The Matadors concluded their season just the way they started it: with a straight-set loss. The first was against UC Santa Barbara, but this time it was by fifth-ranked Long Beach State (14-13,12-10 MPSF) Saturday at the Walter Pyramid.
CSUN (7-22, 5-17 MPSF) failed to win due its inconsistency on the attack and the Matadors where outhit by the 49ers .319 to .033.
This marks the first time in nearly a decade the Matadors will not be competing in the MPSF tournament due to a young inexperienced team that struggled doing the little things that eventually come with playing the games.
“This year was a rebuilding year for us. I think that all our players have matured and gained a lot of playing experience. We will be ready for next year with better volleyball play,” junior Matt Stork said.
Stork had a team-high in both kills (10) and aces (three) in the season finale, but also had his worst night of the season with 12 errors in 30 swings for -.067 hitting percentage.
“I felt that even though our record wasn’t what we hoped, we had a few good quality wins. My take from the season is gaining experience and knowledge on how to play at the collegiate level,” freshman middle blocker Greg Faulkner said.
Faulkner finished the final match of his freshman season with four kills hitting .500 in the losing effort against the 49ers.
Long Beach State started the first set in dominating fashion with a 5-1 lead. The Matadors would come within half of the deficit before the 49ers used a 7-3 run to pull ahead, 15-9. LBSU would cruise their way through, beating the Matadors 25-19.
CSUN woke up in the second set keeping the match close when LBSU tied the set for the 11th time and scoreed six unanswered points to take a commanding 19-13 advantage over CSUN. The 49ers won the set 25-17 off a block by Antwain Aguillard.
The Matadors they held onto 14-10 lead in the final set in attempts to the prolonging the match. The 49ers responded to CSUN’s midway lead with a 7-2 run to take over the lead at 17-16. The leads changed hands five times before LBSU pulled ahead, 24-22. LBSU’s Taylor Crabb would end the Matadors season with a 25-23 set win sending CSUN home.
“I am a little disappointed in this season only because we have shown that we can compete and beat any team if we executed like we do in practices. The good thing from this season is that we can take this as a learning experience and improve in areas that we are lacking for next season. We will definitely be more experienced and hungry next year,” freshman outside hitter Brandon Lebrock said.