Matadors lose to Long Beach State in 3-0 sweep

Ivan Yeo

The CSUN women’s volleyball team put up a fight against the host Long Beach State 49ers at the Pyramid Saturday night, but the 49ers proved to be too much for the Matadors, as they lost with a three-game sweep by Long Beach State.

“I’ve got to give Long Beach credit. They did some good things,” said head coach Jeff Stork.

Game one belonged to Long Beach, at one point winning 14 consecutive sets and cruising to a 30-12 win.

Stork traced the Matadors’ shortcomings to a bad rotation that allowed the 49ers to get on such a roll.

“If you exclude one rotation in each set, we played a very good match,” Stork said. “Unfortunately, that one rotation was not good for us.”

Game two was closer, as CSUN led 13-9 before Long Beach won the next six sets to take the lead. The Matadors kept it close and the game was tied at 21 until Long Beach pulled away with a seven-point spurt.

Game three was again close, with CSUN jumping out to an early lead, only to see Long Beach rally to jump back in front. Long Beach led 25-18, but CSUN stayed in the match and eventually came back to force sudden death. But it proved to be a short one, as Long Beach won consecutive sets to end the match.

“Some good things happened in the match that I’d like to hang on to, as opposed to a 3-0 loss,” Stork said. “We got better as each set went on. We actually scored at a decent percentage. We didn’t side out well, but we certainly scored pretty well.”

Junior middle blocker Val Kepler and freshman outside hitter Brittany Williams led the Matador attack with seven kills each and junior opposite Jenn Probert had six kills. Junior setter Kayla Wright had 24 assists and junior Libero Amy Hultner had 20 digs.

For Long Beach, senior middle blocker Alexis Crimes had 15 kills, junior outside hitter Quincy Verdin had 11 kills, junior setter Nicole Vargas had 40 assists, senior Talaya Whitfield had 19 digs, senior Cynthia Buggs had 14 digs and freshman outside hitter Ashley Lee had 12 digs.

CSUN hit just .076 in the match, while Long Beach hit .254. The Matadors out-blocked the 49ers, 11.5 to 10.0.

The Matadors continue their road trip this weekend, heading north to face the UC Davis Aggies on Friday night, then to Stockton to face the Pacific Tigers on Saturday night. Both matches start at 7 p.m.