CSUN sports roundup: 04/12 – 04/25

CSUN’s softball pitcher, Alexis Martinez, 2, throws a pitch during their game against the USD Toreros on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, in Northridge, Calif.

Joseph Gonzalez, Reporter

The 2023 season is just about over for most of CSUN’s sports programs. The semester was filled with highs and lows. Many teams exceeded expectations while some failed to live up to them.


The Matadors hosted UC Davis for a three-game series the weekend of April 14-15. The Matadors dropped the first Friday game 3-0 and were held to one hit. Game two on Friday marked another loss for the Matadors, 3-1. The lone RBI came from a single from sophomore Alexis Garcia. The final game came Saturday afternoon and was high-scoring. CSUN came out of the gates blazing, putting up five runs in the first two innings. UC Davis answered with four runs in the third and fourth innings, cutting the Matadors lead down to 5-4. CSUN surged in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two more runs to extend its lead. The Aggies tried to fight back, scoring one more, but CSUN held on to win 7-5. Sophomore Mikayla Carman had three hits and two RBIs.

CSUN took on San Diego on April 19 in Northridge for one game, and was shut out for the second time in six days. The Matadors lost 4-0.

Over the weekend of April 22-23, the Matadors headed to Riverside for a three-game series. Despite losing the first game, CSUN won the series two games to one. In game one, the Matadors lost 3-0. The team was held to two hits. Game two took a total of 16 innings for the Matadors to win 6-5. The game was 2-2 from the fifth inning to the 16th, when CSUN scored four runs. Riverside followed with three in the bottom of the 16th, failing to make a comeback as they lost to the Matadors 6-5. The final game of the series saw only one runner cross from either team. The score came from a single by sophomore Sydney Freijanes. The dominant pitching was a combined effort from freshmen Isabella Alonso and Lauryn Carranco, who each pitched more than three innings in the shutout. CSUN won 1-0.

CSUN then hosted the second-ranked UCLA Bruins. After a scoreless first inning, the Bruins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second. UCLA held the Matadors scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when sophomore Alexa Landeros hit an RBI single, making the score 2-1 UCLA. In the fifth, the Bruins answered with a four-run inning. The five-run deficit was too much for the Matadors to overcome as they lost 7-2.

Next game: Friday, May 5 at UC San Diego at 5 p.m.

Beach volleyball

Abbey Sweeting, 1, bumps the ball for teammate Gabriela Griego, 20, to set while playing against Saint Katherine on March 31, 2023, at the CSUN Beach Volleyball Complex in Northridge, Calif. (Aliyah Hinckley)

April 13 was a dominant day for the CSUN beach volleyball team as they shut out Cal State LA in back-to-back games.

The following day, the Matadors headed to CSU Bakersfield for a Friday morning matchup. The match went in favor of the Roadrunners as they beat the Matadors 4-1. CSUN flipped the script in the second match of the day against Westcliff University and won 4-1.

The season finale took place in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Big West Championship. Game one was a close one against UC Davis. The Matadors lost 3-2. The Matadors drew Sacramento State in the next match and earned a 3-2 win this time around. The last match of the season ended in a 3-2 loss to Cal Poly. Sophomore Layla Cederlind and senior Victoria Rogers came out on top in all three matches for the Matadors, not losing a single set in the Big West Championship.

The beach volleyball team ended the season 17-16 with a .515 winning percentage.

Men’s golf

The men’s golf team headed to Utah for the PING Cougar Classic. The Matadors scored 278 after the first round of 18 holes. CSUN then went 2-over-par 290 in the second round, which put them in fourth place out of 16 teams. On the final day, the Matadors continued their success and returned below par as they scored 275, helping them move up to third place on the weekend.

This third-place finish was made possible by seniors Felix Schrott and Paul-Louis Gachet, as well as sophomore Nick Fowlkes, who all finished in the top 25.

The men’s golf team will finish their season at the Big West Championship in La Quinta, California. The tournament started Sunday, April 30, and will end Tuesday, May 2. It is a three-round event with 18 holes being played each day.

Next match: The Big West Championship from April 30 to May 2 in La Quinta, Calif.

Women’s water polo

Photo courtesy of CSUN Athletics.

On April 15, the women’s water polo team hosted UC San Diego for a Big West Conference competition. Despite being on the road, UC San Diego had success early on, scoring five goals in the first quarter while holding CSUN to only two. The Matadors matched the Tritons for goals in the second as both teams scored three. The score was 8-5 at halftime in favor of UCSD. The Matadors’ defense had no answer for the San Diego offense as they allowed seven more goals in the second half. The Matadors lost 15-8. Junior attacker Helena Sandhagen, and sophomores Dorottya Telek and Nicole Thomas, each scored two goals for the Matadors.

CSUN broke its four-game losing streak when they defeated Cal State Fullerton on Senior Day, April 22. The game started close as the score was 2-1 Matadors after the first. In the second quarter, Northridge had all the answers, scoring four goals while allowing none. At the half, the score was 6-1 Matadors. The second half, like the first, was all CSUN as the team scored six more goals and only gave up four. CSUN won 12-5. Telek continued her historic season, scoring three goals to reach 100 on the season.

The women’s water polo team headed to the Big West Water Polo Championship in Santa Barbara with an overall record of 17–12 and a 1-6 conference record. They got eliminated with an 18-7 loss to Hawaii.

Men’s volleyball

The CSUN men’s 2023 volleyball season has come to an end. The season that once saw much promise finished with an 11-game Matadors losing streak and a first-round exit from the Outrigger Big West Championship.

