CSUN women’s volleyball gearing up for tournament

Julio Alberto Cruz

The CSUN women’s volleyball team will travel up to northern California for the second consecutive weekend to participate in the San Jose State/Santa Clara Tournament.

The Matadors (2-4), who went 2-1 in their previous tournament, will face Seattle University (2-5) at San Jose on Friday afternoon. Then they will make a quick trip to Santa Clara University to take on the Broncos (4-2) in the second match of a doubleheader on Friday. CSUN finishes the tournament on Saturday against Portland State (3-4).

Coming off an emotional, tiring tournament, the team continues to play good volleyball, said head coach Jeff Stork.

“We played at a high level and continue to work on performance base versus outcome,” Stork said. “We will worry about our own play, and if we do that we’ll be fine.”

The team had a chance to win the Sacramento State Invitational but came up short, losing their only match in the Tournament to the Hornets (5-3).

This weekend, the team is going in with higher expectations as they prepare to win the tournament.

“We have to continue to stay competitive and focus, especially on our side of the net,” said junior setter Sam Orlandini, who averaged over 43 assists per game this past weekend.

The team has been focusing on their skills more than anything for this weekend, Stork said.

“We continue to work on our skills, tougher serves, and reduced errors, improve blocking and come up with the second block attempts,” Stork said.

This past weekend, senior middle blocker Lynda Morales rolled her ankle in the first match, forcing her to sit out the last two matches of the tournament, Stork said.

The team hopes to receive strong play from freshman opposite hitter Natalie Allen, who’s leading the Matadors with 88 kills.

“I just have to continue to work hard, continue to practice hard and listen to the coaches,” Allen said.

As for playing as a team heading to this weekend, Allen added that the team will continue to improve on serving, attacking and defense.

“We’re pretty excited for this weekend and if we continue to work hard, we have a pretty good chance of winning,” Allen said.

After the tournament, the Matadors will face No. 13 UCLA in their first home game of the season on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Matadome.