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W-Vball: Haina unable to save Matadors in Davis

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The Matadors dropped another road game Saturday. Simon Gambaryan / Daily Sundial

Sets No. 2 and 3 of Saturday night’s Big West Conference match between CSUN and UC Davis were very similar: the Matadors got behind early, then, carried by opposite hitter Mahina Haina, chopped at the Aggies’ lead little by little until the game became a matter of wills into the 20’s.

Unfortunately for CSUN, which had lost at Pacific a night before, the Aggies came out winners in both occasions, sealing a 3-0 win at Hickey Gym that sent the Matadors (8-9, 2-3 Big West) home winless after their two-game Northern California road trip.

Following a sluggish 25-19 first-set loss in which CSUN had five service errors, the Matadors came out a step slower than the Aggies (18-4, 4-2) once again in the second and trailed 10-4 after a 5-0 Davis run. But Haina, who had seven of her game-high 17 kills in the frame, led the charge back and the Matadors outscored the Aggies 11-5 thereafter to even things up at 15-all.

The match remained close and Haina scored three of four CSUN points as Matadors and Aggies remained tied, 24-24. However, UC Davis scored the next two points to take the game and a commanding 2-0 lead.

The third set was the strongest for Haina, who hit .433 for the game. Set up by substitute setter Sam Orlandini (15 assists), she had eight kills to dig the Matadors out of an 11-6 deficit and into an 18-18 tie.

Again, the Matadors – who hit .173 for the game – found themselves in position to win the match as two consecutive kills tied the game at 23-all. Once more, however, it was the Aggies who came up big, scoring the next two points to win the set, and the game.

Davis had a balanced attack and hit .243 for the game. Three Aggies recorded at least 10 kills and the assists were split mainly between setters Jenny Woolway and Lindsay Dowd.

Supporting Haina for CSUN, sophomore Natalie Allen had nine kills and middle blocker Casey Hinger added five. Starting setter Sydney Gedryn recorded 21 assists through two sets before Orlandini subbed in for her in the third.

The weekend was a total contrast of last, when the Matadors won their biggest game of the season, 3-0 at home against defending Big West champion Cal State Fullerton. In it, CSUN overcame deficits in the first and second sets, seemingly demoralizing a Titan squad that had no fight left in the third.

On Friday, in the first game back since the important win, the high-spirited Matadors entered the Spanos Center looking to add misery to a Pacific squad coming off two road losses. Instead, they got some of what they gave Fullerton the week before. The Tigers broke a 1-1 tie with a 35-32 third-set comeback win in which they overcame a seven-point deficit.

The fourth set was never in danger for Pacific (12-7, 3-3) as it rolled to a 25-11 win to finish off CSUN.

The losses knocked the Matadors from third place into a tie for sixth with Cal Poly, team they will face in their next game on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Mott Gym.

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