Matadors’ Division II struggles continue in loss again to Concordia-Irvine in five set thriller

    Mens volleyball players go to spike the ball
    Lucas Timm (center) in the process of finishing a swing with Gabe Vernoy (left) and Sam Porter (right) in position. Photo credit: Joshua Pacheco

    The Matadors split back to back games on Friday and Saturday with just one week before Big West play begins.

    Nothing could go wrong Friday night as the team demolished Cal Lutheran in an impressive sweep with scores of (25-13, 25-12, and 25-18).

    “I think we served really well and passed well,” said coach Jeff Campbell. “I think Arvis, Dimitar and Maciej all played really well.”

    Opposite Arvis Greene led the offense with eight kills and three aces in just two sets of work. Middle blocker Josiah Byers totaled four kills, three aces and four blocks for CSUN.

    The team traveled to Irvine get one last shot at the Concordia-Irvine Eagles who stumped the Matadors in four sets at the Matadome in the previous meeting.

    This meeting would push both teams the distance and CSUN fell on the road in its first five set game of the season with scores of (25-19, 24-26, 35-37, 35-33 and 15-13).

    After a 10-10 tie in the first set the Eagles pulled away behind two separate 4-0 runs winning the first set.

    The next three sets would be as close as it gets in volleyball with all such sets going above 25 points. After nonstop back and forth in the second set, the Eagles held match point but a kill by outside hitter Maciej Ptaszynski tied the score at 24. Ptaszynski followed the kill with an ace and a kill by Josiah Byers helped the Matadors take set two.

    The Matadors squandered an eight point lead in the third set and after an intense long battle found themselves down again this time deeper in extra points.

    Down 35-34 outside hitter Dimitar Kalchev would hit consecutive kills to put CSUN up one. The set would end on an attacking error by Condcordia’s Hunter Howell. CSUN would finish another on a three-nothing run to give the Matadors set three (35-37).

    Kalchev finished with 22 kills and Greene had a team-high 26.

    Neither team led by more than three in the fourth set. This time in it would be the Eagles who pulled away on three unanswered points to finish the set (35-33).

    The final set was a battle and it took yet another CSUN 3-0 run to tie the game 13-13. A service error by setter Sam Porter followed by Kalchev hit getting stuffed would complete another upset for Concordia-Irvine capping off a three game win streak for the Eagles.

    Porter finished with a career-high 70 assists.

    “That was the longest game of my life,” Greene said.

    The team finished with 34 errors, 23 of which coming from serving. Five of which came in the final set.

    “We missed a lot of serves in the fifth set,” Greene said.

    CSUN (8-5) has less than a week before conference play begins against No. 1 ranked Long Beach State. The undefeated 49ers will visit the Matadome on Friday Mar 2 at 7 p.m. CSUN still remains winless in matches with ranked opponents.

    “Biggest thing we have to do to prepare is work on making less errors during games,” Greene said.