Weekend Recap in Matador Beach Volleyball

    Athletes participate in a game of volleyball
    Haake and Leiphardt attempt to return ball back to Long Beach State at Matador Courts on Cesar Chavez Day. Photo credit: James Fike

    Thursday vs Long Beach State

    The Matadors beach volleyball came up short against No. 7 Long Beach State on a windy Thursday afternoon.

    After shutting out Concordia, CSUN could only produce one win against Long Beach State.

    Head coach Jeff Stork said he thought the wind played a factor late in the match.

    “I thought Long Beach did a better job with the wind than we did,” he said. “I thought there were some tight sets that could have gone either way, had we used the wind better.”

    Long Beach State’s Mykah Wilson and Ciana Wagner earned CSULB its first win against CSUN’s Nada Dragovic and Kamden Mass in two games, 21-10 and 21-15.

    In the second game against CSULB, CSUN’s Lauren Conati and Katie Sato battled against Rachel Nieto and Nele Barber for three games. Long Beach bested the Matadors two out of three games. The scores were 21-11, 18-21, and 15-8.

    Long Beach State earned its third tally in three games. Samantha Thomas and Kobi Pekich defeated CSUN’s Rachel Gam and Kristey Markle in two games, 21-14 and 21-17.

    Gam wasn’t deterred by the loss or the wind and said the team need’s to just shake the loss off.

    “We just [have] to stick together as a team and shake things off,” she said. “The wind was really bad today so if one bad play happens just kind of shake it off and move on because you can’t control some of these things.”

    Nicoletta Stork and Niccolete Pinkney could not best Long Beach’s Ariana Garner and Peyton Grahovac. They fell in two games, both 21-18.

    The Matador’s lone tally was thanks to the work of Leiphardt and Haake. They took down CSULB’s Wagner and Konstantopoulou in two games.

    “It was really windy during our match, so we had to take advantage of the sides we were on and I think serving,” Leiphardt said. “Trying to serve into the wind, that helps a lot and moves the ball around for the other team and also attacking from the side to hit into the wind, so it was a wind game pretty much.”

    Saturday vs. Santa Cruz Invitational

    The CSUN beach volleyball team was able to win one of three matches Saturday at the Santa Cruz Invitational.

    After losing their first two matches, the Matadors shifted momentum to defeat Cal Poly 4-1 in their final match of the day.

    CSUN lost just two sets against the Mustangs at No. 2 where Lauren Conati and Katie Sato fell 21-17, 21-19. Matador freshman Nada Dragovic and Kamden Maas secured the match win in the fifth game. The pair collected their fourth win of the season and second win of the day at No. 5, 21-18, 21-12.

    Saturday’s win marks CSUN’s third victory of the season led by junior Nicoletta Stork and sophomore Nicolette Pinkney. The pair finished the day 3-0 defeating Cal Poly, Santa Clara and San Francisco opposing duos in extra matches.

    Juniors Julie Haake and Maddie Leiphardt produced CSUN’s only win against Santa Clara 21-15, 21-13. Against USF, Matador freshmen Aeryn Owens and Erin Indermill earned CSUN’s only win 22-20, 21-13.

    CSUN will host Colorado Mesa Saturday, April 9 at 1 p.m. at the Matador Beach Volleyball Facility.