Riverside and rivals on weekend schedule for LBSU women’s volleyball
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 01:10
After winning two games at home over the weekend, the Long Beach State women’s volleyball team will try to win another two this weekend on the road.
Thanks to wins over Pacific (15-3, 3-2 Big West Conference) and UC Davis (9-9, 3-2 Big West), LBSU jumped 13 spots in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) from 67 to 54. It also climbed to second in the Big West standings.
Next up for The Beach (9-8, 4-2 Big West) are matches with UC Riverside (5-13, 0-5 Big West) on Thursday and Cal State Fullerton (8-10, 2-3 Big West) on Saturday.
Although the Highlanders have yet to win a match during conference play, they have proven to be competitive at home. The Beach must work to avoid earning the same result as last year.
Last season, one of the 49ers’ two conference losses came at Riverside, where they lost to the Highlanders in five sets.
Senior outside hitter Amanda Vialpando anchors the Riverside attack, as she has accumulated 211 kills and 157 digs on .258 hitting this season.
Freshman setter Emily Borges guides the Highlanders with a Big West-leading 10.6 assists per set. Her 660 total assists are good for second in the conference.
When the ‘Niners travel to Fullerton on Saturday, they will look to stop senior outside hitter Kayla Neto, who is second in the Big West in both total kills (272) and kills per set (3.94).
What’s on the line here for LBSU is a 58-match winning streak against the Titans that dates back more than three decades.
LBSU head coach Brian Gimmillaro credited his team for continuing to improve during a stretch where it has dealt with multiple injuries.
“We’re getting better,” Gimmillaro said. “We’re working on so many small things right now. The style and level of play is getting better but being able to score is difficult, and we’re just going to have to fight through these matches.”
Libby Fontanilla has found herself starting at libero for The Beach with the adjusted lineup. The senior has collected 35 digs in two matches, including a career-high 20 in the Friday night win over Davis.
“Libby is a good player and a very good athlete,” Gimmillaro said. “So I’m glad she’s out there. I’m confident with her. It works; it’s a good thing right now.”
Both games are set for 7 p.m.