at a school where they really appreciate volleyball and sport and so when the crowd gets loud, they can see how hard we’re playing and how well we’re playing together [as a team],” Savana Chacon said. “It was really cool to hear them tonight and it really helped us.”
Morgan Chacon led the game in total attempts attacking, 64, resulting in a .317 attacking percentage. Long Beach would also lead in kills for the night, leading 63 over the Gauchos 48.
“I want to thank the fans that, it’s not easy when we’ve lost a couple of matches to keep showing up,” Hilderbrand said. “I hope they like what they’re seeing and know how our team is playing, not just the wins and losses, so we’re grateful for when they came tonight.”
Long Beach will face up against CSU Northridge at Walter Pyramid on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.