What started out as a closely contested game between undefeated opponents ended with a CSUN sweep over California Baptist University (3-1 overall, 0-1 MPSF). CSUN (5-0 overall, 1-0 MPSF) won three sets, 25-19, 25-16 and 25-23.
“In the first set, we could tell that our serves weren’t as intense and on point as they needed to be,” junior outside hitter Jakub Ciesla said. “We decided as a team that they needed to start going in, while still being aggressive.”
Ciesla led the Matadors with 13 kills, hitting .360. Freshman outside hitter Dimitar Kalchev also chipped in 11 kills (.421) with six aces. Freshman setter Sam Porter added 34 assists and one ace.
The only set in which CSUN trailed by a decent margin was in the third set. With the Matadors trailing 18-15, Head Coach Jeff Campbell took a timeout for the team to refocus.
“In the timeout we just tried to get each other back in the game and get our heads back in the game, and it really helped,” junior outside hitter Bradley Sakaida said.
After the timeout, the Matadors did just that, roaring back to win the set and secure the victory.
With the win, CSUN improved their record to 5-0. Campbell had high praise for his team when discussing the Matadors’ early season success.
“This year we have a lot of guys returning. [The roster] is deeper than last year,” Campbell said. “Our team is really playing hard, working hard at practice and have bought into the growth mind set. Mentally, physically, in the classroom, on the court — this team just works really hard.”
CSUN returns home Friday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m., to take on No. 13, University of Southern California.