Before the championship, the Matadors played a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara. The first match was held at home Friday night on April 14. The Matadors were swept 3-0 to extend their losing streak to nine at the time. The final regular season match was on the road the following day at UC Santa Barbara. The Matadors trailed by two sets and avoided the sweep by taking the third, but lost the next set to drop the game, 3-1.

The Outrigger Big West Championship, which started April 20, gave CSUN an opportunity to change its fortunes. The sixth-seeded Matadors drew third-seeded UC Irvine in the first round, and got eliminated with a 3-0 set sweep.

The Matadors finished the season 12-16 overall and 1-9 in conference play. The team doubled its wins from 2022, signaling an upward trend for the program despite the poor finish to the season.

Women’s tennis

On April 14, the women’s tennis team went to Long Beach State for a Big West showdown. Long Beach State defeated the Matadors 5-2. The Matadors dropped two of their doubles matches, while the third remained unfinished. CSUN finally saw success when senior Sasha Turchak and redshirt sophomore Yuliia Zhytelna won their singles matches.

Two days later, the road trip continued as the Matadors faced off against UC San Diego. This time, the Matadors got the 5-2 win.

On April 21, the Matadors closed off the regular season with a 5-2 victory against UC Santa Barbara. This win marked CSUN’s first victory against UCSB since 2012. The win also snapped a 12-dual losing streak. Tallia Harper’s back-to-back set sweeps put CSUN up 2-0 in the match and the Matadors never looked back.

The Matadors went on to upset third-seeded UC Santa Barbara in the quarterfinals of the Big West Women’s Tennis Championship, before being shut out by second-seeded Cal Poly in the semifinals.


Matadors catcher Graysen Tarlow, 8, waits for a pitch during CSUN’s game against UC Riverside on March 31, 2023, at Matador Field in Northridge, Calif. (Jose Callejas)

The baseball team went on the road to face Long Beach State for a three-game series from April 14-16.The Matadors won game one, 12-6. Junior Jakob Simons had four RBIs. Junior Lucas Braun won his third game of the season, pitching seven innings in which he secured five strikeouts and allowed two runs. The second game was much closer as the Matadors edged out the Dirtbags for another win, 3-2. Simons had two RBIs and sophomore Thomas Bainton won his fifth game of the season, shutting out Long Beach State in 6.2 innings on the mound. CSUN dropped the final game 6-4, but took home the series win.

On April 18, the Matadors faced off against Southern California rival USC in a hard-fought game. USC beat CSUN 8-5, but the gap could have been larger. After five innings the Trojans were beating the Matadors 5-3 and had the momentum. CSUN responded with a run in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to one. USC answered with one run in the sixth and two more in the seventh. CSUN made one final push, scoring one run off a single from sophomore Ali Camarillo in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough.

CSUN captured another series win against Cal Poly over the following weekend. The Matadors won the first two games, scoring 22 total runs. They dropped the final game, 4-2.

The Matadors played at San Diego on Tuesday and ended the night with a 7-4 victory. Six different Matadors had RBIs and three of them had a pair of hits. It was all hands on deck for the Matadors’ pitching staff as six different hurlers stepped onto the mound to help secure the win.

Next game: Friday, May 5 at UC San Diego at 6 p.m.

Women’s golf

The women’s golf 2023 season ended at the Big West Championship on April 18 in Las Vegas.

The tournament started on Sunday, April 16 when the team shot 326 through the first 18 holes. This first-round finish was the worst team performance of the day, leaving the Matadors ninth out of nine after day one. The struggles continued as they shot 308 in round two. After two rounds of play, the team was still in ninth with a combined 58-over-par 634. The team did not improve in the final 18 holes of the season as they ended the tournament ninth with a total score of 84-over 948. Freshman Gracie Piar and redshirt sophomore Elle Laur both finished in the top 25 of the tournament.

Track and field

The Matadors put together a strong showing in the Bryan Clay Invitational from April 13-14. Sophomore Katherine Shipp-Davis finished sixth in the discus with a toss of 152 feet, while freshman Elijah Ignacio finished 11th out of 39 in the male section of the event. Redshirt junior Joseph Alipranti finished 14th out of 47 in the hammer toss.

In the Mt. SAC Relays from April 14-15, senior Noah Contreras lowered his best 800-meter time to 1 minute, 50.10 seconds to finish third. Redshirt junior David Phillips Jr. ran 20.86 seconds in the 200-meter to finish 13th. In the Beach Invitational sophomore Daniel Rodriguez won the 1500-meter in just under four minutes.

The Chris Rinne Twilight took place a week later in Riverside. The Matadors recorded eight victories in the tournament. James Crawford ran the fourth fastest time by a Matadors freshman in the 100-meter with a time of 10.54 seconds. Freshman Logan Davis continued his great season, winning the 200-meter with a time of 21.45. Contreras won in the 800-meter with a time of 1:50.75, while sophomore Zavion Harper won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.43, his personal best. Freshman Bryson Williams won the long jump with a leap of 23-03 1/2, and Ignacio threw for 167-01 in the discus – the fifth best throw by a Matadors freshman – to win the event.

The women took home some wins as well. Redshirt Junior Arianna Alexander won in the 100-meter with a time of 11.63, while Shipp-Davis recorded her personal best discus toss of 159-04 to win the event. Redshirt junior Jada Reese finished third in the 200-meter with a time of 24.40. Charne-Lee Olkers earned a second-place result in the 100-meter hurdles by finishing them in less than 14 seconds for the first time in her career.

Next event: Both teams are preparing for their Big West championships from May 12-13 in Fullerton. The women’s team will compete in the Big West Multi’s a week prior at the same location.