In what was easily the biggest home crowd of the season, the CSUN women’s volleyball team didn’t give fans much to cheer about as Loyola Marymount swept the Matadors 30-20, 30-24 and 30-27 on sorority night at the Matadome.
Instead of being overpowered by the Lions, the Matadors gave up most of the points by being tipped or having problems with tips.
“Tipping to us tend to be gifts from the other team,” said Jeff Stork, Matadors head coach. “When you don’t open the package and accept the gifts, things are not going that well for you.”
Game two was much closer, as LMU had an early 12-5 lead before the Matadors got within one at 12-11. Long serves and problems with tips, however, stopped CSUN from ever tying the game, which it eventually lost by six.
Neither the halftime show that let fans serve for fun or the free t-shirts were able to spark the Matadors as they came out flat for game three and fell behind 7-2 before making a comeback. CSUN eventually tied the score at 17 and took a 22-21 lead, but the Lions scored six of the next nine, propelling them to a 30-27 game and match victory.
“I was disappointed that we did not win the match and even more so in our overall effort,” Stork said. “Certainly LMU is a different team than (Sept. 17 opponent) Cal Poly, but I am disappointed in the way we started the match and a little bit about the lack of fight at the end of the match.”
Freshman Jenn Probert was the only Matador to have double digit kills with a match-high 15 while hitting .306.
“I learned how to sing from the outside because I used to be a middle and I didn’t know how to hit as hard from out there,” Probert said. “Now that I have learned how to rotate my body, I have got more power.”
The next matches for CSUN will be in Riverside against the UC Riverside Highlanders on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. against the CSU Fullerton Titans.
UCR improved their 10-1 record by winning their eighth and ninth straight matches of the year last Saturday at Cal State Fullerton. The Highlanders posted an eight match winning streak in 2001 and had a seven match streak in 2004. It would not take the Highlanders much longer to set a new record, as they beat Southern Methodist University hours later to extend their match-winning streak to nine.
Senior setter Kym Murphy was named Big West Player of the Week for her efforts in last weekend’s Hawthorne Suites Cal State Fullerton Invitational. Murphy, who had 79 assists and 16 digs in the two matches, is the conference’s top setter, is averaging 12.29 assists per game.
Head coach Sue Gozansky is in her 36th season with the Highlanders and has a 658-439-1 record. Friday’s match will be the 51st meeting between the Matadors and UCR, with CSUN holding a 36-14 advantage in the series. The Matadors took both matches from the Highlanders last season, winning 3-0 in Northridge and 3-2 in Riverside.
The other weekend match for CSUN will be against the 7-5 CSU Fullerton Titans, who are coming off their first loss at home at the hands of Loyola Marymount.
Brittany Moore and Vanessa Vella earned all-tournament honors in last weekend’s tournament. Sarah Moore leads the Titans in kills (3.29 kpg) and Vella averages a Big West leading 5.16 digs per game. Julie Geissert leads the Fullerton offense, averaging 11.61 assists per game.
Head coach Carolyn Zimmerman is in her fourth season with the Titans and has a 34-67 overall record. Saturday’s match will be the 22nd meeting all-time between the Matadors and Titans with CSUN holding a 16-5 advantage in the series. The two teams split the two matches last season with each team winning at home.
Before facing CSUN on Saturday, the Titans will battle the 5-6 Pacific Tigers on Friday night in Fullerton.
Justin Satzman can be reached at email@example.com.