The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Matadors suffer heartbreak as Tritons come into town

CSUN outside hitter, Griffin Walters,12, fights to tap the ball toward the UCSD opposition during CSUN’s Big West home opener on Friday, March 15, 2024 at the Premier America Credit Union Arena in Northridge, Calif.

After suffering defeat in San Diego on Thursday night, CSUN (9-10, 0-2 Big West) yet again lost to UC San Diego (11-10, 3-2 Big West) in a reverse sweep, which pushed the Matadors’ record to below 500.

Before Friday night’s heartbreak, senior Kyle Hobus became the 15th player in CSUN men’s volleyball history to reach 1,000 career kills. On Friday night, he led the team with 19 while redshirt freshman Jalen Phillips tallied 15 right behind him. Despite the efforts from Hobus and Phillips to help the Matadors win the first two sets, CSUN would lose the next three in Friday’s action: 25-22, 25-18, 18-25, 23-25, 12-15.

The Matadors would begin the game playing flawlessly, hitting .481 in the first set and grabbing 16 kills while only committing three errors. A Hobus kill ended it all and gave them the first set.

Although CSUN hit .308 and obtained only 10 kills in the following set, the Matadors kept a healthy lead on the Tritons and won the second set by seven. This put them one set victory away from pulling off the sweep at home.

As for the Tritons, through the first two sets, the team was unable to hit over .300. After hitting a mere .138 in the second, San Diego was able to bounce back and capitalize on poor hitting from the Matadors. The Tritons hit .533 to CSUN’s .125 in the third set, a big shift after the first two sets in the game.

CSUN head coach Theo Edwards spoke about the need to capitalize on their opportunities and win the third set.

“It’s been a learning process for us and we’re becoming the team we want to be and we’re just a little shy of that right now,” Edwards said. “You got to learn to close and I thought that third set was an opportunity for us to finish it off. We’re learning it’s important for us to finish and in order to do that we got to play well.”

CSUN hit well in the fourth as the Matadors hit .364, but the Tritons would not back down as both teams pulled even, 21-21. CSUN would be the one to fall as San Diego would force a fifth set after an attack error from Griffin Walters on a block by the Tritons.

In the fifth and final set, both CSUN and San Diego played to six ties but the Tritons would be the team to come out on top after a 3-1 run put them just two points within victory. Griffin Walters pulled it within one for CSUN, but San Diego won the game after a kill from Sebastian Lara and an attacking error from Kyle Hobus, completing the reverse sweep for San Diego.

The loss for CSUN pushed the team to below five hundred and left them winless in their first two Big West matches.

Despite the loss, Edwards saw this as a time to learn and knew there was much to improve on as the team prepares for a trip to Hawai’i to take on the Rainbow Warriors.

“We went into a tail-spin and sputtered a little bit in sets three and four. We were able to turn that around in the fifth set when it really mattered the most and find a way to make this game competitive,” Edwards said. “Take the lessons we learned this week and apply them to next week.”

The Matadors will travel to Manoa over spring break and take on Hawaii, with both games taking place at the SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

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