San Diego tops Long Beach State
Ferrari, Baird lead Toreros past 49ers into second round
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Behind a 17-kill effort from sophomore middle hitter Chloe Ferrari and a 14-kill 14-dig performance from junior outside hitter Carrie Baird, San Diego dealt Long Beach State a 3-1 loss on Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
With the 23-25, 26-24, 25-19, 25-21 win, the Toreros improve to 28-4 overall and have now defeated LBSU eight consecutive times, and knocked the 49ers out of the NCAA tournament for a second consecutive season. With the loss, the 49ers saw their 15-match winning streak come to an end and finish the season with an overall record of 24-7.
"I am extremely proud of our team tonight. Long Beach is a quality opponent, which any team in the tournament would be happy to get a win against in this round or any round for that matter," interim head coach Brent Hilliard said. "Long Beach has a great team and a great history, and that makes this win that much more special."
Ferrari led all players with her 18 kills on 33 swings to hit for a .424 clip, and recorded seven blocks. Baird recorded a double-double with her 14 kills and 14 digs, and she had four blocks. Freshman outside hitter Sandra Lozic also had a double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs, while Kandiss Anderson recorded 21 digs. Rachel Alvey had 29 assists, and Jianna Bonomi had 22 assists in helping steer the USD offense to a .179 attack percentage.
In the first set, the Toreros grabbed the first two points on a kills from Ferrari and Shelby Staab, but the 49ers then answered with a 5-1 run to take the early momentum. LBSU and USD then began to trade point-for-point over the next few volleys, until the 49ers managed to pull away and take a 12-7 lead, forcing the Toreros into a timeout. After the break in action, USD closed the gab back down to two at 13-11 on a Baird service ace, but Long Beach then managed to fend off the Toreros and took a 20-15 lead, again forcing San Diego into a timeout. Out of the break, USD managed to pull back to within one at 24-23, but a USD service error gave the 49ers the first set win at 25-23.
In the second set, the Toreros managed to even the score with a thrilling 26-24 come-from-behind win. USD grabbed the early momentum with a 3-1 run to open up the frame. Long Beach then countered with a 6-3 run to even the score at 6-all. The 49ers then regained the lead at 8-7 on a USD attack error, before taking a 14-11 lead, which forced the Toreros into a timeout. USD then began to chip away at the lead and would eventually take the lead at 20-19 on an Alaysia Brown kill, but the 49ers grabbed the next three points to force San Diego into their second timeout. Out of the stop in action, the two teams traded points until LBSU had set point at 24-23, then a Hokeman kill, followed by a Lozic kill gave USD set-point and forced Long Beach into a timeout. San Diego then put things away with a Hoekman kill to go into the break all tied up at one set apiece.
In the third set, it was a back and forth affair in the early going, as both teams looked to keep things close. Then with USD leading 9-8, a Ferrari kill sparked a 7-2 Torero run to give USD a 16-11 lead, forcing the 49ers into a timeout. Long Beach just could not recover, as the Toreros cruised their way to a 25-19 win to go up two-sets-to-one.
In the fourth and final set, Long Beach came back with some fight, as they raced out to a 4-1 lead to open things up. They then managed to maintain that lead, and eventually took a four-point lead at 12-8, which forced San Diego into a timeout. Out of the break, USD went on a 6-0 run that was sparked on a Lozic kill and capped on a LBSU attack error to give USD a 14-12 lead, and forced Long Beach into a timeout. After USD took a 19-16 lead, the 49ers grabbed the next two points to pull back to within one at 19-18, forcing USD into a timeout. USD then went on a 4-1 run to take match-point at 24-19, and after LBSU grabbed the next two points, a kill from Brown sealed the USD victory.