Matadors feed off spectators energy

    CSUN fans cheer on the women's volleyball team on Tuesday's home opener. Photo Credit: Patrick Dilanchian

    The CSUN women’s volleyball team got plenty of support from its fans in the home opener against No. 13 UCLA on Tuesday night.

    Even though Northridge lost in four sets, the fans supported the Matadors from the first serve to the last point of the match.

    “The crowd was unbelievable,” head coach Jeff Stork said. “It’s great to see them come out to support us.”

    The University Student Union (USU) gave Red Rally T-shirts to the first 150 fans in attendance, which wasn’t enough, as spectators filled the Matadome.

    During the first set, the crowd was rocking and at one point got on its feet to support the Matadors, who got out to an early lead. After every point the Matadors scored the fans in the stands cheered loudly.

    “The crowd boosted our energy,” junior setter Sam Orlandini said. “It was a great turnout.”

    When CSUN was on its way to win the first set, the crowd rose to its feet and cheered at the top of their lungs and exploded with approval.
    For a few spectators, it was their first time attending a collegiate volleyball game.

    “This game is my first one,” junior Miriam Malae, who was in attendance, said. “I played volleyball at a junior college and I wanted to watch a college game.”
    After seeing what the Matadors can do on the court, freshman Damian Arline wants to see more.

    “I love volleyball,” Arline said. “Honestly, I’m going to go to all the men’s and women’s games.”

    Also at the game was CSUN’s mascot Matty the Matador. Matty was going through the crowd during the match to pump up the crowd as well as the Matador cheerleaders.

    In between the second and third set, the crowd was invited to participate in a competition to win various prizes. The contestants had to serve the ball over the net and the ball had to land on the prize for them to win. In all, two contestants each won a T-shirt.

    “I loved the crowd,” freshman outside hitter Mahina Haina said.

    The team hopes that the fans continue to support them throughout the season.

    “It’s a good sign to see the crowd out like this,” Stork said.

    The fans got a good show but many went home disappointed after the Matadors lost three sets to one.

    “It was really intense and fun,” freshman opposite hitter Natalie Allen said.  “I’m glad everyone came out.”