The CSUN women’s volleyball team finally went a week without splitting a pair of matches.
Unfortunately, the Matadors came out of this past week with consecutive losses at home. First the Pacific Tigers defeated the Matadors in four games on Friday night, then 24 hours later, the UC Davis Aggies picked up their first win in Big West Conference play by beating CSUN, also in four games.
“We weren’t attacking as offensively as we usually do,” freshman middle blocker Lynda Morales said. “We had really good blocking and our serving was pretty good, but I just don’t think we got it done offensively.”
The Matadors had 14.5 blocks in the match against Davis, but had a hitting percentage of just .157, including a .042 hitting percentage in game two.
CSUN and UC Davis split the first 10 points to start game one. A kill by Davis sophomore setter Carson Lowden gave the Aggies the lead, but the Matadors responded by winning the next four points to lead 14-11 and force a UC Davis timeout. CSUN never relinquished the lead from that point on, as it led by as many as seven and coasted to a 30-24 win.
Game two saw CSUN jump out to a 9-3 lead, forcing an Aggie timeout. UC Davis slowly chipped away at the lead and with the Matadors leading 16-11, won seven of the next nine points to tie the game at 17. The Aggies took a 21-20 lead, then again won seven of nine points to lead 28-22. CSUN won the next three sets to cut the Aggie lead in half, but a Matador two-hit violation put UC Davis at game point. CSUN won the next two points to force an Aggie timeout. Following the break, Davis’ freshman outside hitter Kayla Varney thought she had smashed a game-ending kill, but the buzzer went off during the set and the officials decided to replay the set, much to the objection of the UC Davis bench. CSUN, however, could not capitalize on the opportunity, and the Aggies escaped with a 30-27 win.
Both teams split the first eight points in game three before UC Davis won three straight sets to lead 7-4. Davis led 14-12 when it won five of the next six points to take a 19-13 lead. Davis led throughout the rest of game three, its largest at 28-20. The Matadors won five of the next six points, but a Varney spike ended the match, giving UC Davis a 30-25 win.
Game four again started out close. CSUN’s largest lead was three at 10-7, but Davis won five of the next six points to take a 12-11 lead. UC Davis led 20-19 until CSUN won three straight points to take a 22-20 lead, forcing a Davis timeout. The Aggies responded by winning the next three sets to regain the lead. The Matadors tied the game on a Davis attack error, but a spike by Matador junior Kelley Hanson went long and out, and Aggies’ senior middle blocker Kelly Patterson and sophomore outside hitter Britt Erickson stuffed a Matador attack to give Davis a 25-23 lead, forcing a CSUN timeout.
Davis got the lead to 28-26, but kills from freshman outside hitter Alex Johnson and Hanson tied the game. An Erickson spike gave the Aggies the match-point advantage, but a spike from junior middle blocker Val Kepler forced sudden death. The Aggies made sure sudden death didn’t last long, as Patterson gave UC Davis the lead back and an Erickson spike ended the match.
“I don’t think we kept up our emotion and our tenacity. We didn’t keep going with it,” Morales said.
Williams led the Matadors with 17 kills. Johnson had 12 kills and Kepler had 10. Junior Kayla Wright had 16 assists and 13 digs, sophomore Angela Hupp had 30 assists, junior libero Amy Hultner had 17 digs and Hanson had 10 digs. UC Davis was led by Erickson and junior opposite Erin Turner’s 18 kills apiece and Varney’s 17 kills.
CSUN, 10-18, 6-9, closes out its Big West schedule with a road match against the Cal State Fullerton Titans on Thursday night.