Northridge sweeps Lewis University

Ivan Yeo

The CSUN Matador men’s volleyball team didn’t have much to worry about against the Lewis University Flyers Tuesday night.

Three nights after being pushed in its sweep of the Cal Baptist Lancers, the Matadors had a much easier time against Lewis, sweeping the Flyers by scores of 30-22, 30-21 and 30-20.

“We put a lot of pressure on them and we played very well,” head coach Jeff Campbell said. “It was a good match for us.”

Senior opposite Dan Rhodes had 17 kills while hitting .483 and sophomore outside hitter Eric Vance had 12 while hitting .435. Freshman setter Sean Pederson assisted 36 kills. David Kelnhofer led the Flyers with 13 kills and David Taylor had 20 set assists.

Lewis came out the aggressor in game one, taking an early 3-1 lead. Northridge won three of four sets to tie the game at four, but the Flyers won the next three sets to take a 7-4 lead. The Matadors responded thoroughly, winning five of the next six sets to take a 9-8 lead. Both teams held no more than a one-point lead during the next few sets. Game one was tied at 15 until the Matadors ran off five of the next six sets to take a 20-16 lead, forcing a Lewis timeout. Northridge won six of the next seven sets to take a 26-18 lead. Those two runs were all they needed to take the first game.

The next two games saw the Matadors jump out to the early lead and never look back. In game two, Northridge won four of the first five sets, then after Taylor stopped the run with a hit to CSUN’s back area, the Matadors won the next five points to take a 9-2 lead and force a Lewis timeout.

Following back-to-back kills by Kelnhofer, Rhodes went off a pair of Flyer blockers for a kill and junior outside hitter Isaac Kneubuhl pinned Taylor for another Matador point. Kelnhofer again stopped the run, but Northridge won the next three sets to take a 14-5 lead, forcing another Flyer timeout. Lewis came out of the timeout with five straight points, two following a CSUN timeout that cut the lead to 14-10, but Rhodes smashed a hit through a Lewis block to stop the Flyer surge, then Vance spiked the ball to an opening to Lewis’ back area and an attack by Nathan Klaas hit the antenna, restoring the Matador lead to 17-10. The Matadors coasted from there.

Game three was more of the same. The Matadors remained in control, leading by as many as 10 on their way to the win and its second consecutive sweep.

Starting libero Ali’i Keohouhou missed the game with a broken leg, according to Campbell. Despite the loss, Northridge turned to its serving to score the sweep against the Flyers, scoring seven service aces.

“Our serving has come to be a factor in our games now,” Rhodes said. “We can throw teams off balance and they (Lewis) can’t set the ball.

CSUN (11-9) looks to make it three wins in a row against another team from the Midwest, the Quincy University Hawks, at the Matadome Friday at 7 p.m.