Daily 49er

With first tests over, 49ers can look for wins this weekend


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Both the Long Beach State women’s volleyball and women’s soccer teams took on ranked teams over the weekend, and after varying levels of success, they can look forward to facing softer opponents this weekend.

All three of the schools the women’s volleyball team faced at the Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational are now ranked. The 49ers defeated No. 18 Illinois in four sets before losing to No. 15 Florida State in five and being crushed by No. 21 Kentucky.

LBSU’s match against Kentucky was ugly. There were numerous miscommunications, and the 49ers looked overmatched for most of the night.

It was an anomaly, though, as that same team defeated a top-25 team and was a point away from taking down another. The 49ers now know that they can compete with the best. They just have to iron out the inconsistencies that come with the beginning of a new season.

Despite the 1-2 start, LBSU received more votes in the national polls and is now just three spots away from entering the top 25. With a weekend slate of Air Force, San Francisco and Miami, the ‘Niners will be looking to significantly increase their wins total (of the three, Miami is the only school receiving votes).

With a sweep at the San Francisco Tournament, the ‘Niners will have the winning record that attracts votes in national polls.

For the women’s soccer team, the story is a bit different. The 49ers aren’t close to being nationally ranked, and their lone win was as much a comeback as it was a collapse by No. 23 Texas Tech.

Still, that win was an important one.

Whatever the mix of luck or skill was that went into Mimi Rangel’s goal with three seconds to play, it’s irrelevant. The 49ers won on the road against a ranked opponent, and now they don’t have to search for their first win four games into the season.

Momentum has its way of significantly affecting college sports. Right now, the women’s soccer team has momentum on its side.

Coming up next for the 49ers is a weekend at home against Cincinnati and Loyola Marymount. Cincinnati is 1-4 to start the season, and its lone win came against lowly UMass-Lowell. LMU is 3-1, but it hasn’t beaten a team tougher than UC Santa Barbara.

Like the LBSU women’s volleyball team, the women’s soccer team has a great chance to get back above .500 this weekend. The 49ers’ young soccer squad couldn’t have been expected to get off to a great start this year, but being 3-2 after five games would certainly provide a boost of momentum after being outscored 5-0 over the first two matches.

There are positives and negatives to take from both the volleyball and soccer teams’ performances this weekend. They each earned big wins over highly-ranked opponents, but they both also experienced what it was like to be on the wrong side of a lopsided matchup.

Both experiences will provide head coaches Brian Gimmillaro (women’s volleyball) and Mauricio Ingrassia (women’s soccer) with coaching material. There’s a lot of tape to be looked at from the one-sided defeats, but there’s also a good amount of belief and motivation that can come from knocking off a good team.

After taking the week to practice and learn all of the weekend’s lessons, the 49ers will have to translate it to the court and field for their upcoming games. The results will determine whether or not the weekend’s matches were a step forward or just another set of games.

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