CSUN sports roundup 03/01 – 03/14

File Photo. True McCullough dives for the ball at the CSUN Beach Volleyball Complex on April 9, 2021, in Northridge, Calif.

Joseph Gonzalez, Reporter

The month of March has started and gone by quickly. Many of CSUN’s sports programs are in the middle of their seasons, while some have come to an end. Let’s see how the teams look going into spring break.


The baseball team ended the month of February on a positive note with a 5-1 record. Coach Eddie Cornejo looked to use the momentum to lead his team to a successful March.

The Matadors had to wait a few days as their scheduled game against Waseda University from the Baseball Federation of Japan was canceled due to inclement weather.

CSUN moved on to their next opponent, Creighton. The series was a three-game stand in Northridge. After giving up two runs in the top of the second, CSUN bounced back, tying game one in the fourth inning. The Matadors had an offensive surge in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four runs to take a 6-3 lead. The Matadors gave up four more runs in the top of the eighth and lost, 7-6. The second game went in favor of CSUN. Both teams had an impressive offensive showing as they combined for 20 runs. CSUN had three different players with multiple RBIs. With the series tied 1-1, game three became a winner-take-all. The Matadors had a 4-1 lead heading into the seventh and looked to not squander another chance at victory. Creighton fought back, scoring a pair of runs at the top of the inning. The final few innings were a battle of relievers, but neither team scored a run and CSUN secured the victory, 4-3.

CSUN headed up north to face off against the Pacific Tigers for their first road game in more than two weeks. The game was a battle from start to finish. The teams were tied 2-2 heading into the eighth. The Matadors committed two errors in the bottom of the inning, leading to two runs for Pacific. The Tigers took the lead and never gave it back to the Matadors, handing them the 4-2 loss. Because of rain and lightning, game two was stopped in the fifth inning. CSUN had the lead, which gave them the victory. Game three was canceled.

The rain did not impact Monday’s game against Pepperdine in Malibu. CSUN put up eight runs against the Waves. Redshirt sophomore Kenji Pallares was on the mound for the Matadors. The right-hander built off his solid season, delivering five innings without giving up a run. The Waves chipped away at the Matadors’ lead in the sixth, scoring three runs from multiple hits to grab momentum. Junior Ryan Wentz stopped the bleeding in relief. He pitched three shutout innings to secure the first save of his career. CSUN now sits at 9-3 on the season.

Next game: Friday, March 24 at UC Santa Barbara at 5:05 p.m.

Men’s golf

The men’s golf team headed to Palm Desert for the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate to face off against 15 schools in the three-day event.

The Matadors put up a solid effort the first day, finishing tied for seventh with a score of 294 through 18 holes. The second day was a bit more challenging for CSUN. Even though their stroke total was only five more than day one, CSUN fell down the rankings to 11th. The final day saw CSUN generate its best performance. The team combined for a score of 292, which put them at 885 in total. This strong finish moved the team up the rankings to 10th. The host, Wyoming, wound up winning the tournament with a score of 857.

Junior Eirik Thomassen tied for fourth as he put up his best performance of the season, shooting 3-under-par 213.

Next match: UCSD Invitational from March 27-28 in La Jolla, California.

Women’s golf

After their second-place finish at the last event, the Matadors traveled to Saint George, Utah for the Pizza Hut Lady Thunderbird Invitational. The tournament featured 16 schools from all around the nation.

The first day of the tournament was a struggle for the Matadors. The team found itself in the back half of the rankings at 13th with a team score of 314. Day two of the tournament pointed towards a momentum shift as the Matadors improved to 11th with a stroke total of 299. The final round was much like day one as the team totaled 310, moving them down to 12th. Wyoming and California Baptist tied for the title of the tournament. Elle Laur led the Matadors with her best career outing, finishing 7-over-par 223 to tie for 14th place.

Next match: Fresno State Classic from March 27-28 in Fresno, California.

Men’s basketball

With The 2023 Hercules Tires Big West Basketball Championships coming up, the Matadors had one final game to play this week, hosting Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors and Matadors came to play in the first half of the game, each scoring 33 points through 20 minutes. Hawaii made better adjustments offensively, outscoring the Matadors 48-22 in the second half to defeat them, 81-55. Sophomore Atin Wright finished the final regular season game of his record-breaking campaign with 26 points. Earlier in the season, Wright scored his 1,000 career point and broke the school record for most points in a single game.

The Big West Basketball Championships matchup in Henderson, Nevada pitted CSUN against CSU Bakersfield in the first round. The game played out much like the Matadors’ season closer as they fell short of a win, 51-47. The first half went in favor of the Matadors, 26-24. The Roadrunners outperformed the Matadors in the second half, scoring 27 points. CSUN’s season came to an end with a record of 7-25 and 4-16 in Big West Conference play.

Women’s basketball

File Photo. Carlene Mitchell, CSUN women’s basketball head coach, speaks to the team during a timeout on Feb. 18, 2023, at the Premier America Credit Union Arena in Northridge, Calif.

After losing on senior night, CSUN women’s basketball headed to Hawaii to complete their regular season. The Matadors fell 66-58. Graduate student Tess Amundsen led the team with 14 points.

