The Long Beach State women’s volleyball team lost its first match of the Florida Tournament to James Madison in three straight sets, 25-21, 25-19, 25-22, Friday morning at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.
“We did not show up ready to play,” head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. “We’re not used to playing morning matches and the time change makes the difference. But it’s just volleyball and … I don’t think that we prepared as well as we could’ve this morning.”
Sophomore outside hitter Kashauna Williams, led the Beach (2-5) with 13 kills and sophomore outside hitter Allison Martinez, had 11 kills. Senior libero Hailey Harward, had 11 digs and freshman setter Tia Chavira, dished out 21 assists as well.
“I think Kashauna and Allison were the show today,” McKienzie-Fuerbringer said.
While the Dukes (4-3) were able to control the match for the most part, the best chance for Long Beach to win a set came in the third set.
Down 2-0 in the match, the Beach opened up a 10-5 lead, forcing a timeout from James Madison. The lead grew to 13-7 at one point, but a 5-1 run by the Dukes forced a Long Beach time out.
James Madison managed to come all the way back, forcing a 20-20 tie, leading to its first lead of the set since 3-2. Long Beach was able to save match point at 24-21, but the team-leading 11th kill from Briley Brind’Amour gave the Dukes set three at 25-22 and the match.
“We started playing Long Beach State volleyball and then we got a little pressure from James Madison who served really well,” McKienzie-Fuerbringer said. “The ball’s moving a little bit different than it does at home and we just didn’t adjust well to it.”
Long Beach State will play its second game of the Florida Tournament against the University of South Florida, Friday at 2 p.m.