Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball

Long Beach State breaks even in first LBSU tournament

The women’s volleyball team for Long Beach State started off the season strong as they defeated No. 1 ranked University of Texas at Austin with the final score of 3-1 on Friday at 6 p.m.

Texas then played Loyola Marymount University (LMU) on Aug. 26 at 1 p.m. at Walter Pyramid and bounced back from their 3-1 series loss against CSULB by sweeping LMU 3-0 on the afternoon of Aug. 27.

CSULB then played LMU in the afternoon hours of Aug. 27 at the Walter Pyramid.

Long Beach State began the match strong as they went 7-3 in the first set but LMU quickly shifted the momentum as they quickly tied the game at 13-13.

The first set went back and forth for both teams, giving the fans six tie scores and one lead change.

8/27/23 – Long Beach, Calif: Two Long Beach State women’s volleyball players, middle blocker junior Kameron Bacon (black #6) and junior libero/defensive specialist Jenna Giambi (black #23) collide as they try to save LMU’s attempted kill. Photo by Samuel Chacko

The momentum changer came near the end of the first set with the score tied at 24 each when LMU’s junior outside hitter Madeline Boestra scored a kill and a bad set by CSULB’s redshirt sophomore setter Zayna Meyer gave a narrow 26-24 victory in the first set.

LMU scored on only a .079 attacking percentage but after winning set one, they never left their foot off the gas pedal.

“What we got to learn is to make those little plays […] because that would’ve switched the game tonight, even though we weren’t hitting great, CSULB head coach Tyler Hildebrand said.

“Sometimes when you’re losing and not everything’s going the right way, it’s your effort and attention to those little plays.”

LMU continued to improve on their offense, scoring a game-ending .217 attacking percentage after ending the game while CSULB dropped from .125 in the first set to .064 in the entire game.

The third-year coach said, “We started off the match really strong and we got tested a little bit in the middle of the first set […] we weren’t able to execute how we wanted in the second and third set.”

It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Long Beach State as they got Katie Kennedy, opposite hitter/outside hitter more involved in the offense as she scored a game-high nine kills and the most offensive attempts on the team.

“Katie is a stud […] and she had a really nice preseason and two really good matchups,” Hildenbrand said about the graduate student.

The CSULB head coach said that the team blocked well and tried to frustrate the hitters for LMU but being down bled into the offense and defense hesitating more often.

LMU’s first-year head coach, Trent Kersten, gave his thoughts on the team’s expectations for the LBSU tournament, mentioning that both Texas and Long Beach State were going to be huge challenges.

8/27/23 – Long Beach, Calif: The Long Beach State women’s volleyball junior opposite hitter/setter Maura Hayes (black #28) watches the ball after she lobs the ball to the two LMU junior defenders, Jacquelyn Moore (#20 black) and Maddie Boerstra (#28 black). Photo by Samuel Chacko

“I have so much respect for what Tyler Hildebrand has done,” Kersten said, “I think there’s a lot of momentum here and I expected a lot of good volleyball.”

Long Beach State looks to bounce back from the LMU loss when they go up against Indiana University on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.

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