CSUN women’s volleyball begin the year with a second place finish in Bronco Invitational

    The women’s volleyball team placed second overall in its season-opening visit to the Boise State Bronco Invitation in Boise, Idaho, over the weekend. During the two-day tournament, the Matadors attained their runner-up status by defeating host school Boise State and Northern Arizona University. CSUN’s only loss came against Tulsa University, who won the tournament by winning all three of its matches.

    The Matadors fell to Tulsa University in their first match by a score of 25-20, 25-13, 25-20. Northridge came out strong and was able to keep the score pretty even in the first set, at one point taking a four-point lead.

    However, the Hurricanes took over from then on, ultimately outscoring the Matadors in kills and blocks as well as in total points. Tulsa outside hitters Kelsey Hancock and Tyler Henderson contributed 10 kills apiece in the three-set win.

    So the Matadors had to bounce back Saturday against Northern Arizona University, and they did so with a dramatic five-set victory. In doing so, CSUN handed NAU its first loss of the season, by a score of 23-25, 25-11, 24-26, 25-14, 15-12.

    Even with freshmen outside hitter Lauren Campbell posting her second straight double-double for the Lumberjacks, NAU could not close out the Matadors, who, down two sets to one, used a 14-4 fourth-set run to force the deciding fifth set.

    CSUN freshmen Brittney Graff had a match high 16 kills and added a career-high 18 digs for her first collegiate double-double, and she also contributed three out of CSUN’s seven total aces. And senior Angela Hupp nearly accumulated a triple-double as she tallied 15 kills, 10 digs and nine blocks.

    On the same day as the NAU match, CSUN also took on tournament host Boise State. CSUN swept through the Broncos in three matches, winning by a score of 25-16, 25-22, 25-19. This time Graff totaled 14 kills, while Hupp added 12 kills and 13 digs for the victory.

    Matadors setter Sam Orlandini tallied 35 assists and 5 aces. For the Broncos, freshmen Liz Harden and sophomore Breann Nesselhuff led the team with six kills each in a losing effort.

    When all the action was over, Graff and Hupp were named to the all-tournament team.

    Next weekend the Matadors will travel to the University of San Francisco for the Coca-Cola Challenge where they will play host Rice, San Diego State, and host USF.