The Long Beach State women’s volleyball team came up short in its first home game of the year, losing in a five set match to Texas State 25-17, 18-25, 19-25, 25-20, 17-15, at the Walter Pyramid Thursday.
“I like the effort and the execution that our team did tonight,” Long Beach coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. We are really disappointed about the loss, I thought we had a lot of opportunities in the fourth set to take that set and end the match.”
Long Beach (2-2) trailed 12-11 in the opening set, when Texas State (2-3) went on a 3-0 run to force a Long Beach time out at 15-11. Despite doing all they could, the Beach’s resilience didn’t deter Texas State, beating the Beach with back-to-back aces from Cheyenne Huskey (15 kills, 16 digs and four service aces), taking the set 25-17.
“It’s not just a Cheyenne Huskey show, we’ve got several [players] that can step up. I’m really proud of Cheyenne,” Texas State coach Karen Chisum said.
The second set saw Long Beach lead 15-13 following a timeout and continued their play with a 5-1 run to force the Bobcats into another time out at 20-14. Eventually, a double block at the net from Xu and Amanda Henderson gave them set two 25-18.
“We talked to the team about really getting in a rhythm together. We were trying to figure out what [Texas State’s] game plan is and what they were doing and eventually we got into it the second,” McKienzie-Fuerbringer said.
Long Beach never trailed in the third set, as it used a balanced attack to maintain no less than a three-point lead throughout most of the set, winning 25-19.
“I thought we handled serve-receive pretty well. I felt like we played more as a unit,” said Long Beach co-captain Hailey Harward, who finished with 25 digs and five assists. “It’s tough to lose these close matches, but the good thing is that we have opportunities.”
In the fourth set, Texas State grabbed its first lead at 13-12 forcing a time out from Long Beach, which responded by going on a 6-3 run. With the score tied at 20-20, the tough serving from Huskey ignited a 5-0 run to help Texas State take the set 25-20.
“I think the key was our energy and our belief tonight. These kids were hungry, they needed this, they wanted it [and] they came together as a team,” Chisum said.
The fifth set proved to be the tightest, as Long Beach went up 8-7 at the side change and went up 12-10 forcing Texas State to call timeout. Once they got back to the court, the Bobcats rattled off three straight points to lead 13-12, forcing a time out from Long Beach.
After the final time out from both teams, the two teams traded points. With the score tied at 15-15, Texas State clinched the match with a kill from Huskey and a double block from Huskey and Tyeranee Scott.
In addition to Huskey’s big night for Texas State, Scott and Kenedi Rutherford each had 11 kills while Emily DeWalt had 47 assists. The Bobcats got dig contributions from Micah Dinwiddie (19), Courtney Heiser (11) and DeWalt (10).
Long Beach State will play Friday at 7 p.m against the University of Georgia at the Walter Pyramid.