Long Beach Uses Wind to its Advantage in Wins Over Washington, Nebraska
LONG BEACH – They could have held it on campus at Long Beach State. Sure, it would have taken a bit longer, since there are only three courts, and four teams from around the country made the trip to the Beach this weekend. But still, it could have been done.
Long Beach Mike Campbell just couldn’t allow it. Nebraska, Colorado Mesa, Stanford, and Washington didn’t make the trip to Southern California to play on a campus. They came to play on a beach.
“We’re just happy to get out of Nebraska,” Nicklin Hames joked.
This, though, is The Beach’s beach. And, per usual, their beach was windy.
“They know this wind,” Campbell, Long Beach’s head coach, said. Indeed, gusts blew off the ocean, wreaking havoc on serve receive and transition for most every team save one: Long Beach. The breeze was an asset to the Prospectors, a downfall to, say, Nebraska, whose “beach court” is in the back of the weight room, inside. Not much wind to practice in, though there’s a lovely painting of a beach.
“We don’t get this,” Hames’ partner, Lauren Stivrins, said, gesturing to the beach in front of her.
It showed, as Long Beach was the only of the four teams — Stanford won’t play until Saturday — to go undefeated on the day, expertly using the wind to its advantage. It won both of its matches on the day, 4-1 over Washington and 4-1 again over the Huskers, extending The Beach’s record to 8-4, a nice rebound from a 5-0 sweep at the hands of Pepperdine on Wednesday.
“At this level, the talent has become so good,” Campbell said. “So all we’re fighting for is little inches. We’re just fighting for a couple inches here and there.”
They took care of business on Friday, particularly courts one, two and five. On court one, Nicci Reinking and Zoi Konstantopoulou won their two matches by a combined 23 points. One court down, Mari Molina and Megan Kruidhof performed even better, beating Washington 21-11, 21-17 and Nebraska 21-9, 21-8. Meanwhile on court five, Claire Newlander and Sophie Major won both, topping Washington and Nebraska by the score of 21-14, 21-13.
“I feel like the team we have right now is perfect,” Molina said. “It’s us believing in ourselves and once we get that, we’re going to be a huge threat.”
They proved as much on Friday, with two more matches upcoming on Saturday, against Stanford and Colorado Mesa.
Mesa went 1-1 on the day, topping Nebraska 3-2 before losing to Washington, which also split on the day immediately after.
“Week to week, we’ve got to get better,” Campbell said. “Win or lose, it doesn’t matter. We just need to keep improving.”
Long Beach State 4, Washington 1
Court 1: Nicci Reinking/Zoi Konstantopoulou (LBSU) def. Destiny Julye/Kristen Gengenbacher (UW), 21-15, 21-14
Court 2: Mari Molina/Megan Kruidhof (LBSU) def. Shayne McPherson/Kara Bajema (UW), 21-11, 21-17
Court 3: Cat McCoy/Sam Drechsel (UW) def. Kendra Koelsch/Sydney Stevens (LBSU), 15-21, 22-20, 15-12
Court 4: Tyler Spriggs/Alexis Patterson (LBSU) def. Kyra Peterson/Callie Weber (UW), 21-16, 21-17
Court 5: Claire Newlander/Sophie Major (LBSU) def. Emma Calle/Chloe Newton (UW), 21-14, 21-13
Colorado Mesa 3, Nebraska 2
Court 1: Lauren Stivrins/Nicklin Hanes (NEB) def. Katie Scherr, Portia Valdez (CMU) 22-20, 21-11.
Court 2: Macie Lachemann/Rachel Pierriae (CMU) def. Jazz Sweet/Kenie Knuckles (NEB) 19-21, 21-19, 15-12.
Court 3: Madi Kubik/Mari Kurkova (NEB) def. Lindy Dixon/Hailey Crane (CMU) 21-8, 21-9.
Court 4: Ara Norwood/Holly Schmidt (CMU) def. Hayley Densberger/Anezka Szabo (NEB) 17-21, 21-11, 15-12.
Court 5: Kerstin Layman/Magdalena Dabrovski (CMU) def. Callie Schwarzenbach/Megan Miller (NEB) 21-15, 21-11.
Washington 4, Colorado Mesa 1
Court 1: Destiny Julye/Kristen Gengenbacher (UW) def. Katie Scherr/Portia Valdez (CMU) 21-14, 21-13
Court 2: Shayne McPherson/Kara Bajema (UW) def. Macie Lachemann/Rachel Pierrine (CMU) 21-9, 21-4.
Court 3: Cat McCoy/Sam Drechsel (UW) def. Lindy Dixon/Hailey Crane (CMU) 21-10, 21-8
Court 4: Ara Norwood/Holly Schmidt (CMU) def. Kyra Peterson/Emma Calle (UW) 21-19, 21-12
Court 5: Callie Weber/Chloe Newton (UW) def. Kerstin Layman/Magdalena Dabrowski (CMU) 21-6, 21-8.
Long Beach State 4, Nebraska 1
Court 1: Nicci Reinking/Zoi Konstantopoulou (LBSU) def. Lauren Stivrins/Nicklin Hames (NEB), 21-14, 21-17
Court 2: Mari Molina/Megan Kruidhof (LBSU) def. Kenzie Knuckles/Jazz Sweet (NEB), 21-9. 21-8
Court 3: Kendra Koelsch/Sydney Stevens (LBSU) def. Mari Kurkova/Madi Kubik (NEB), 21-13, 21-11
Court 4: Hailey Densberger/Anezka Szabo (NEB) def. Tyler Spriggs/Kenzie Holtz (LBSU), 19-21, 21-18, 18-16
Court 5: Claire Newlander/Sophie Major (LBSU) def. Callie Schwarzenbach/Megan Miller (NEB), 21-14, 21-13
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