LBSU takes two of three at Baden Classic

The 49ers sweep Cal State Bakersfield and Prairie View A&M but lose a heartbreaker to Oregon State.

The Long Beach State women’s volleyball team closed the Long Beach State Baden Classic by sweeping Cal State Bakersfield and Prairie View A&M  in Walter Pyramid this weekend.

The victories were split by a bitter loss to Oregon State and marks the end of the nonconference part of the season for LBSU (7-6).

“Now it’s conference,” head coach Brian Gimmillaro said. “We will see what happens from now on.”

Coming off a narrow defeat against No. 11 UCLA, LBSU opened the Baden Classic by sweeping Bakersfield 25-20, 25-21 and 25-13.

Sophomore outside hitter Alex Reid, junior outside hitter Bre Mackie and senior outside hitter Delainey Aigner-Swesey each finished in double figures in kills, with Reid leading the 49ers with 15.

LBSU opened up the first set with an impressive 15-9 lead but lost it quickly, as Bakersfield (6-5) was able to return to 16-15 thanks to several 49er mistakes. Reid gave LBSU another lead at 21-18 with two kills, and the 49ers ultimately won the set and later completed the sweep.

“In the second or third game we started to fight,” Gimmillaro said. “Everything was good once we started to do that.”
In the end, LBSU finished off Bakersfield in the third set with a 25-13 win.

Later Friday night, The Beach suffered a stinging loss to Oregon State (9-2) in a back-and-forth, five-set game. Aigner-Swesey finished with 21 kills, her first game hitting 21 this year, while Reid added 20 kills and 17 digs as well. Libero Tyler Jackson also finished with 22 digs, two off of her career high.

With the ‘Niners leading 17-16 in the fifth and final set, officials reversed what would have been the winning point for LBSU. Instead of sending off the 49ers as winners, the officials made a late back-row block call that gave the point to Oregon State, tying the set at 17.

With the points reversed, the Beavers regained the lead and wo the set to beat LBSU 25-22, 19-25, 26-28, 25-20 and 20-18.

“The ref was right in the end, but he signaled the point to the wrong side,” Gimmillaro said. “He signaled our side; that’s why we went crazy… He was right, but it changes the emotion of a team …  How are we supposed to come back from that?”

On Saturday LBSU was in better form, as it swept Prairie View (2-15) in less than an hour and ten minutes of game time for a 25-12, 25-13 and 25-11 victory. Reid led The Beach’s hitters with 15 kills while Aigner-Swesey added  13 of her own.

The Panthers closed in to 10-8 during the second set, but the 49ers’ consistent playing was too much for Prairie View to contend. In the third set, LBSU put a nail in Prairie View’s coffin to win it 25-11.

“It’s nice to end preseason with a win before going into conference,” Reid said, “but we still need to work hard to make it through our conference.”

With LBSU ending the tournament winning two out of three, the players are excited to travel to UC Santa Barbara’s Thunderdome on Friday for the start of Big West Conference play.

“I think we are all just excited to go play [Santa Barbara],” Reid said. “They’re going be better this year, and we’re better this year, so I think it will be a really good match.”

Friday’s game against the Gouchos begins at 6 p.m.