Matadors women’s volleyball end season with a win and loss

Christina Azouz

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Freshmen Mahin Haina, 18, receives a loose ball during a match againts Pacific on Oct. 29. The Matadors lost 3 sets to 1. photo credit: Oscar Ortega / Contributing Photographer

The Matadors split their final two games of the 2010 season with a win against Cal State Long Beach and a loss to Cal State Fullerton at the Matadome.

CSUN vs. Long Beach
The Matadors (13-19; 5-11 Big West) started the weekend on a good note, beating Long Beach State 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-17).
“It was a really big win for us because the last two years we beat them at home,” said freshman opposite hitter Natalie Allen.  “We wanted to continue the tradition.”

In the first set, the Matadors got out to a fast start with an early 4-1 lead.  After a timeout by Long Beach State (22-7; 12-4 Big West), the 49ers scored two points to cut the Matador lead to one.  Later in the set, with the score tied at 17-17, the 49ers scored three straight points forcing the Matadors to call a timeout. After the timeout, CSUN could not get back in the lead, losing the set 25-20.

The 49ers continued their hot play early in the second set going up 5-1.  The Matadors then used an 11-6 run to take the lead at 12-11 but did not have the lead for long. The 49ers countered with a 5-0 run to take the lead back at 18-13. The Matadors then went on an 8-0 run to take the lead for good, winning the set 25-22. Allen led the team with 10 kills in the set. “I came out strong in the second set and did a good job” Allen said.

The Matadors were in control the whole third set. There was only one tie and that came when the score was tied at 2-2. The Matadors went on a series of runs to extend its lead every time Long Beach got close.

“We started blocking late in the match,” said CSUN head coach Jeff Stork. “They (Long Beach) started making more and more errors and we started playing with more and more confidence.”

The fourth and final set of the match was more of the same for the Matadors. After the score was tied at four, the Matadors used a 6-0 run to take the lead for good. The largest lead the Matadors had was eight and they won the match 25-17.

Allen had her ninth career double-double with a career-high 21 kills and 12 digs. Senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Janet Alvarado added 10 kills for the Matadors.

CSUN vs. Cal State Fullerton
The second match of the weekend did not have the same outcome for the Matadors. CSUN lost to Big West Conference champions Cal State Fullerton 3-1 (20-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-23).

“It was a very competitive match,” Stork said.  “There was no real blowout, both teams were playing extremely hard.”

 The Matadors came back from an eight point deficit to win the first set 25-20. The Matadors used a 9-1 run to tie the game at 15-15 after they trailed by eight points. The Titans (26-5; 14-2 Big West) then took the lead again at 18-16 before CSUN tied the score and eventually took the lead for good.  The Matadors ended the set on a 5-0 run.

 The Matadors continued its hot streak in the second set by getting out to an early 8-5 lead. The set then went back and forth with each team taking turns in the lead. CSUN had an opportunity to win the set when they lead 25-24 but the Titans scored three straight points to win the set 27-25.  There were a total of 16 ties and eight lead changes in the set.

The beginning of the third set started off where the second set ended.  With the score tied at 12, the Titans went on a 4-0 run to take the lead.  After the Matadors took the lead at 23-22, the Titans scored three straight points to win the set 25-23.

The Matadors stayed within striking distance in the fourth set but could not win the set. 

On the night when seniors were being honored, senior middle blocker Lynda Morales led the Matadors with 14 kills.  Morales also added eight block assists to bring her career total to 457 block assists. Allen added 13 kills and 15 digs.

“Despite the outcome we played amazing,” Morales said.  “We played together and we played our hearts outs.”