WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL NORTHWEST REGIONAL : CS Long Beach Tops Hawaii Again; Will Play LSU Next
Cal State Long Beach continued its dominance of Hawaii Saturday night and advanced to the NCAA Final Four of women’s volleyball with a 3-2 victory in the championship match of the Northwest Regional at University of the Pacific.
The second-ranked 49ers (35-1) will take a 20-match winning streak into next Thursday’s semifinal at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion against Louisiana State, which won the South Regional title with a 3-1 victory over Florida.
UCLA, which upset top-ranked Stanford Friday in the West Regional final, and Ohio State, a 3-1 upset winner over host Nebraska in the Mideast Regional, will play in the other semifinal.
CS Long Beach’s 15-6, 15-10, 8-15, 8-15, 15-11 victory Saturday night was its fifth in a row over Hawaii (26-5), including three this season. Hawaii players said after their opening-round victory Friday night against Pacific that they wanted to get even with the 49ers.
They gained at least a measure of respect with their comeback. After giving up kill after kill during the first two games, Hawaii’s backline became virtually impregnable, creating many long rallies. One early in the fourth game lasted more than a minute.
The final game was played under a new format, called rally time, in which teams are awarded points for every play won.
CS Long Beach, led by All-American outside hitter Antoinnette White, took a 10-6 lead during the fifth game. Hawaii closed to within two points three times, but Scott put away the final three points.
Second-ranked Long Beach caught the Wahines flat-footed in the first two games.
But in the next two games Hawaii was the aggressor, led by outside hitter Kristal Atwood, who had 18 kills in the third game.
In the first the 49ers attacked Hawaii’s mid-section with success, while protecting their own much better than they did Friday night in a 3-1 victory over UC Santa Barbara.