CSUN men’s volleyball game began with a kill by sophomore, Eric Chance, which was then followed by a service ace from sophomore, Dimitar Kalchev, making the score 2-0.
“We brought a lot more energy tonight,” said head coach Jeff Campbell. “We also served better and our passing improved as well.”
Kalchev and senior CJ Suarez proved that by how well they worked together in order to save the ball from a sideout.
Hope’s Dustin Elliot came in with a kill to keep the score steady at 7-8, but the Matadors continued to fight for a larger lead. Redshirt freshman Parker Maki and senior Jakub Ciesla helped them regain a two-point lead over Hope with a roof.
Sophomore Sam Porter completed a pass to Kalchev before his kill furthered their lead to 12-18. The Matadors ended the first set with a .375 hitting percentage while Hope closed the first set with a .091 hitting percent.
The second set of the match began with an even flow of scoring for both sides tied at 2-2, but it was a block and service ace by junior Arvis Greene that assisted the Matadors in taking a larger lead.
As the scores tightened up again, Kalchev hit his sixth kill of the match leaving the score 6-8. However, Hope stayed within a two-point deficit until a service error by Ciesla and a kill by Hope’s Zach Greene brought the score to 19-20.
“We had to make adjustments on our passing and make sure we kept our energy up,” Suarez said. “Tonight was a good step forward for us and we will be ready for next week.”
A block by Chance, Greene and Kalchev cinched the win for the second set.
Junior Josiah Byers began the third set of the match with a laugh due to a header of the ball–which brought the score to 2-3. Byers quickly replied with a kill shortly after taking the lead 3-6.
Hope’s, Zach Greene and Enrique Lopez, caught up with a kill, followed by a service error by Matador’s Greene leaving the score at 6-7.
The Matadors outplayed Hope with their passing and ability to put the ball away. A roof by Chance gave them a four-point lead and a service ace by Kalchev turned the score to 13-19.
Hope continued to rally until the end with a 21-24 score, but Kalchev finished off the match with a strong kill.
“The game got better the more we played,” Maki said.
The Matadors will face off Standford Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Matadome.