CSUN sports roundup 02/22 – 02/28

Matadors infielder Joey Kramer, 6, swings for the fences against Pepperdine University on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, in Northridge, Calif.

Joseph Gonzalez, Reporter

Beach volleyball

The 2023 season couldn’t have started with a bigger challenge for the Matadors than the No. 6 nationally ranked Grand Canyon University. GCU outplayed CSUN on the Matadors’ home turf the whole game. CSUN failed to win a single match and lost 5-0.

The Matadors had a couple of hours to turn the page as they went up against Concordia for a 2 p.m. matchup that same day. CSUN captured its first win of the season, 3-2. The Matadors bounced back and wound up 1-1 after their first two contests.

Next match: Tuesday, March 7 vs. Concordia-Irvine at 9 a.m.

Men’s volleyball

CSUN shut out Westcliff University on Wednesday, winning the third set 25-13 to claim the match.

The first Big West Conference match for the Matadors men’s volleyball came on Friday at UC San Diego. The Tritons welcomed the Matadors by taking the first set 25-23. CSUN responded 25-18 to tie things up. The first match was the only success UCSD saw all night, as the Matadors claimed the next two sets to earn their seventh straight victory. Redshirt junior Kyle Hobus continued his great season with 17 kills and a career-high eight blocks in the match. Sophomore Donovan Constable put up 36 assists, good for his ninth game of the season with more than 30 assists.

Head coach Theo Edwards has his squad playing their best ball at the right time, with Big West foes on the horizon.

Next match: Thursday, March 16 vs. UC San Diego at 7 p.m.

Women’s water polo

The women’s water polo team had a busy Saturday morning as they played a pair of games at the Redlands Invitational against Redlands and Westcliff.

The first match came against the hosts of the event. The Bulldogs kicked things off, scoring first at the 2:34 mark. Sophomore attacker Alexis Smith tied things up at one 36 seconds later. Sophomore Tatiana Smeltzer scored one more goal for CSUN before the quarter ended, giving the Matadors a 2-1 lead. The next three quarters were controlled by CSUN. The team wound up outscoring the Bulldogs 7-2 to take the victory. The final score was 9-3 in favor of CSUN. Four different players scored for the Matadors.

The last match of the day was much like the first one for CSUN. The only time Westcliff seemed to have hope was when they scored first to go up 1-0. CSUN decimated the Warriors’ lead, scoring seven goals in a row and going up 7-1. Westcliff finally responded with a goal of their own in the third. The final two quarters belonged to the Matadors as they added six more goals and captured the victory, 13-5.

Next match: Tuesday, March 7 vs. Villanova at 3 p.m.

Men’s basketball

CSUN forward Dearon Tucker, 35, tries to block a UC Riverside player while on defense on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, at the Premier America Credit Union Arena in Northridge, Calif.

The regular season for the men’s basketball team has just wrapped up, and the Matadors have their sights set on the fast-approaching Big West Championship.

The Matadors played CSU Bakersfield on Thursday and got a taste of what can come in the Big West tournament. CSUN led the Roadrunners by 12 at the half. Despite being outscored by five in the second period, the Matadors held onto the lead and won 75-68. Sophomore guard Atin Wright continued his historic season, scoring his 1,000th career point.

The momentum for the Matadors faded against Long Beach State. With leading scorer Wright out for the game, CSUN trailed by seven at the half, 35-28. Redshirt junior De’Sean Allen-Eikens took on the leadership role, scoring 21 points. The Matadors put up 36 points in the second half, but their effort still was not enough to pull off the win. CSUN went on to lose 71-64.

Next game: The 2023 Hercules Tires Big West Basketball Championship in Henderson, Nevada, on Tuesday, March 7 vs. CSU Bakersfield at 6 p.m.

Women’s basketball

UC San Diego guard Izzy Forsyth, 20, is being defended by CSUN Guard Laney Amundsen, 25, on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at the Premier America Credit Union Arena in Northridge, Calif.

The women’s basketball team played a thriller on Thursday at CSU Bakersfield. CSUN jumped out in front of the Roadrunners 14-9 through the first quarter. CSUB went on to have an explosive second quarter in which they scored 19 points to CSUN’s six, shooting 53.33% from the field. The Matadors came back, scoring 17 points to Bakersfield’s 14 in the third to make the score 42-37, Bakersfield. CSUN erased the 5-point deficit and tied the game at the end of regulation, 62-62. Headed into overtime with all the momentum, the Matadors scored 11 points to steal the win, 73-66.

