Stockton, Calif. - Playing at home for the first time in three weeks, the Pacific women's volleyball team could not parlay the homecoming to the Spanos Center into a victory as the Tigers fell to Long Beach State, 3-1, on Friday, November 2. The loss dropped the Tigers to 17-8 overall and 5-7 in the Big West while the 49ers improved to 12-11 on the year and 7-5 in conference action.
Set scores for the match were: 20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 29-27.
Changing up their lineup in an attempt to kick start their offense, the Tigers found a winning combination in the opening set of action as Pacific tallied 20 kills on .326 hitting to put away the first set of the night. Leading the Tigers' attack throughout the set, junior Megan Birch tagged the 49ers for seven kills on .438 hitting in the set. The junior put the set away for the Tigers late as she tallied three of her seven kills in the final five points to propel Pacific to a 5-0 run which closed the set. She would finish the match with 15 kills.
After their blazing start in the first set, the Tigers cooled off in the second set as Long Beach State was nearly flawless at the net in the early to even the match at one set a piece. The turning point in the set came with the Tigers down 12-11 as Long Beach State put together a 6-2 run that put Pacific down five at 17-12. From there, the Tigers would close to within two points at 20-18, but climb no closer the rest of the way.
Using the momentum from the second set, Long Beach State took advantage of a sloppy offensive attack out of the Tigers to cruise to a win in the third set. In the frame, the Tigers struggled to get anything going as Pacific nearly doubled its errors for the match while hitting -.028 in the set. Just like the second set, the 49ers put together a 6-2 run to break the set open as a 10-10 tie became a 16-12 Long Beach State lead and sealed the set win.
Once again with their backs against the wall and facing a loss in set four, the Tigers attempted to battle back into the match to force a fifth-set. However, Long Beach State would not be denied the road win. In what proved to be the closest set of the night, the Tigers and 49ers battled back-and-forth throughout the set, forcing the frame into extra-points before a winner would be decided. Twice the Tigers had a chance to extend the match to a fifth-set only to be rebuked by the 49ers. On the other side, the 49ers twice held match-point in their hands only to be denied by the Tigers. However, Pacific's luck would run dry as Long Beach State finally ended the Tigers' night on their third try, blocking Pacific's attack and with it, blocking the Tigers come-back hopes.
For the night, the Tigers saw big returns out of their six-rotation players as senior Hannah Clancy and freshmen Kat Schulz and Anne-Sophie Bauer all recorded double-doubles in the match. With the offense centered on her, Clancy posted 32 assists and 10 digs to grab her third-straight double-double after returning from injury. At the pins, Schulz tallied a career-best 18 kills for the second-consecutive match while adding 19 digs to post her 15th double-double on the year. Across the court, Bauer put together the finest match of her young career as she tallied her first career double-double with 11 kills and 14 digs.
On the other side of the net, the 49ers relied on the heavy hitting of Janise Johnson as the senior posted a match-high 19 kills while also picking up 22 digs. Two other 49ers reached double-figures on the night as Alex Reid posted 14 kills while Chisom Okpala added 10. Defensively, the 49ers got a huge effort out of their libero Libby Fontanilla who posted a match-high 29 digs.
The Tigers will look to stop their two-match skid on Saturday, November 3, when they host UC Irvine at the Spanos Center. The two teams will meet at 7:00 pm.