Palo Alto, California–In their first MPSF Tournament final appearance in 17 years the Matadors were blown away 3-0 (24-30, 28-30, 17-30) by the Cardinal Saturday night at Maples Pavilion.
“Great atmosphere here (Maples Pavilion), the crowd is relentless and we kind of let them get to us a little bit which is out of our character,” redshirt freshman John Baker said on how it affected the team playing in front of the Stanford fans.
Senior middle blocker Jacek Ratajczak led the way for the Matadors in a losing effort with 15 kills, nine of which came in the second set. Fellow middle blocker Kevin McKniff chipped in with eight kills, while junior opposite hitter Tanner Nua came off the bench and finished with seven.
By Stanford defeating CSUN it automatically gets a bid to play for a chance to win a national title.
As for the Matadors, they’re in a sit and wait situation as they await to hear from the NCAA committee on Sunday morning whether they will be the at-large team in the four-team national championship tournament.
Northridge has a strong case thanks to finishing tied for second in what some consider the toughest league in the country. Also in the running for the at-large bid is BYU, who they finished tied with for second in the MPSF. Northridge defeated the Cougars in three out of four matches this season, including a five-set win Thursday night in the MPSF semifinal.
“We are planning on going (Nationals),” senior outside hitter Theo Edwards said. “Tonight we are going back to the hotel to prepare for next week and if we get an opportunity to play them (Stanford) again I guarantee it won’t be like that.”