Men’s volleyball: Stagnant hitting and errors contribute to Matador loss to Harvard

CSUN+outside+hitter+Matt+Stork+%2811%29+stands+on+off+to+the+sideline+after+only+playing+for+the+first+two+sets+against+Harvard+Saturday+night.+Stork%2C+who+hit+-.188+for+the+game%2C+saw+limited+playing+time+and+was+fatigued+after+playing+back-to-back+games%2C+according+to+teammate+Julius+Hoefer.+Photo+Credit%3A+Andres+Aguila+%2F+Senior+Photographer
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Men’s volleyball: Stagnant hitting and errors contribute to Matador loss to Harvard

CSUN outside hitter Matt Stork (11) stands on off to the sideline after only playing for the first two sets against Harvard Saturday night. Stork, who hit -.188 for the game, saw limited playing time and was fatigued after playing back-to-back games, according to teammate Julius Hoefer. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Senior Photographer

CSUN outside hitter Matt Stork (11) stands on off to the sideline after only playing for the first two sets against Harvard Saturday night. Stork, who hit -.188 for the game, saw limited playing time and was fatigued after playing back-to-back games, according to teammate Julius Hoefer. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Senior Photographer

CSUN outside hitter Matt Stork (11) stands on off to the sideline after only playing for the first two sets against Harvard Saturday night. Stork, who hit -.188 for the game, saw limited playing time and was fatigued after playing back-to-back games, according to teammate Julius Hoefer. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Senior Photographer

CSUN outside hitter Matt Stork (11) stands on off to the sideline after only playing for the first two sets against Harvard Saturday night. Stork, who hit -.188 for the game, saw limited playing time and was fatigued after playing back-to-back games, according to teammate Julius Hoefer. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Senior Photographer

Anthony Carpio

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CSUN outside hitter Matt Stork (11) stands off to the sideline after only playing for the first two sets against Harvard Saturday night. Stork, who hit -.188 for the game, saw limited playing time and was fatigued after playing back-to-back games, according to teammate Julius Hoefer. Photo Credit: Andres Aguila / Senior Photographer

The Matadors couldn’t continue their solid play after having a great hitting percentage the day before in their game against Loyola (Ill.) as CSUN (8-11) fell in four sets (25-17, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22) to Harvard (12-2) Saturday night at the Matadome.

“In general, we took it too easy,” Matador opposite Julius Hoefer said. “We thought that Harvard wouldn’t be that good, and we didn’t prepare the way we should have.”

Northridge outside hitter Matt Stork, who hit .395 against the Ramblers, was a no-show for most of the game. Stork played the first two frames, but hit a shocking -.188 and was on the sideline for the rest of the night.

“I think he was tired. He played great the last two games and he was just tired,” Hoefer said. “Three games a week is really hard. Normally, it’s just two, but three games are a lot.”

Hoefer play three of the four sets in the game, performing well after coming off an ankle injury.

“The injury is feeling better. I just got to get into the game right now,” Hoefer said. “I just need to get used to the setter.”

The opposite from Germany was productive, getting 12 kills for the game. But he also tallied a total of nine errors, five from attacks and four from services.

As a team, the Matadors hit a .220 for the night. It the opening set, CSUN hit .091 while Harvard hit a decent .387.

“We were pretty tired on the court,” Hoefer said. “(Harvard) was just playing volleyball. They were hitting good and serving good. Our serving was pretty bad and our blocking. They played well.”

Though Northridge found itself in a 2-0 hole, there was some hope in the third set. Led by Hoefer, the Matadors managed to hit .419, with the German tallying five kills in the set alone. Outside hitter Brandon Lebrock provide more firepower, adding five kills of his own and a serve ace.

“We got a couple of new guys on the court, so that was a difference,” Hoefer said. “We should have kept it up in the fourth set.”

CSUN struggled on the defensive end, however, allowing three of Harvard’s players to earn double-digit kills. Hoefer credits Crimson setter Rob Lothman for all the kills.

“Their setter was using their attackers pretty good,” Hoefer said.

Harvard’s best hitting performance occurred during the second set, where it hit a solid .565 with 14 kills and only one error.

Errors were the other culprit besides CSUN’s poor hitting Saturday night. 25 errors for the night ruined what could have been a decent hitting percentage. The Matadors stumbled during the opening of the second frame, with three consecutive errors to put the team in a 3-0 hole. Stork accounted for most of the attack errors, with six to his name.