Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific women's volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to the visiting Long Beach State 49ers on Friday, November 11, at home at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The loss for the Tigers dropped their record to 16-11 overall and 7-7 in Big West play while the 49ers improved to a league-best 12-2 in the conference and 18-6 on the year. With the win, Long Beach State secured lone possession of the Big West title.
Game scores for the match were: 25-10, 25-20, 25-10.
On a night in which the Tigers were facing the top, and hottest, team in the Big West, nothing seemed to go right as the 49ers had an answer for everything Pacific threw at them. Just as it did in the first match of the season, Long Beach State was able to throw up a defensive wall at the net against the Tiger attack, using their length and athleticism to post 13 team blocks while holding Pacific's potent offense to just .047 hitting.
In game one, the Tigers fell behind early against the 49ers as Long Beach set the tone for what was in store for the night by opening the match with a 7-1 run. Offensively, the 49ers posted their best hitting performance of the night in the opening frame as they tallied a .591 hitting percentage while making just one hitting mistake. Led by Caitlin Ledoux and Haleigh Hampton, the 49ers picked up 14 kills in the opening game with 10 coming from their top attacking duo. For the Tigers, sophomore Megan Birch did her best to try to keep the Tigers in the game as she continued her hot hitting from the previous week with five kills on 13 swings to open the game.
After falling behind 1-0, Pacific tried to get back into the match by spreading out and balancing its offensive attack. The balanced attack kept the game close through the first half of the second game until the 49ers were able to take control of the frame with a 6-1 run that turned a 10-8 advantage into a 16-9 lead. The Tigers were able to fight off five game-points late through defensive pressure at the net to make a run at a comeback, but the rally was for naught as the 49ers closed out the game.
The rally by the Tigers late in game two, which Pacific hoped would lite a spark of momentum in game three, turned out to be a momentum swinger the other direction as the 49ers came out of the break on fire. Scoring the first seven points of the game and 12 of the first 13, the 49ers were able to run away with game three and the match to take home the victory that clinched their 12th conference title.
For the match, Birch finished the night as the only Pacific attacker to reach double-figures as the sophomore tallied 10 kills on 28 attacks. Defensively, the Tigers were led by junior Gabby Cowden at the net as she tallied three blocks and on the floor by junior setter Hannah Clancy who finished her night with seven digs.
The 49ers were led by Ledoux's 12 kills as the senior posted a double-double by picking up 11 digs as well. She also added three blocks on the night as all six starters for the 49ers recorded at least one block. Hampton finished her night with 10 kills on .571 hitting to lead a 49er attack that posted just six errors on the night to hit .416. Defensively, Alma Serna tallied seven blocks in the match, matching her total from the first match between the two squads.
Pacific will be back in action on Saturday, November 12 when the Tigers take on Cal State Fullerton at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The Tigers will be looking for a season sweep of the Titans after defeating Cal State Fullerton in three just one month prior. Match time is scheduled for 7:00 pm.