The women’s volleyball team lost a tough match 3-1 Friday night in its home-opener against the UC Irvine Anteaters.
Head coach Jeff Stork said he was happy with his team’s performance in the match, during which three of the four games were decided by only a few points: 20-30, 26-30, 30-26, 27-30.
“Overall, I thought the girls played very well,” Stork said.
Freshman outside hitter Brittany Williams knocked down 16 kills for CSUN, a new career-high, while hitting .333. Williams also had five blocks, including two solo blocks. Junior Val Kepler added nine kills and five blocks. Freshman Alex Johnson chipped in seven kills. Junior libero Amy Hultner had 17 digs and junior setter Kayla Wright had 39 assists. Redshirt freshman midle blocker Lynda Morales had a team-high seven block assists.
“Williams had a great night.,” Stork said. “She almost had twenty points. She also blocked very well, two solos and three assists. Brittany’s doing some real good things for us.”
Williams said she had a lot of intensity and energy during the game and thought the whole team played well.
“We all played really good and I thought it was probably one of the best games we’ve had, even though we didn’t win,” Williams said. “It’s still good to go back and know that you played good that game.”
For the Anteaters, freshman outside hitter Kari Pestolesi lead the offense with her double-double, consisting of 19 kills and 11 digs. Pestolesi also had three service aces. Junior outside hitter Lauren Kellerman added 18 kills and senior middle blocker Kristin Kelley had 11. Kelly also had seven blocks, including three solo blocks.
As a team, the Matadors were out-hit by Irvine, hitting .220 to Irvine’s .229. The Anteaters also had 66 kills, compared to 52 by the Matadors. CSUN out-blocked the Anteaters, 14.5 to 10.0.
Stork was happy with CSUN’s hitting percentage, which he said is very close to the goal he has set for the team.
“If you look at our attacking percentage over our last few matches, its going up to where I’d like it to be. At 22% , we’re just below the team goal for the season, of 23%. So, we’re doing some good things.
Stork said he was also happy with the team’s defense.
“I like the fact that we are outblocking our opponents,” Stork said. “That’s always a nice thing to see because I kinda see us as a point-scoring team.”
The loss dropped the Matadors to 1-2 in conference play and 4-11 overall. The Anteaters improved to 2-0 in conference play and 12-4 overall.
The Matadors had only one day to recover before taking on UC Riverside on Saturday for their second home game.
“Everybody’s the world’s best team against us,” Stork said. “We look at it as we’re given an opportunity to get better and we can’t take anybody lightly or seriously enough. And we’ll take them very seriously and do the best we can.”
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