Sept. 2, 2006
Lincoln, NE - Just when it looked like the Saint Mary's volleyball team was out of the match, the Gaels rallied late in the fourth game to extend the match to five games, but Long Beach State held off the surging Gaels for a 3-2 victory on Saturday night. The loss is the second consecutive loss for the Gaels at the Nebraska Invitational.
Saint Mary's started Friday night's match against No. 1 Nebraska strong as well, but was unable to keep the momentum the rest of the match. It looked like the same against the 49ers, but the Gaels showed a lot of heart to battle back and force a fifth game.
Against Long Beach State, the Gaels won the first game 30-22, before falling 30-25, 30-22. Saint Mary's won Game 4 30-28, but the 49ers won the fifth game 15-7. With the loss the Gaels fall to 3-2, while Long Beach State improved to 5-1.
The Gaels will wrap up the Nebraska Invitational on Sunday when they face Middle Tennessee State at noon (CST) at the Nebraska Coliseum.
In Game 5, the 49ers took an early 7-2 lead and never looked back. The fourth game began very similar to games two and three, but this time the Gaels rallied late in the game, coming from behind to win 30-28. In the game, Groess had four kills, adding on to her already set career-high. Saint Mary's hit .172 in the game, but held Long Beach to .136.
In the third game, the 49ers once again took an early lead, jumping in front 17-10, before the Gaels made a late comeback, but fell 30-22. Kirk had five kills and Groess had four kills in the game for the Gaels. Saint Mary's hitting once again dropped to .213 for the game, while Long Beach State hit .395.
To start the second game, Long Beach State jumped on top 18-11, before the Gaels fought back to cut the lead to four down the stretch. The 49ers went on to take the second game 30-25. Holland and Taylor Groess each had four kills in the game for Saint Mary's, while Brittany Barker and Kirk added three kills each. Bible had another 15 assists and added four digs. The Gaels' hitting percentage dropped off in the second game to .130.
In the opening game against the 49ers, the Gaels got off to a hot start, getting ahead 20-15, before putting Long Beach State away 30-22. Stidham had seven kills in the game, Holland had five kills and two digs and Bible led the offense with 15 assists and three digs. As a team the Gaels recorded four blocks in the game and hit .333.