Matadors women’s volleyball last road games end in losses

Christina Azouz

The Matadors went winless in their final two road games of the season to California State University, Long Beach (3-0) and UC Irvine (3-0).

CSUN vs. Long Beach

The Matadors first game of the weekend was at Cal State Long Beach on Thursday. The Matadors lost in three straight sets (25-13, 25-15, 25-23), which snapped their three-match win streak.

CSUN (12-17; 4-9 Big West) lost the first set against the 49ers 25-13.  Early in the set, the 49ers (20-6; 10-3 Big West) went on a 3-0 run to extend their lead to 4-1. A kill by freshman opposite hitter Natalie Allen brought the Matadors to within one point of the 49ers, but Cal State Long Beach responded with another long run, this time a 4-0 run. After CSUN scored on an attacking error by Cal State Long Beach, the 49ers scored eight straight points to bring the score to 23-11. A kill by freshman setter Sydney Gedryn stopped the bleeding for the Matadors, who only scored one more point in the set. The Matadors hit a match-low .029 and Cal State Long Beach hit .263.

CSUN got off to a slow start in the second set, trailing 6-1. A kill by senior middle blocker Lynda Morales brought the score to 8-5. The 49ers then scored three straight points to once again extend their lead to 11-5.  Later in the set, Cal State Long Beach went on a 7-0 run to break open the set for good. The Matadors scored three straight points to bring the score to 24-15 but on the next play freshman outside hitter Mahina Haina committed a service error to end the set, 25-15.

The Matadors played better in the third and final set but still lost 25-23. Throughout the set CSUN was in striking distance, with the 49ers biggest lead being five points. A service error by 49er Caitlin Ledoux started a 5-0 run for the Matadors bringing the score to 20-19.  After a timeout by Cal State Long Beach, the 49ers scored two straight points to give themselves some breathing room.  A kill by Allen brought the Matadors to within one point once again, but CSUN could not hold on for the win. The Matadors hit a match-high .359 for the set.

The Matadors hit .186 for the match on 113 swings. Allen led the Matadors with 10 kills and sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialist Monica McFarland had 12 digs to lead the Matadors.

Ledoux led Long Beach State in kills with 16.  Ledoux also had 11 digs.  Sophomore outside hitter Janisa Johnson led the 49ers in digs in 19.

CSUN vs. UC Irvine

After a day off the Matadors were back in action against Irvine, where they lost in three straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 26-24).
Early in the first set, things looked good for the Matadors after they went on an early 6-0 run to take a three-point lead. After the Anteaters (7-20; 3-11 Big West) tied the score, the Matadors went on another run, this time a 4-0 run to open up a four-point lead. CSUN had a 23-22 lead when Irvine went on a 3-0 run to win the set 25-23.

The second set was a different story for the Matadors. After getting off to a good start, Irvine went on a 4-0 run to take a 9-6 lead. After trading scores, the Anteaters went on a 6-0 run to extend their lead to seven points. The Matadors went on a 4-0 run to cut the deficit to two points but could not get any closer.  Irvine scored the last two points of the set to win 25-21.

The third set was similar to the first set. The Matadors had an early lead but gave it up after a tie at 24.  The Anteaters won the final set 26-24.

Sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialist McFarland led the Matadors with 11 kills.  Allen and Morales each had four kills in the match.

Senior outside hitter Kari Pestolesi led the Anteaters with 12 kills.  Senior outside hitter Juliane Piggott added 10 kills.

The Matadors next game is Friday when they take on Cal State Long Beach at the Matadome.