CSUN sports roundup 02/15 – 02/21


Photo illustration by Pablo Orihuela

Joseph Gonzalez, Reporter

Men’s volleyball

After sweeping last week’s trip to New Jersey, the men’s volleyball team headed home to host the Benedictine University Eagles.

They continued their success by sweeping the Eagles 3-0. Redshirt junior Kyle Hobus had 11 kills in the game, while sophomore Donovan Constable had 29 assists to lead the Matadors to their fifth consecutive win.

Holding a 9-5 record and currently ranked 14th in the nation in the NVA/AVCA Men’s National Collegiate coaches poll, the men’s volleyball team finds itself in a prime position to contend for the duration of the season.

Next match: Friday, March 3 at Stanford at 5 p.m.

Women’s water polo

The women’s water polo team traveled north for the weekend to tackle the Bronco Invitational hosted by Santa Clara University.

First up was CSU East Bay for a Saturday morning matchup. East Bay struck first with the first goal of the match. CSUN responded with a 6-0 run that extended from the middle of the first quarter to midway through the third. Taking a 7-3 lead into the final quarter, the Matadors clinched the victory with a score of 10-5.

The Matadors played their second match of the day against the No. 19 nationally-ranked San Jose State University Spartans. The score was even at 2-2 at halftime, due to a pair of scores from sophomore Dorottya Telek.

The close duel continued, as CSUN scored three goals in the third, while SJSU scored two. The Matadors took a one-point lead into the final quarter, but the Spartans went on to shut out the Matadors in the fourth, taking the win 6-5.

Sunday’s morning match against Austin College presented an opportunity for the Matadors to bounce back. Outscoring the Kangaroos 10-0 in the first three quarters, CSUN continued their dominance to earn the 16-4 victory.

The final match of the weekend was a battle of the nationally ranked, with CSUN at No. 25 and Marist College at No. 24. The score at halftime was 5-4 in favor of the Matadors. The third quarter saw the Matadors score five times to Marist’s one goal. The five-score cushion in the fourth was enough for the Matadors to secure the win, despite the Red Foxes scoring three goals and shutting them out in the final frame. CSUN grasped on for the 10-8 victory. Sophomore Valeria Martinez had four points and four steals in the match.

Next match: Saturday, Feb. 25 at Redlands Invitational at 9 a.m.

Men’s basketball

After playing 17 consecutive Big West Conference games, Matadors men’s basketball is approaching the end of the season with three games left before the Big West tournament.

Wednesday night’s game against UC Davis was an opportunity for CSUN to build a winning streak, as they had defeated Cal Poly the week prior. Despite Atin Wright’s 42-point performance, the Matadors could not keep up with the Aggies’ offense and fell 73-62.

The following game against UC San Diego resulted in another double-digit loss for the Matadors. Trailing by three points at the half, the Matadors tried to take the lead from the Tritons but were never able to. Outscored by 10 points in the second half, the squad ended up losing 75-62. Having three players in double digits of scoring was still not enough for the Matadors.

CSUN then played host to UC Riverside, who came in with 18 wins, three times as many as the Matadors. CSUN looked to pull off the upset against the Highlanders, but struggled to catch UCR from the tipoff. They trailed 49-34 at halftime. During the second half of the game, CSUN failed to nail a single 3-point attempt, going 0-5. CSUN wound up losing 96-76. The team had a trio of players in the game for 30 minutes, two of whom scored in double digits.

Next match: Saturday, Feb. 25 at Long Beach State at 4 p.m.

Women’s basketball

Saturday afternoon’s home game against UC San Diego was another Big West loss for the Matadors women’s basketball team.

UCSD came out of the gates hot, scoring 32 points in the first half to CSUN’s 18. The Matadors’ halftime adjustments helped them score 19 points in the third quarter. The Tritons kept the lead in the fourth as both teams scored nine points in the defensive-heavy quarter. CSUN fell 57-46.

The Matadors then headed to UC Riverside to face the Highlanders. Despite being held scoreless from the free-throw line and the 3-point line in the first quarter, CSUN only trailed 15-14. The second quarter favored UCR as they scored 10 points to CSUN’s six, making it 25-20 at halftime. Halftime adjustments were made by head coach Carlene Mitchell as CSUN bounced back, scoring 10 points to keep the Highlanders within reach, the score 35-30 in favor of UCR before the final quarter. CSUN’s defense stepped up and shut down the Highlanders, allowing only nine points in the final quarter. This, complimented by 18 points from the offense, allowed the Matadors to steal the win 48-44. Sophomore Macy Smith played 36 minutes and scored 10 points, while sophomore Michelle Duchemin racked up 12 points and four steals to aid in the victory.

Next match: Saturday, Feb. 25 vs. Long Beach State at 2 p.m.


The second week of the softball season saw the Matadors head to Riverside for the CBU Classic, hosted by California Baptist University.

In the first game, the Matadors faced off against Colorado State. CSUN’s starting pitcher for the game was sophomore Alexis Martinez, who made her fourth start of the season. Martinez pitched five innings, giving up one run, four hits, and walking two batters to secure her third victory of the season. The offense followed up with six runs to secure the 6-2 win over the Rams.

The Matadors wrapped up Friday’s doubleheader against University of the Pacific. Freshman pitcher Isabella Alonso had her best outing of the season, with the Cypress native pitching a three-hit shutout over seven innings against the Tigers. CSUN scored three runs, with RBIs from pinch hitter Kaylee Escutia and shortstop Vinessa Nunez. The Matadors extended their win streak to three games with the 3-0 victory.

