The Long Beach State women’s volleyball team battled, but fell short to No. 11 Florida in five sets, 25-27, 25-16, 25-20, 19-25, 19-17 on Saturday in the finale of the Florida Tournament at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida.
Despite the loss, senior libero Hailey Harward had 19 digs to move past Misty May-Treanor (1262 career digs) for sixth on the Long Beach State women’s volleyball all-time dig list.
The Beach led 24-22 in set one, but the Gators went on a 3-0 run to give them set point at 25-24. Long Beach made a comeback however, as they went on a 3-0 run courtesy of a kill from freshman setter Tia Chavira, a kill from senior middle blocker YiZhi Xue and a Florida error to take set one 27-25.
In set two, Florida proved why they’re a potential favorite to win the SEC, as it took the set comfortably 25-16.
In set three, CSULB led 14-12 until the Gators went on a 9-3 run, forcing a time out from the Beach. Long Beach was unable to recover, as Florida took the set 25-20.
Down 2-1 in the match, the Beach never trailed despite being challenged late in the set, as they took set four 25-19.
In set five, Long Beach jumped out to a 6-2 lead, forcing a Gators time out. CSULB led 8-5 at the side change and eventually led 11-7, forcing Florida to use their last time out.
But the Gators went on a 3-0 run to force the Beach to take a time out. After the time out, Florida took its first lead of the set 13-12, until Long Beach scored two straight points to put it at match point 14-13.
CSULB was unable to close out the match, as it had four match points but was unable to convert any of them. The Gators eventually led 18-17 and ended the match off of a double block from Thayer Hall and Lauren Dooley.
Long Beach State returns to action Thursday at 7 p.m. against San Diego State at the Aztec Court at Peterson Gym.