In its 2016 season opener, CSUN’s beach volleyball team earned a 3-2 win over Cal State Bakersfield on Thursday.
The Roadrunners took the first two matches 21-19 and 21-18 in the first and 21-17 and 21-18 in the second.
The Matadors then won the next three matches and the extra, 22-20 and 21-18 in No. 3, 21-10 and 21-5 in No. 4, 21-11, 21-15 in the extra.
After being swept by Bakersfield last season, assistant coach Noelle Rooke said she couldn’t be prouder of the team’s performance.
“They enacted their revenge from last year,” she said. “It was a collective win; the fact that they beat this team in the first game.”
Freshman Kamden Maas said the Matadors made sure to prepare themselves both mentally and physically in order compete.
“For this game specifically, we couldn’t watch any film so we had to mentally prepare and visualize ourselves, and make sure we have control,” she said.
Rooke said the team spent a lot of time on the sand and thinks that the harder they work, the more prepared they’ll be.
Maas, paired up with sophomore Nada Dragovic, was able to keep freshman Kayla Tinker and junior Kortney Freeland to only 10 and five points.
Although Maas was happy with the result of game one, she said the expectations for this season go beyond just winning.
“A lot of people see us as an indoor team that plays sand,” Maas said. “This shows the other schools that we are here to play volleyball regardless of which one.”
I’m looking forward to giving [sand] a good reputation and making sure that CSUN starts out on a great foot.”
Coach Jeff Stork said he expects his team to be competitive against schools who are original sand teams and that it’s not just about wins and losses.
“There’s a physical component that we look at as far as developing a volleyball player for the indoor game,” said Stork. “But there’s also the understanding of being a good beach player.”
“They are turning the corner of understanding the game better and playing under those conditions,” he said.
CSUN will play four exhibition games against Community Colleges: Ventura, El Camino, Pierce and Santa Barbara on Saturday and Sunday at home.
Maas said she hopes those games will not only help to involve the community but also to work out partnerships and kinks so that the team works more fluidly.