Saturday’s game was a big one as it was CSUN’s senior night, and the Matadors looked to play spoiler to the top team in the Big West. The Matadors never had a real chance to do that as they quickly fell behind against Long Beach State 24-17 after the first, and wound up trailing 55-39 at the half. The struggles continued and the Matadors lost 87-76. Graduate student Tess Amundsen scored 22 points.

Next game: The 2023 Hercules Tires Big West Basketball Championship in Henderson, Nevada, on Tuesday, March 7 vs. CSU Bakersfield at 12 p.m.


The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic welcomed the Matadors for a three-day event this week.

First up at the Big League Dreams Sports Parks was No. 19 Texas A&M. CSUN was able to cross the plate first, scoring a run on a solo home run from redshirt junior Shaylan Whatman. After silencing the Aggies for three innings, the Matadors’ shutout hopes came to an abrupt end when CSUN gave up a home run in the bottom of the fourth and two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. CSUN didn’t score again, losing 3-1.

Friday night’s first game came against the Oregon State Beavers. Catcher Abby Doerr from the Pac-12 team got the best of the Matadors as she homered twice to give the Beavers a 5-0 lead after the fifth inning. CSUN had a final chance to tie things up in the top of the seventh, but they could not build off the RBI single from sophomore Kylie Galindo. That was the only response from the Matadors as they fell 5-1 for their fourth consecutive loss.

The Matadors had a long Friday night against Ohio State. The Buckeyes claimed the first inning as they went up 2-0 off a pair of home runs. The third inning was where they did the most damage to the Matadors. Ohio State saw eight runners cross home plate to make the lead 10-0. CSUN was held to three hits and made four errors in the 12-0 loss.

CSUN looked to return home with a win from the weekend in their final match against University of Iowa. The Hawkeyes scored first in the bottom of the first inning, taking the lead 1-0. CSUN responded by scoring a run in the third, fifth and sixth innings. Taking a 3-2 lead into the final frame, CSUN looked to come home with a victory. Iowa refused to let them do so as they scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, walking off the Matadors 4-3.

CSUN finished the week with a 0-4 record, and was outscored 24-5.

Next game: The Silicon Valley Classic II from March 10-11 in Santa Clara and San Jose, California.


CSUN baseball’s right-handed pitcher Thomas Bainton, 18, throws a pitch in their game against Pepperdine University on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, in Northridge, Calif.

The Matadors were scheduled for a three-game series against San Francisco over the weekend, but the games were canceled due to severe rain.

The skies cleared and the Matadors were able to get a game in against Pepperdine on Sunday. The Matadors quickly found themselves in a 5-0 hole after three innings. CSUN clawed back, scoring two runs in the fourth on an RBI single from redshirt sophomore Graysen Tarlow. Heading into the final innings, CSUN looked to pull off a walk-off or take the game to extra innings. Redshirt junior Joey Kramer gave the Matadors some life with a two-run homer. The Matadors needed one more run to tie it up but failed to do so, losing 5-4.

After the thrilling game on Sunday, the Matadors played Pepperdine again on Tuesday in Northridge. The second match, like the first, was suspenseful, but this time went in favor of the Matadors. Pepperdine jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after three innings, but CSUN turned it around in the bottom of the fourth, in which they scored five runs. Pepperdine countered with an RBI groundout to tie the score 5-5 the following inning, but luck was on the side of the Matadors in the sixth. Tarlow was able to reach home thanks to a fielding error, which gave CSUN the 6-5 lead. Junior Joshua Romero came up big for the Matadors, pitching three shutout innings in relief and securing the save for CSUN.

Next game: Friday, March 10 at University of the Pacific at 5 p.m.

Women’s tennis

The women’s tennis team headed to UC Riverside for a Big West showdown. Despite the on-and-off rain on Sunday, the team was able to shut out Riverside 7-0. The team lost only one singles set and won every doubles and singles matchup.

Next match: Monday, March 6 vs. Boston University at 2 p.m.