Matadors overcome early deficit to defeat Long Beach State 3-1

    Volleyball players jump up and reach for the ball
    CSUN women's volleyball prepare a block against UCSB on 9/30/16. Photo credit: Alejandro Aranda

    The CSUN Women’s Volleyball team notched its 2nd consecutive win to begin conference play as they defeated Long Beach State, (3-1) 15-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-20, in four sets at the Matadome Saturday night.

    “I thought it was a great match for us,” said Coach Jeff Stork. “Volleyball is very much an offensive game, and if we can find a rhythm, which we did tonight, a lot of good things are going to happen.”

    In the first set of the match however, CSUN couldn’t find a rhythm.

    10 errors by the Matadors allowed the 49ers to jump out to an early lead and Long Beach State didn’t look back. The 49ers rallied off three consecutive points to end the game as it appeared the Matadors looked sluggish.

    However, CSUN setter Lauren Conati didn’t allow her team to fall that easily.

    “We worked hard all week wanting to beat Long Beach, so I know after the first game that it was unacceptable,” Conati said. “I told my team we needed to do something to find a way to win, and we did that.”

    Conati added a match high 49 assists in the victory.

    The 2nd and 3rd sets provided much more of a spark for the Matadors. Middle-blocker Morgan Salone added a season high 17 kills, as she was able to provide the firepower that CSUN was desperately lacking in the first set.

    “I knew we needed to beat Long Beach because we have been preparing for this game for so long. We were ready to play, and I think for me, it clicked,” Salone said.

    Conati and Salone were able to bring their team back from from the deficit along with big defensive plays from Rachel Diaz, who led the Matadors with three blocks.

    In the fourth set, though, CSUN’s big weapon came to play. Aeryn Owens led the match with 21 kills, as again it seems like she is leading the Matadors in every stat.

    “We rely on a lot of people to do a lot of different things, this is a group effort and team effort on the win tonight,” said head coach Jeff Stork. “But certainly Aeryn is a special type of player, I think she is possibly the best player in the conference.”

    “Next week it will be a different opponent, but if we look at our season, our team has made constant improvements. For example, we are doing a better job of hitting balls to the zones that we worked on in practice. It’s nice to see what we do in practice translate to the game.” Stork concluded.

    The Matadors begin conference play 2-0 and look to continue their winning ways versus UC Santa Barbara at home on Friday, Sept. 29th.