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COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL ROUNDUP : Long Beach Defeats Santa Barbara

October 29, 1994|JASON REID | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Allowing opponents to creep back from large deficits does wonders for crowd participation--but it's not a formula for long-term success.

So when the Long Beach State women's volleyball team saw the opportunity to end its match-long negative trend, it finally seized the moment Friday night with a 14-16, 15-11, 15-8, 15-4, Big West Conference victory over visiting Santa Barbara before 1,497 at The Gold Mine.

Defending national champion Long Beach (16-3, 11-1 in conference play) continually took early leads, but let the Gauchos right back. The 49ers, ranked ninth in the nation, were finally able to right themselves in the fourth game, sustaining a nice cushion and finishing off No. 10 Santa Barbara (19-4, 8-2) on the last of senior outside hitter Nichelle Burton's game-high 19 kills.

"We should have won it in three (games)," said 49er Coach Brian Gimmillaro, whose team trails league-leading Hawaii by a half game. "We just stopped playing at times."

The 49ers jumped out to a 3-0 first-game lead and led by as many as nine points at 13-4. But then the third-place Gauchos started concentrating--and Long Beach seemed to stop.

Santa Barbara overwhelmed Long Beach, scoring 10 of the next 11 points to tie the game at 14. The Gauchos completed their impressive rally on a service ace by junior middle blocker Tammy Stiner, which capped their 16-14 victory.

Game 2 looked like a replay of the opener after the 49ers let an 11-3 lead dwindle to a three-point lead, 14-11. But Long Beach managed to hang on this time, winning 15-11.

Long Beach's 15-8 victory in the third game gave it a 2-1 lead.

Again, the 49ers started fast, jumping out to a 4-0 advantage. An ace by senior defensive specialist Prentice Perkins, her fourth of five in the match, put the 49ers ahead, 14-8. Junior outside hitter Brita Schwerm ended the game with a kill, one of her 15.

In the Golden State Athletic Conference:

Biola 3, Concordia 0--Sarah Rameson had 14 kills to lead Biola (14-10, 7-5) to a 15-4, 15-9, 15-9, win. Jen Guzman and Molly Jordan each had nine kills for host Concordia (12-14, 2-10).

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