On Saturday, CSUN played another doubleheader against tournament host CBU. CSUN started game one with an RBI double from Escutia and an RBI single from senior Jordan Kaeka. CBU responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the first inning. The next scores came in the top of the third from the Matadors, giving them a 5-1 lead. CBU scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth off of starting pitcher Riley Wickum. CSUN head coach Charlotte Morgan made a pitching change, putting in graduate student Allie Gardiner, who shut out CBU in her 2.1 innings of relief while securing the 6-3 win for the Matadors.

CSUN seemed to use all of their offensive power in the first game as they were shut out 0-3 in the second leg of the doubleheader. CBU freshman Presley Hosick pitched a complete game, giving up two hits over seven innings.

The offensive struggles continued in the final game of the weekend, which was a rematch against Pacific. The Tigers had the Matadors’ number this time. It was 1-0 Pacific heading into the sixth when the Matadors gave up three runs, extending their deficit to 4-0. The score remained 4-0 as Pacific gave the Matadors their second consecutive loss.

Next match: Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic from Feb. 23-25 in Cathedral City, California.


The baseball team started the season with a three-game series against Stony Brook University. The first game was a preview of what was to come in the series.

The Matadors trailed 1-0 after the first inning last Friday, but scored 12 runs in the next two innings, taking a 12-2 lead after three. Stony Brook fought back, scoring two runs in the top of the fourth. CSUN’s offense was too much as they added seven more in the bottom of the fifth. After scoring 19 runs in six innings while only giving up five, the Matadors cruised to victory 20-5. Amassing 20 hits and zero errors was a great way to start the season for the Matadors.

Game two of the series was the next day. The offensive surge from game one translated into game two as the Matadors scored five runs in the bottom of the first. Starting pitcher Thomas Bainton had a comfortable lead to work with, and it showed with his performance. The sophomore pitched seven innings and allowed eight hits, but surrendered only three earned runs to secure his first victory of the season. CSUN steamrolled Stony Brook 14-4.

The final game of the series came Sunday afternoon. The Matadors were able to pull off the sweep with an 8-2 victory. Sophomore Xavier Martinez was the winning pitcher, throwing three shutout innings. The offensive side saw three different Matadors hit multiple RBIs. CSUN went on to win 8-2.

Following the sweep, CSUN headed down to San Diego State University for their first away game of the season. The Matadors did not play like the away team as their offense came ready, putting up six runs by the bottom of the second inning. The Aztecs went toe-to-toe with the Matadors’ offense as they scored four runs to make it 6-4 after five innings of play. Junior Jakob Simons teed off the top of the sixth with a solo home run over the left field fence to give CSUN some breathing room with a three-run lead. Left-handed pitcher Isaac Ontiveros silenced the Aztecs, going four innings and surrendering only one unearned run to give the Matadors a win against the Mountain West Conference opponent.

Next match: Sunday, Feb. 26 vs. Pepperdine at 11 a.m.

Women’s tennis

After an 11-day break from in-game action, the women’s tennis team headed back to the court to face UCLA and Cal Poly. First up, the Matadors traveled to UCLA last Thursday. The Bruins proved too much for the Matadors, as none of CSUN’s doubles pairs were able to win a set. The team fell 7-0. The Matadors looked to get the taste of losing out of their mouth against Big West opponent Cal Poly. It was a close match that came down to singles play. CSUN ended up securing the 4-3 win after claiming four of the six singles matches.

Next match: Sunday, Feb. 26 at UC Riverside at 1 p.m.

Track and field

The CSUN track team headed to Spokane, Washington, for the MPSF Championships.

The women’s team wound up finishing 10th. With a handful of standouts, the team looked promising. Redshirt junior Arianna Alexander continued her great season as she finished fourth in the 60-meter with a time of 7.49 seconds. Junior sprinter Charne-Lee Olkers also placed fourth in the 60-meter hurdles, running an :8.71.

The men’s track and field squad placed fourth in the competition. The group finished strong and had many eye-raising performances. Freshman Logan Davis continued to etch his name in the CSUN record books. He lowered his own school record in the 60m dash to :6.64, becoming the first Matador to win two individual events at the MPSF since Rashad Allen in 2004. Redshirt junior David Phillips Jr. finished third in the 60m, and lowered his personal best as well.

Next Event: UCSB Multis, March 8-9, outdoor in Santa Barbara, California.

Men’s golf

The Joust at Goose Creek, hosted by CBU on Monday and Tuesday, showcased the men’s golf team’s potential in their first action of the spring season. In the first 36 holes, the team competed with 12 others on Monday. Seniors Felix Schrott and Paul-Louis Gachet finished the first day in the top five, while Brandon McDonough also finished under par to help CSUN finish second. Monday’s performance was followed by another solid round as the team finished fifth after the final 18 holes, with a total score of 869. CSU Fullerton led the field with a score of 855.

Next match: Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate, March 1-3, in Palm Desert, California.

Beach volleyball

John Price, the director of women’s volleyball, and Ari Homayun, the associate head coach, will lead the team for this upcoming season. The team is an experienced one, as it only has three underclassmen, compared to 12 upperclassmen. The season starts on Feb. 23, when the Matadors play a doubleheader against Grand Canyon University and Concordia University Irvine. This was supposed to be followed by another doubleheader Friday at CSU Bakersfield against Vanguard and Westcliff University, as well as two more games on Saturday against the hosts and Hope International University. As of Wednesday, Feb. 22, all games in Bakersfield have been canceled, according to the GoMatadors website.

Next match: Friday, March 3 vs. CSU Los Angeles and Westcliff University at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.