The CSUN women’s volleyball team did its best to break a three-match losing slump against UC Davis and Fresno State, but came up short on both occasions last weekend.
Despite freshman outside hitter Harmony Burdine’s 12 kills and 18 digs against UC Davis, and a career-best 26 kills against Fresno State, CSUN lost both matches. Against the Aggies the Matadors fell in 4 games, 30-14, 30-21, 24-30, and 30-24. The following night CSUN lost to Fresno State in 5 games 28-30, 33-31, 30-28, 28-30, and 15-13.
UC Davis attacked early in game one, leaving the Matadors in a 10-21 hole. Freshman outside hitter Chantal Paschetta initiated the attack with six kills, four digs, and a block.
Serving proved pivotal in the second game for UC Davis as it cruised to a 30-21 win, giving the Aggies a 2-0 advantage. Junior outside hitter Nicole Read delivered an ace to extend UC Davis’ lead to 23-16, then Sophomore Setter Katelyn Astruc had back-to-back aces launching the Aggies to a victory.
The tide turned in game three as the Matadors opened ready to redeem their first two unsuccessful games, jumping out to a 6-3 lead. Burdine, with the help of Kelly Hanson, highlighted a late 4-0 run that snapped a 23-23 tie.
Freshman middle blocker Jenn Probert added a kill to increase the lead to 28-24, while the Aggies faltered, committing two hitting errors in a row, solidifying a game-victory for CSUN.
In game four, UC Davis junior outside hitter Rachel Keener was the catalyst, blocking four straight kills. Keener also ended a long rally to put the Aggies up by 23-20, but a service error and attack error allowed the Matadors to sneak back into a the match.
In the end, Read pounded down the game winner as the Aggies handed CSUN its fourth loss in a row.
Matador setter Kayla Wright recorded 19 digs, while Probert posted a career-high 16 digs.
CSUN’s next opponent was the Fresno State Bulldogs, but again, the Matadors failed to get back on track, losing in five games, 28-30, 33-31, 30-28, 28-30, and 15-13.
The Matadors came out firing, pounded down 19 kills for a .333 hitting average. Fresno State stayed on the heels of the Matadors all game, but CSUN took a 26-23 lead off of a kill from Burdine. Tied at 28-28, Burdine smashed a kill and an ace to give CSUN the game one win.
The Matadors opened an even larger lead in game two, and threatened to blow the match open, taking a 27-21 lead. After a series of aces, the Matadors had a chance to close out the game with two game points. But each time Fresno State held on, winning game two 33-31.
The Bulldogs fought hard to take game three, 30-28, as the Matadors won game four by the same score, setting up a deciding game five.
Burdine’s efforts gave the Matadors an early 4-3 lead, but an ace from Fresno’s Junior outside hitter Alison Pitton helped the Bulldogs to a 9-7 advantage. The Bulldogs landed themselves just a single point away from victory, as they made two blocks in a row for a 14-11 lead.
CSUN finally got a service point to cut the lead to one, but Fresno’s Sophomore middle blocker Alisha McKee made her 16th kill to finish off the game and give the Bulldogs the victory.
Fresno Sate improved to 6-17, while the Matadors suffered their fifth consecutive loss and slipped to 4-20. CSUN has now lost 20 games this season for the first time since 1995.
Despite the loss, Burdine knocked down a career-high 26 kills in the match.
The Matadors return to CSUN for their final home game of the season against UCSB Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.
Charles Keeranan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.