Matadors end the 2009 season on a sour note

Kerstin Gupilan

The Matadors got swept by Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara to end the 2009 regular season. Photo Credit: Sami Eshaghi / Assistant Photo Editor
The Matadors got swept by Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara to end the 2009 regular season. Photo Credit: Sami Eshaghi / Assistant Photo Editor

The Northridge women’s volleyball team finished its 2009 season by dropping two three-set matches at Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara this past weekend, bringing the Matadors’ final record to 8-22 overall and 4-12 in the Big West.

Northridge finishes seventh in the conference just one game behind Cal Poly and ahead of UC Riverside.

The Matadors were unable to produce enough offense to have a fighting chance in either match.

“(This) weekend was really rough for us, especially losing 3-0 in both matches,” junior Lynda Morales said. “Dealing with the ailments of Brittany (Williams) and adapting to the changes of the lineup … hindered us a little.”

The 25-18, 25-17, 25-21 victory brings Cal Poly’s record to 9-20 overall and 5-11 in the Big West.

Cal Poly controlled most of set one with CSUN not developing into a real threat, only tying the score once and changing the lead once the entire set.

The Mustangs’ lead grew to 14-6 before Northridge capitalized on two Mustang hitting errors and two Matador kills to run off their most consecutive points of the set.

Northridge would only come as close as three with the score at 20-17 before being outscored 5-1, and the Mustangs would run away with the set, 25-18.

With minimal hitting and service errors, the second set started off much closer, with the Matadors keeping the score within one, even taking their lone lead at 8-7, before tying it at 11.

But six hitting errors and a service error in the latter part of the set would give the Mustangs the match handily at 25-17.

Set three started off like the second, with both teams taking turns to side out to tie the score five times up until nine. With the score at 22-18, for the Mustangs, a Britney Graff kill spurred a last-ditch effort to push the set bringing the score within one at 22-21.

Moments later a Graff hitting error would give Cal Poly match point and a kill by Dominique Olowolafe closed the match.

Olowolafe led Cal Poly with 12 kills hitting a .647 clip and was accompanied by Jennifer Keddy with eight kills.

Graff led Northridge with seven kills, and Morales, Angela Hupp and Janet Alvarado each had five kills to add to Hupp’s 19 assists and single ace.

Saturday night saw much of the same from Northridge, as Santa Barbara won with scores of 25-15, 25-21, 25-18.

UCSB jumped to a quick 10-5 lead, eventually widening to 18-9 in set one. The Gauchos would lead twice by 11 points at 22-11 and 24-13.

CSUN would rally two more points off of two Gaucho hitting errors. But with set point on the line, a Hupp attack error handed the set to UCSB.

“Our passing at Santa Barbara started off really weak, but it started to progress,” Morales said.

Northridge was able to find ways to keep set two close, tying the score multiple times up until 21. But a combination of two Rebecca Saraceno kills, a Gaucho ace and a Northridge hitting error would close the match.

In the final set, the Matadors were able to stay within three, but UCSB would begin to pull away at 19-15, leading by as much as six. With the score at 22-16, CSUN would rally only two more points but back-to-back Saraceno kills would hand Northridge its final loss of the season.

“I think a lot of it has to do with our energy,” said Morales. “If we aren’t playing together we start to fall apart … this weekend if we had played together we would have pulled off the win.”

Saraceno finished with 10 kills and eight digs with Lily Lopez adding seven kills.

The Matadors hit .064 as a team. Graff led with 11 kills and Morales had six kills.

In her finale as a Matador, Hupp had 22 assists, five digs and four total blocks, and fellow senior Tela Burnett had five kills and five total blocks.