Long Beach State in need of comeback performance after difficult weekend
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 23:10
After suffering consecutive setbacks, the Long Beach State women’s volleyball team will look to rebound in back-to-back Big West Conference contests this weekend.
The Beach (7-8, 2-2 Big West) will host UC Davis (8-8, 2-1 Big West) on Friday and Pacific (14-2, 2-1 Big West) on Saturday.
After falling to conference rivals Cal State Northridge and No. 8 Hawaii over the weekend, the 49ers have as many losses as they did during all of conference play in 2011. The team will now look to regroup and refocus before another pair of conference matches.
“This is a big week,” head coach Brian Gimmillaro said. “Davis is good and UOP is very good.”
The Aggies are anchored by senior outside hitter Allison Whitson, who ranks sixth in the conference with 224 kills and 192 digs. She also has a .157 hitting percentage.
Pacific is paced by junior outside hitter Megan Birch, who has compiled 244 kills on the season while hitting at a .255 clip. Her average of four kills per set ranks second in the Big West.
Junior middle blocker Jennifer Sanders has added 170 kills while hitting .325. Her hitting percentage is good for third in the Big West.
The ‘Niners have been dealing with injuries all season, and the team’s future success hinges on the return of a healthy lineup.
In the meantime, Gimmillaro credits his players for continuing to improve.
“Our job is only to improve, and that’s what we’re working on,” he said. “The team is working hard in practice. I mean they’re really working.”
Davis handed Pacific its only conference loss of the season two weeks ago, when the Aggies defeated the Tigers in four sets.
Both matches are set for 7 p.m. at the Walter Pyramid, where the ‘Niners are 3-2 on the season.