Volleyball wins one, loses one

Daily Sundial

The CSUN women’s volleyball team snapped its eight-match losing streak by beating the CSU Fullerton Titans 30-28, 30-23 and 30-23 on Thursday night at the Matadome.

The Matadors won a close first game, lead by as many as six points at the beginning of the match. CSUN pushed the lead to nine at 23-14 before the Titans called timeout. After the timeout, Fullerton rallied with four straight points, cutting the lead to 23-18 and forcing CSUN into a timeout.

The Matadors won two of the next three points to get to 25-19 before the Titans came back and won seven of the next eight points tying the game at 26. CSUN eventually held on, securing the first game.

Games two and three were not as close, as the Matadors out-hit the Titans .340 to .200 and won 30-23. In game three, CSUN led by as many as six before Fullerton got within three at 19-16. But Northridge responded by winning seven of the next eight points to open up a nine-point lead. The Titans got within six points, but a kill from freshman Jenn Probert ended the match at 30-23.

“We came out really strong,” Burdine said. “We prepared very well all week and I know everyone is real happy that we won.”

Burdine posted her sixth double-double of the season with a match-high 16 kills and 12 digs. Donaldson reached double figures in kills with 13 while hitting a match-high .524. Wright added to her team-leading eighth double-double with 47 assists and 11 digs while junior libero Jamie Crawford had a team-high 17 digs. The Matadors also hit .288 as a team, which is a season-best for a three-game match.

“I thought the team has been training well for the last two weeks,” said head coach Jeff Stork. “I think we need to keep it interesting in practice and just let the players play to keep the momentum going.”

For the Titans, senior Alyssa Opeka and junior Danielle Hitzeman shared a team-high 12 kills. Opeka also posted a double-double by adding 10 digs and sophomore libero Vanessa Vella had a team-high 16 digs. Fullerton setter sophomore Julie Geissert had 41 assists and five digs as the Titans hit .225 as a team.

However, the Matadors could not replicate its success against CSU Fullerton, as they were swept by the UCR Highlanders 30-20, 30-22 and 30-28 on Saturday night at the Matadome.

CSUN fell behind early in the first two games and was unable to climb its way back. In game one, the Matadors fell behind 8-3 before they cut the lead to two. But the Highlanders pushed the lead back to five and never looked back, as they won by ten.

Game two was almost identical to game one as the Matadors fell behind early and the Highlanders won by eight.

In game three, the score was tied nine separate times, but CSUN again claimed the lead at 24-23. After a Highlander attack error gave the Matadors a 28-25 lead, UCR called a timeout. After the timeout, the Highlanders rallied for five straight points and took the game 30-28, and the match 3-0.

Burdine was the only Matador to reach double figures in kills with 12 as CSUN hit .200 as a team. Freshman Darla Donaldson added nine kills and recorded a match-high six blocks. Sophomore Gini Mendenhall came off the bench to lead CSUN in assists with a season-high 32, and Burdine had a team-high eight digs.

For UCR, senior Jamie Dekiewiet had a match-high 17 digs while hitting .297 for the Highlanders, who hit .292 as a team. Senior Valerie Bueno added 13 kills and sophomore Angie Mitchell added 11 kills. Senior Setter Kym Murphy posted a match-high 49 assists and sophomore libero Kimberly McNeal had 14 digs.

“We are still a good team,” Stork said. “Our passing and our serving was excellent. We know what we need to work on.”

The Matadors’ next opportunity to work on those things will be tonight against the UCI Anteaters at 7 p.m. at the Matadome.

UCI is coming off a victory over UC Davis on Oct. 21. Overall the Anteaters are 8-13 and 1-5 in the Big West. The Matadors lead the all-time series 17-11, and the two teams each recorded a 3-2 win on its home court last season. The Anteaters are coached by Charlie Brande who is in his sixth season with UCI.

“UCI is a good team, they are young and we expect a tough match,” Stork said.

Justin Satzman can be reached at justin.satzman@csun.edu.