BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – CSU Bakersfield’s beach volleyball team hosted No. 6 Long Beach State on Wednesday afternoon. The Roadrunners took a set at No. 1 doubles, but eventually fell 5-0 to the 49ers.
“We are definitely improving and competing with those big teams that we are playing,” said Cesar Benatti, Head Coach of the 'Runners. “I see an evolution from the beginning of the season to this point. We are still missing that consistency that I always talk about. Today, we took a set away from their first team, which is really positive for us. I’m happy about this, but we have to find a way to keep fighting for a way to close those games.”
In the first flight of matches, LBSU’s Kobe Pekich and Sasha Karelov defeated Jocelyn Rodriguez and Madi Busler at No. 2, 21-16 and 21-9. At No. 4, Hailey Harward and Hannah Matt took straight sets against Emily Lopes and Mattison DeGarmo, 21-6 and 21-18, to put LBSU ahead 2-0.
At No. 3 doubles, Heather Weiss and Morea Wagner of Long Beach State held off CSUB’s Sarah Garrow and Ashley Prater in two tight sets, 21-19 and 21-17, to clinch the match 3-0. CSUB’s Hannah Manzanares and Ally Barber fell to Jenelle Hudson and Megan Kruidhof, 21-5 and 21-11.
In the most exciting match of the day, the No. 1’s for both teams put on a show. Carol Grasso and Sara Little stormed out to take a 21-18 first set win over LBSU’s Rachel Nieto and Nele Barber. The 49ers’ pair responded with a big, 21-10 second-set win before taking the third set 15-9.
LBSU finished the match with a 5-0 victory over the ‘Runners while also taking a tight exhibition match at No. 6 doubles. Kayla Tinker played the first set for CSUB with Sidney Wicks while playing the second set with Fabiana Andrade. Tinker and Wicks dropped Set 1 to LBSU’s Ariana Garner and Ciana Wagner, 24-22. The 49ers also took the second set against Tinker and Andrade, 21-17.
Next up, the Roadrunners (0-9) will head to the Wildcat Spring Challenge hosted by Arizona, Mar. 31 - Apr. 1, in Tucson. CSUB will play three matches over two days including a doubleheader with New Mexico and No. 9/13 Grand Canyon on Friday. The ‘Runners will close out the Challenge against host Arizona, which is currently ranked No. 8 in the country.
The CSUB Student Recreation Center was opened in 2009 and is the center of student interaction and wellness at CSU Bakersfield. The $24 million facility houses over 75,000 square feet of both exercise equipment and other spaces for fitness, education and recreation for CSUB students, faculty and staff. In 2012, the SRC, CSUB Athletics, along with donors Steve and Lori Barnes partnered to build the sand courts, home of Roadrunner Beach Volleyball and a place for students & community members to participate in this emerging and exciting sport.