Long Beach State’s Women’s Volleyball team extended their win streak to four in a row after defeating UC Irvine on Saturday in the Black and Gold Rivalry.
This marks The Beaches third straight game that went to five sets.
The game saw the defensive side of the net be prominent, as the two teams would combine for a total of 171 digs and 24.0 blocks.
The Beach took an early 2-0 lead, 25-21 and 27-25 over the Anteaters with 26 ties and 7 lead changes occurring in those sets.
Irvine came back hungry after the break, winning a gritty third set and took control of the fourth set.
It was in the fourth set where Irvine took the lead early and never looked back, scoring four unanswered points to start the penultimate set.
The Beach put up a fight towards the end but would come up short, Anteaters win that fourth set 25-22, heading into a fifth set with some momentum.
Long Beach bent, but would not break, keeping the game close. An attack from Long Beach State’s Katie Kennedy tied the score 7-7 as opposed to 8-6 in favor of the Anteaters.
This challenge seemed to be momentum shift towards The Beaches favor, as they would go on a commanding 5-0 run and close out the game 15-12 with a kill from Callie Schwarzenbach.
Head coach Tyler Hildebrand gave credit to his opponent, as well the other teams in the Big West Conference in the opening statements of the post-game press conference.
“I think there’s a brand of volleyball that’s getting better and better in the Big West,” Hildebran said. “Congrats to Irvine and their staff and a really well-fought match.”
Redshirt Freshman Zayna Meyer has proven to be one of the setters in the conference, as she put her tenth double-double with 17 digs and 52 assists. Meyer credits her success and development to the coaching staff and teammates.
“My coaches have that trust in me to free and set up and set who I want, whenever I want, has been pretty incredible. Just playing a different style of volleyball than a lot of the NCAA because of the film that we watch,” Meyer said. “I owe it all to my teammates and my coaches.”
Junior Morgan Chacon also posted a double-double, leading the team with 17 kills and 11 digs, followed by Kennedy with 15 kills and 4 blocks and Freshman Jaylen Jordan tying her career in digs with 13 while adding 13 kills to notch a double-double.
Senior Libero Dylan Dela Cruz anchored The Beach defense, making up 25 of the team’s 87 digs. Schwarzenbach led the team in blocks, having eight and Sophomore Kameron Bacon having seven.
The court was also used for celebration, as between the second and third sets, Long Beach State’s Athletics Department commemorated long-time employee Cindy Masner, who retired recently after working at CSULB for 37 years.
Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley presented Masner with a commemorative jersey during the break, as well as displaying a video with numerous people from the department thanking Masner for her time at The Beach.
Long Beach State hopes extend their win streak to five when they UC Riverside on October 20.