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Sand Volleyballers Take National Championship

Sand volleyball may be one of the newer intercollegiate sports, but the women 49ers have taken advantage of Long Beach State’s historic volleyball strength by winning the 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Team Championship in May in Gulf Shores, Ala.

Sand Volleyball's Lauren Minkel

Lauren Minkel in the Sand Volleyball match against Loyola Marymount, Wed., Mar. 13, 2013.

The 49ers went up against No. 1 seed Pepperdine University in the finals, where Lauren Minkel and Jocelyn Neely clinched the third and winning match following wins by Caitlin Ledoux, Tara Roenicke, Tyler Jackson and Janisa Johnson, while the Waves overcame Delainey Aigner-Swesey, Chelsea Cabrajac, Libby Fontanilla and Bre Mackie in the day’s two other matches.

Roenicke and Ledoux also played in the event’s pairs championship final, coming in second to USC’s Kirby Burnham and Stevi Robinson and earning the two 49ers All-American honors.

Team members returned to the Walter Pyramid in August to receive their championship rings, accompanied by head coach Matt Ulmer, assistant coach and former 49er Erika Chidester, and volunteer assistant coach and three-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor.