The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Men’s volleyball remains focused after first home victory

The Matadors finally picked up their first home win of the season Friday after defeating third-ranked Long Beach State in an improbable five-set match. Northridge was on a six-match losing streak before facing the 49ers.

Freshman middle blocker Greg Faulkner sealed the win with a hard kill down the middle, snapping Long Beach’s four-game winning streak, bringing CSUN’s first win since Jan. 15 against UCLA.

Although the 49ers had a better game statistically, outhitting the Matadors .299 to .178 and had just over 10 more blocks, Northridge came back from two games down two to post a 11-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-22, 16-14 upset victory.

Long Beach cruised in the first two sets, but failed to stay consistent down the stretch as the Matadors took control midway through the third game.

The fourth game was tight the entire time until Faulkner made the game-clinching kill to seal it. Faulkner had a team-high 10 kills, hit .353 in 17 attacks, five blocks (two solo) and one ace in the win.

“Going into the fourth set, all we thought was to keep playing hard and have the same intensity as we did in the third game,” Faulkner said.

Matador hitter Drew Staker also contributed in a big way, also recording 10 kills on a .833 hitting percentage, two blocks, three digs and not one hitting error in 12 swings. Matt Stork dished out 47 assists and had two kills, one ace, seven digs and three blocks.

The Matadors (3-9, 2-5 MPSF) get ready for back-to-back road games as they travel to UC Irvine and UC San Diego this weekend.

The game against UCI marks the second meeting between the teams. UCI (6-8, 3-5 MPSF) defeated the Matadors 3-1 on Jan. 8 at the UCSB Invitational where senior Anteater Cory Yoder led the team with a match-high 14 kills. Yoder ranks sixth overall in the conference in hitting percentage (.436).

Matador true freshman outside hitter Brandon Lebrock had a big night totaling 12 kills in 23 swings (.391) in the loss.

The match against Irvine also marks the second meeting between the Stork brothers, Matt and Daniel. Matt is the setter for Northridge and Daniel sets for the Anteaters. Daniel outplayed his older brother with 44 assists and two aces, while Matt had 33 assists in the first meeting.

The Anteaters rank third among MPSF teams in hitting (.340), kills (13.14) and rank fourth in service aces (1.16).

Saturday’s match against UC San Diego will also be the second meeting of the season between the two teams. CSUN defeated the Tritons, 3-1, and was led by sophomore middle blocker Staker, who had career-high 15 kills in 17 attempts to hit .824.

The Tritons (6-8, 3-5 MPSF) are coming off an upset victory against No. 4 Stanford where they hit a season-high .477 as a team. Five players hit over .400 in UCSD’s first-ever victory at Stanford.
Faulkner remains modest in looking at the team’s chances over the weekend.

“The main focus for these next two games coming up is to keep playing our game. If we can limit our errors and effect the other team, it will make it easier for us,” Faulkner said.

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