The CSUN women’s volleyball team was unable to overcome costly unforced errors in their match with twelfth-ranked Hawaii as the Rainbow Warriors defeated the Matador’s in three straight sets 25-14, 25-15, and 25-15.
CSUN drops to 6-11 on the season and 2-3 in Big West Conference play while Hawaii improves their record to 12-4 and remain undefeated in conference play at 5-0.
The match-up showcased one of the top hitters in the country as Hawaii senior Nikki Taylor put the Matadors away with 13 kills for 17.5 points. She came into the game sixth in the nation in kills per set.
“I thought we did a few things fairly well, again, it’s difficult to do the things you want to when you’re playing against a good team,” said CSUN head coach Jeff Stork. “Certainly some frustration on our part not being able to execute what we have been practicing. In our gym certain things worked, against that team certain things weren’t working.”
Not being able to side-out was an issue for the Matadors as Hawaii went on multiple runs of at least five or more points in each of their set wins. Missed opportunities also played a part in the loss as the Matador’s had a total of 23 attack errors, tallying to only 19 kills as a team. In the team’s last game against Cal Poly, sophomore outside hitter Aeryn Owens had 19 kills alone.
Sophomore outside hitter Nada Dragovic believed that nervousness may have played a factor in the game.
“I think we were kind of nervous at the beginning, obviously Hawaii is a great team,” said Dragovic. “I think we played well obviously there was some things that we should have done better, maybe like hitting-wise, but we just got to get better after this game.”
The Matadors were also without one of their key players as junior setter Lauren Conati was out with a torn labrum. The injury has been a reoccurring issue for Conati, who is fifth in the conference in assists per set.
“I didn’t really play a lot last year because I was hurt and then I kind of nursed it back to health,” said Conati. “Now I have just been playing on it a lot so I’m just giving it a break, I’ll be back next week.”
CSUN finishes their three-game home stand 0-3 and will now hit the road for three straight games, starting with Long Beach State on Oct. 15.
The team’s next home game will be Oct. 28 against UC Davis; game time is at 7 p.m. in the Matadome.