Nov. 23, 2011
LONG BEACH, Calif. -
LMU (14-16) finished the 2011 season with a three-set loss to No. 23 Long Beach State (21-6) on Wednesday night in Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid by scores of 25-21, 25-17, 25-22. The victory extended Long Beach State's winning streak to 13 matches.
Sophomore Haleigh Hampton led the 49er attack, finishing with eight kills on .538 hitting with nine total blocks. While the 49ers hit .232 on the night, it was the blocking that got the job done for the 49ers, as Long Beach State put up 15 total, besting the season average per set and holding the Lions to .140 hitting. That, along with 13 digs from libero Lauren Minkel, helped a balanced offensive attack that saw Hampton, Alma Serna, and Bre Mackie each finish with eight kills apiece to pace the 49ers.
LMU, which did not register a player with double-digit kills, was led by freshman Litara Keil with nine kills on 23 attacks for a .348 hitting percentage to accompany a block solo and four block assists. Keil was named to the WCC All-Freshman team prior to the match. Setter Olivia Bailey managed 28 assists, while Betsi Metter managed 12 digs.
Loyola Marymount started the match strong, opening up a 6-3 lead after a Keil solo block. The Lion run continued as Keil struck again, making her third block to help LMU take a 9-3 lead. Long Beach State battled back, however. Behind some great digs from Lauren Minkel, Long Beach State cut the lead in half, and a solo block from Hampton cut the Lion lead to two at 14-12. The 49ers finally pushed to within one at 19-18, and Bre Mackie and Aigner-Swesey each picked up kills to give LBSU its first lead at 20-19. Catching the momentum along with the lead, Long Beach State closed out the set with a 25-21 win behind six team blocks and eight digs in the set from Minkel.
In a closer set, Long Beach State held onto the early edge, and took a 10-7 lead on a service error by LMU. Taking advantage of an LMU miscue, Serna hammered home a kill to give the 49ers their largest lead of the set at 14-9 and forcing the Lions into their second timeout. The 49ers continued to push to an 18-9 lead before a Lion sideout, and took a 25-17 second set victory.
LMU again grabbed an early lead in the third set, eventually leading by five points at 10-5 after an ace from Diana Hiromoto. Trailing 12-6, Long Beach State turned to Janisa Johnson in a front-row substitution which showed immediate dividends. Two kills from the junior helped the 49ers cut the lead back to two at 13-11, and a block from Hampton and Ledoux brought the 49ers within one. Serna gave the 49ers a 15-14 lead on a tip. A Ledoux solo block after a diving scramble by the setter Juley put the 49ers on top 17-15, and the run continued with a kill by Mackie forcing an LMU timeout. The Lions were able to tie the set at 18 out of the timeout, which held until Hampton picked up a kill at 23-22. The 49ers then found Johnson out of the back row, and a block by Juley and Serna finished up the match with a 25-22 win.
LMU finishes the 2011 season with a 14-16 overall record and a 7-9 mark in the WCC to place sixth in the conference.