The CSUN women’s volleyball team was no match for Big West leader Cal State Fullerton on Thursday night, losing in straight sets (17-25, 19-25, 20-25).
Despite the Matadors (8-13, 1-5 Big West) going into their road match at Fullerton as the Big West leader in aces with 29 in conference matches, plus having junior setter Sam Orlandini, who is leading the team with 22 aces and is ranked third in the conference (.31 per set), the team could not handle the Titans (16-4, 5-1 Big West).
The Matadors also went in to the match coming off not only a win over UC Riverside at home last Saturday but with strong play from senior middle blocker Lynda Morales, who had a season-high 15 kills (.778) against CSU Bakersfield last Wednesday.
The Titans, who have only lost against Long Beach State in Big West play, controlled sets one and two.
“We were down 8-1 in set one but were getting better as the match went on,” Morales said.
Morales tried to help the team in the end of the second set as she received an assist from freshman setter Sydney Gedryn for a kill to narrow down the lead to four but that was not enough. A blocked kill attempt from freshman outside hitter Mahina Haina lost them set two.
Early in the set, a Morales and Monica McFarland block put the Matadors up 3-1. Then, an assist from Gedryn, who replaced Orlandini late in set two, for a Morales kill put the team up 4-1, giving it its largest lead of the match.
The Titans’ only struggles of the match was in their blocking, which they tied the Matadors with five blocks.
“We didn’t attack well as a team,” Morales said. “We have to work and improve on our blocking.”
Titans senior outside hitter Erin Saddler went into last night’s match as team leader?averaging 4.41 kps, ranking second in conference play, and pounded a match-high 17 kills (.371) at the end of the night.
Morales did have a team-high eight kills though it was not enough as the Titans shared the hitting wealth.
“I connected well with the setters and got a rhythm,” Morales said.
Freshman opposite hitter Natalie Allen added three kills with a team-high 12 digs.
Next up the Matadors return home on Saturday night to face UC Irvine (5-13, 1-4) on Saturday in a Big West match.