CSUN sports roundup 02/01 – 02/07

CSUN forward Kayanna Spriggs takes a free throw against San Jose State University on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at the Premier America Credit Union Arena in Northridge, Calif. Spriggs had nine points, six rebounds and three steals in the 64-61 loss on Feb. 4, 2023 at UC Santa Barbara.

Joseph Gonzalez, Reporter

Week one of February has wrapped up for the Matadors, proving a promising one for many sports. From men’s volleyball defeating sixth-seeded Stanford to men’s basketball taking down the Big West Conference-leading UC Santa Barbara, the Matadors pulled off many upsets the first week of the month.

Men’s basketball

Forward Dearon Tucker, 35, dunks the basketball into the hoop against UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, at the Premier America Credit Union Arena in Northridge, Calif. (Aliyah Hinckley)

The men’s basketball team faced off against UC Santa Barbara for a Big West showdown Saturday night in Northridge. The teams are in completely different positions in the standings. Santa Barbara came into the game holding first place in the Big West with a 9-1 conference record, while Northridge sat in last place with a 1-10 record.

The Matadors had a chance to pull off the upset and shake up the standings in the Big West. At the end of the first half, the Matadors led 38-37. They held onto the lead and won 72-67. A familiar face led the team to victory. Sophomore guard Atin Wright scored 22 points in 38 minutes, an output that is needed even more now that sophomore guard Dionte Bostick, the team’s second leading scorer, is out for the season. Sophomore guard Marcel Stevens played 36 minutes and went 4-8 from three.

Now that CSUN moved up from last in the standings, the team looks to build off this huge win on Thursday at CSU Bakersfield at 7 p.m.

Women’s basketball

The women’s team also looked to pull off an upset victory against the 8-3 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos on the road this past Saturday. Currently, the women’s basketball team finds itself tied with three other teams for last place in the Big West, while Santa Barbara is in third.

The game was scrappy as the teams reached the free-throw line 23 times in total. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Gauchos led 48-40. They held onto the lead and beat the Matadors 64-61. Graduate student Jordyn Jackson played 38 minutes and scored 19 points. Twelve different players saw action in the game for Northridge as they nearly pulled off the upset.

The team will host CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, Feb. 9 for a Big West showdown between two teams at the bottom of the standings.

Women’s tennis

The Matadors huddle as they get set for doubles play at the Jim Gorman Court on Nov. 11, 2022, in Northridge, Calif. (Edward Segal)

The women’s tennis team came into Saturday’s duel against Santa Clara riding a two-match winning streak.

They turned it into a three-match streak, defeating Santa Clara 4-2. Redshirt sophomore Yuliia Zhytelna secured a shutout in the first set of her match, while freshman Angela Ho continued her dominance, winning both sets 6-2. The following road match against San Jose State was canceled due to rain. The match has not been rescheduled.

The team will have a two-week break before their next match on Feb. 18 at Cal Poly at 11 a.m.

Men’s volleyball

The team came into February on a two-game losing streak, dropping games to nationally ranked USC and UCLA, but had a good chance to bounce back against the Vanguard Lions.

With many starters sidelined for the night, the Matadors hosted the Lions and got swept 3-0. The next match was no easier as the team faced Stanford, the number six ranked team in the nation.

After trailing 2-1 in sets in the game, the team looked to flip the switch and end the three-game losing streak. The team went on to defeat the Cardinals in the next two sets, pulling off the upset in five, 3-2.

Outside hitter Kyle Hobus led the team with 21 kills, while many others set career highs in the victory.

The next match is Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Princeton at 4 p.m., kicking off a three-game road trip in New Jersey.

Women’s water polo
The women’s water polo team continued the season at the Triton Invitational, a weekend tournament from Friday through Sunday hosted by UC San Diego.

The team had a huge challenge ahead of them in the first match. They faced off against Pac-12 powerhouse and number three nationally ranked UCLA. They wound up losing 21-3. The next match was a familiar foe as they faced Big West member UC Davis. The 12-ranked team in the nation defeated the Matadors 15-6.

After dropping their first two games, the Matadors earned their first victory of the season against Concordia in a nail-biter, 11-10. Sophomore Dorottya Telek tied the school record in goals in a single game, with seven in the victory. The thrilling win was followed by a close loss to 21st-ranked San Diego State Aztecs, 9-7.

Next up is the Cal Lutheran Invitational in Thousand Oaks on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Track and field
Head coach Justin Johnson and his squads headed down to New Mexico for the New Mexico Collegiate Classic this past weekend.

The men’s group saw a couple of record-breaking performances, first by freshman Logan Davis who earned a time of 6.71 seconds in the 60m sprint. This was the third time a CSUN record fell this season.

The 4x400m relay group broke the school’s 22-year-old record as well by running 3:12.71. The group to accomplish this was senior De Marq Jaque, sophomore Xavier Bradford and freshmen Luke DaVanon and Davis.

The women’s track team saw solid performances from junior Charne-Lee Olkers, who ran a time of 8.61 to finish fourth in the 60m hurdles. Redshirt junior Arianna Alexander ran 7.52 to finish eighth in 60m preliminaries.

The next event will be MPSF Championships from Feb. 17-18 in Spokane, Washington.

Women’s golf
The women’s golf team teed off the spring season in Ojai, California at the CSUN/LBSU/CSUB tri-match. They played the match in memory of Stephanne A. Gohlke, in support of the prevention of human trafficking.

The team finished the Wednesday event in third place. The winner of the match was Long Beach, with a score of 281, followed by Bakersfield with 303 and the Matadors with 307, putting them 19-over.

The Matadors headed north to Bakersfield for the Valley Invitational, a two-day match-up featuring 13 different teams. Things did not swing in their favor as they again placed last, posting a 93-over 957.

Softball starts their season at the SDSU Season Kickoff against the 22-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils Thursday, Feb. 9 in San Diego at 1 p.m. Their second game will be against the SDSU Aztecs the same day at 3:30 pm.

The second day of the tournament will feature a match-up against Memphis. The last day, Saturday, will feature two more games. The Matadors will take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame before finishing against Northern Illinois.