The Matadors women’s team, just like the men’s, played CSU Bakersfield in the first round of the Big West championships. This close matchup fell in favor of Bakersfield, 55-52. CSUN led after three quarters, 42-38, but a 17-point fourth from Bakersfield proved costly for the Matadors, and caused them to lose the game. CSUN finished the season with a 7-24 record, going 6-14 in Big West play.


The Hillenbrand Invitational had many bright moments but also many low moments for CSUN’s softball team.

The Matadors started the tournament scorching hot, defeating Weber State 11-0. Two of the next three games were close, but none went in favor of the Matadors. Game two against Texas A&M-Commerce was a great night for the batters of both teams. Commerce defeated Northridge 17-12 to wrap up day one. On Sunday, the Matadors started against Nebraska. CSUN lost the tight battle in extra innings, 11-7. Nebraska’s four-run eighth inning was too much for Northridge to overcome. The final game was against the Arizona Wildcats and belonged to Arizona from the get-go. After going up five in the first inning, the Wildcats shut out the Matadors completely and added four more runs, winning 9-0.

Silicon Valley Classic II in San Jose welcomed the Matadors and many other softball teams from across the United States. The Matadors played game one on Saturday against Rhode Island. A huge seven-run inning catapulted the Matadors to victory, 9-1. Freshman Isabella Alonso clinched her third victory of the season, giving up one run in four innings. Next up was tournament host San Jose State. The Matadors put up 10 runs, defeating SJSU 10-5. Redshirt sophomore Maiya Alemania led the team with three RBIs. The rest of the tournament was canceled because of the rain. CSUN was supposed to play Utah State and Santa Clara.

The Matadors were scheduled to play Colgate for a two-game series, but those games were also canceled because of the weather.

Next game: Friday, March 24 vs. Hawaii at 3 p.m.

Men’s volleyball

File Photo. The CSUN men’s volleyball team celebrates on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, at the Premier America Credit Union Arena in Northridge, Calif.

Riding a seven-game win streak and being ranked nationally, CSUN men’s volleyball is becoming a powerhouse. To prove this, they faced off against No. 10 Stanford on the road.

The Matadors made a statement, sweeping the Cardinals three sets to zero. Redshirt Junior Kyle Hobus had 14 kills, while sophomore Donovan Constable recorded 36 assists.

Next match: Friday, March 24 vs. Hawaii at 7 p.m.

Women’s beach volleyball

The month of March has been decent for the beach volleyball team. The Matadors went 6-4 in their 10 games so far this month, making their overall record 7-5.

They defeated Cal State LA, Westcliff University, Houston Christian, Boise State, Hope International and The Master’s University.

Their losses came against CSU Bakersfield, Boise State, Concordia-Irvine and University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The pairing of Abbey Sweeting and Gabriela Griego leads the Matadors with eight wins in their last 10 games.

Next Match: The Bigger West Challenge from March 25-26 in San Luis Obispo, California.

Women’s water polo

A trip to the East Coast for the Harvard Invitational was how the women’s water polo started off March.

The games on Saturday, March 4 were both wins for the Matadors. In both games, the Matadors defeated their opponents with identical scores of 15-9. The victories came against La Salle and Siena. Sunday’s game was a tight match-up against the tournament host. Harvard led 9-3 in the final quarter. CSUN fought back and scored four but came up short and lost 10-7. Looking to bounce back, the Matadors faced off against Carthage. CSUN recovered, defeating the Firebirds by 11 points, 14-3. The Matadors finished the tournament with a 3-1 record.

After flying back home, CSUN played host to Villanova. The game wound up being a historic one for Dorottya Telek, as the sophomore broke CSUN’s single-season scoring record. The Matadors defeated the Wildcats, 12-9.

The Matadors then started Big West play against UC Davis and Hawaii, who are both ranked in the top 15. The match against UC Davis was a battle. The Matadors trailed by two at halftime and ended up losing, 11-7. Two days later, Hawaii came to Northridge and left with a victory. The Rainbow Warriors controlled the whole game, leading 4-1 at the half. Northridge never adjusted, losing 12-3.

Next Match: The Whittier Invitational on Sunday, March 26 in Whittier, California.

Women’s tennis

After finishing February on a two-game winning streak, the women’s tennis team came into March with plenty of energy.

The Matadors welcomed Boston University for a close Monday matchup. CSUN defeated Boston, 4-3. This victory expanded the Matadors’ win streak to three games, and they doubled it by beating Youngstown State, UC Irvine and Idaho.

CSUN sits with a 9-2 record overall and rides a six-game winning streak into its next home match. Angela Ho and Jolene Coetzee won all of their doubles matches in that span.

Next match: Sunday, March 26 vs. Sacramento State at 11 a.m.

Track and field

The men’s and women’s teams headed northwest to compete at the UC Santa Barbara Invitational.

The women’s team saw a blazing time of 24.85 seconds from redshirt junior Arianna Alexander, who took home the victory in the 200-meter. Junior Charne-Lee Olkers won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.13.

The men had a strong showing from senior Noah Contreras, who placed second in the 800-meter with a time of 1 minute, 50.30 seconds. This is the fifth fastest time in school history. Freshman Joey Nations placed second in the long jump.

Next event: Bob Larsen Distance Carnival on Friday, March 24 in Los Angeles, California.