Tigers Hopes For The Upset Blocked By The 49ers As Pacific Falls In Four
Long Beach, Calif. - Looking to for the upset of Long Beach State on the road at the Walter Pyramid, the Pacific women's volleyball team could not find its way past the block of the 49ers as they fell, 3-1, on Saturday, October 15. The loss snapped a three-match winning streak for the Tigers as they fell to 4-4 in the Big West and 13-8 overall while the conference leading 49ers improved to 6-2 in Big West Play and 12-6 on the year.
Game scores for the match were: 25-16, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17.
A tough battle between two long time rivals turned quickly against the Tigers as the 49ers used a big run in game three to take control of the match and parlay the momentum into the four game victory. Up 17-14 in game three and looking to take command of the match, Pacific fell victim to an 11-3 run which began on the serve of all-american Caitlin Ledoux. The turning run led to the 49ers running away with game four as Long Beach State hit an impressive .455 in what would be the final game of the night, finishing the frame without an attacking error.
Throughout the night, the Tigers struggled to find their way against the big blocking of the 49er defense as the conference's top blocking team stymied Pacific's attack with 16 total team blocks on the night. In game one, the 49ers used five blocks to force Pacific into one of its worst hitting performances of the season as the Tigers hit -.028 in the opening game of the night. However, Pacific rebounded in the game two to hit .265 as a team and even the match at one game a piece. In the game, the Tigers though together a balanced attack led by senior Samantha Misa and sophomore Megan Birch who each posted four kills in the frame.
Overall, Misa put together one of her most complete all-around efforts of her career against the 49ers as the senior recorded ninth double-double of the season and second consecutive with 18 kills and 17 digs. Her 17 digs matches her season best set against UC Irvine three weeks prior and finished one off of her career high of 18 set against Long Beach State last season.
Behind Misa, the Tigers had two other attackers reach double-digits in kills with sophomores Jennifer Sanders and Birch posting 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Also adding her second-consecutive and team-best 11th double-double, junior Hannah Clancy finished her night with 45 assists and 10 digs. Freshman Katy Tagart posted 15 digs while sophomore libero ended the night with 11 digs.
The 49ers were led by Ledoux and Delainey Aigner-Swesey who each posted 14 kills in the match while recording just two errors. Ledoux tallied a double-double on the night by adding 13 digs to her game totals after coming back from injury just two weeks ago. Leading the blocking efforts, Hampton finished with nine blocks just one away from a double-double as the sophomore added 12 kills offensively. Alma Serna finished her night with 12 kills as well and posted six blocks. As a team, the 49ers tallied a .272 hitting percentage to Pacific's .141.
The loss was Pacific's 11th straight at the Pyramid and fourth straight to the 49ers in the all-time series.
The Tigers will begin the second half of their conference season on Saturday, October 22, when they travel to Irvine, Calif. to take on the Anteaters of UC Irvine. The match is scheduled for a 7:00 pm start and will be Pacific's lone match of the week.