Quick road trip to LMU before home opener

Kerstin Gupilan

The Cal State Northridge women’s volleyball team (3-6) will play its home debut on Friday. But tonight, they have one last road match, against Loyola Marymount University (7-3) at the Gersten Pavilion in Los Angeles.  After a mixed weekend at the Nike Cougar Challenge, the Matadors hope to bounce back against the Lions.

CSUN and LMU have so far had two common opponents, Idaho and Boise.  Both teams were able to defeat Boise, but LMU finished the Broncos off in four sets while it only took the Matadors three sets.  As for Idaho, CSUN swept them in three sets last weekend, while the Lions were unable to finish the deed in five sets.

But these results against common opponents have not changed how the Matadors will approach going into Tuesday’s match, however.

“When you start comparing who you beat you’re losing sight of what day it is,”  CSUN head coach Jeff Stork said.  “On any given day you have to come out and play; (those wins) doesn’t mean we’re going to beat LMU.”

The Matadors need to be prepared, also, because the Lions have only lost three matches this season, while the Matadors are the not-so-proud owners of a 3-6 record.
Sophomore outside hitter/middle blocker Ariana Convington leads the LMU attack: Convington has 89 kills, 14 blocks and 68 digs for the season.  A diverse hitter, Convington gives the Lions a chance to mix up the line up as well as the opportunity to throw off the defense.

Alongside Convington is six-foot-one-inch junior middle blocker Becky Stehling, who leads the team in blocks with 22.

“Our serve-block defense is really good,” Stork said in regards to adjusting his lineup to match up to LMU’s versatile players. “We just need to find a match-up that works for us. You beat the team, not a player.”