W-Vball: Matadors win two out of three at UNLV Invitational

Julian Reyes

The Matadors played for keeps in Sin City.

With a well-balanced attack, the CSUN women’s volleyball team was able to defeat UNLV in five sets in the final match of the UNLV tournament.

Sophomore Mahina Haina and freshman Casey Hinger led the team with 15 kills each. Redshirt sophomore Britney Graff and sophomore Natalie Allen also contributed, with 12 and 11 kills respectively.

Cal State Northridge took two of the three matches in the tournament, defeating the Eastern Washington Eagles in five sets, (3-2) on Friday and UNLV on Saturday night.

The Matadors dropped the second match (25-27, 26-24, 35-37, 18-25) to Southern Utah Saturday morning with Graff leading the team with 15 kills and Haina adding 14. Hinger had 11 kills, but poor defense let the team down in the final sets.

“We didn’t have any blocks in the third or fourth sets which is surprising for us,” CSUN head coach Jeff Stork said. “But credit Southern Utah. They played scrappy and with a lot of intensity. We didn’t serve real well in critical moments and committed a hitting error when we had a chance to win the third set.”

Stork saw both Eastern Washington and UNLV as “playoff teams.”

CSUN lost the first set (23-25) against UNLV, with Hinger leading the way with four kills and setter Sydney Gedryn tallying 13 assists. The second set belonged to Haina, who powered her way into six kills in the win (25-23). The team breezed in the third set as the team turned up the defense with a collective six blocks in a 25-16 wins.

The fourth set was evenly matched and UNLV sophomore Madeline Westman leading the team with six kills. Freshman Daryn Glenn contributed with five kills and an ace. CSUN took the fifith and deciding set to win the match (16-14.)

The Matadors (6-4) have won six out of their last eight matches going into Westwood tonight. CSUN will face the second So.Cal powerhouse in less than a week in UCLA at the John Wooden Center. CSUN lost to USC in straight sets on Tuesday.

Haina commented on the intensity of the game against USC.
“I think our performance was shaky, but it got better, and USC is a great team,” she said. “They are ranked high, they know how to play volleyball. They are just a little bigger and faster and stronger then us.”
Allen summed it up best: “we started out nervous because its USC, but other then that I think we played good.”.

The eighth-ranked Bruins made it look easy as they swept USC at the Galen Center in their Pac-12 Conference opener on Friday night, (25-19, 25-17, 25-17.)

The Matadors will have to come out firing against the top-tier opponent if they hope to upset the UCLA Bruins (7-1) in their home opener.