Women’s Volleyball: CSUN cruise by Titans, Highlanders

Andrew Clark

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The CSUN women’s volleyball team recovered after the narrow loss to Hawai’i last week by defeating Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside.

Sophomore middle blocker Sam Kaul spikes the ball while her teammates look on in the Matadors’ match against Hawaii last week. Daily Sundial / File Photo

The Matadors dominated the match against the Titans of Fullerton, winning in four sets.  The win was CSUN’s third-straight against CSUF.

Junior outside hitter Mahina Haina led the Matadors with 14 kills while sophomore middle blocker Casey Hinger added 13 to go with eight blocks.

Senior defensive specialist Monica McFarland had 20 digs, a season high, while sophomore middle blocker Sam Kaul had eight kills, her best in a match so far this year.

Fullerton’s Bre Moreland had a match-high 17 kills.

After Fullerton won the first set 25-21, CSUN went on a tear and won the next three sets in decisive fashion, thanks to their front line defense.

The Matadors led the Titans in blocking 20-10 in the match.  In the final set, middle blockers Cieana Stinson and Kaul forced Fullerton’s Gabrielle Dewberry to hit into a block, causing an attack error and the end of the match.

The next stop on the trip was UC Riverside who gave Northridge a scare before CSUN mounted a late comeback to win in five sets.

Hinger provided the front-row offense with 17 kills to lead the Matadors while senior libero Cindy Ortiz anchored the back-row defense with 22 digs.

The Highlanders’ Ashley Cox led the match with 21 kills.

Haina and Stinson joined Hinger in the double-digit kill club for the match.  Haina had 13, most of which were in the last two decisive sets, and Stinson had 10.

Down two sets to one, CSUN rallied to win the fourth set 26-24 and making eight kills out of 17 swings in the final set to secure the victory.  As a team, the Matadors had a lower hitting percentage than their opponent, but still won the game.

The team returns home for a two-game home stand, hosting Long Beach State on Thursday and UC Irvine on Saturday.