The CSUN women’s volleyball team defeated the Pacific Tigers in three straight sets, 30-25, 30-25, 30-8, giving them their sixth win in a row on Sept. 30 at Pacific.
The Matadors increased their overall record to 9-4 and 3-0 in the Big West. The Tigers’ record dropped to 3-11 with the loss, and 1-2 in conference play.
The Matadors have proved their critics wrong thus far in a conference where they were selected to finish seventh overall.
“I’m not a big believer in polls anyway,” head coach Jeff Stork said,
With the win, CSUN accomplished something more by having their best start in Big West history, something the 2004 Matador team accomplished two years ago.
As far as Stork is concerned this is as far as comparison goes between the ’04 team and the present squad.
“This team is quite a bit younger,” Stork said. “The conference is quite a bit different as well.”
In game one, CSUN started the game by scoring 12 of the first 16 points. Their lead grew to a blistering 21-11 advantage, but the Tigers didn’t let down that easily, staging a fierce late rally and bringing the game within three points, 25-22. But as the game wore on, setter Angela Hupp gave the Matadors two crucial kills, which sealed the win in the set, 30-25.
The momentum of the Tigers’ attack from game one carried over to game two as Pacific attempted to tie the match at one. There were 12 ties and four lead changes throughout this match. The last tie of the game was when the score was at 21-21. Fortunately, the surge from Pacific ceased as CSUN staged a late rally of their own, scoring nine of the last 13 points. Outside hitter Harmony Burdine prompted the rally with back-to-back aces, lifting Northridge to a 23-21 lead. The Matadors went on the win the game, 30-25, bringing CSUN one game closer to winning the match.
The third and final game of the match wasn’t as exciting as the previous two, but ended in the same result. CSUN’s attack was too strong for the Tigers, as they cruised to a 30-8 victory, defeating the Tigers with ease to take the match.
“30-8 is an incredible score,” Stork said. “You don’t see that very often in volleyball.”
Middle blocker Val Kepler led in kills with 12 in the match. Amazingly, Kepler only had one error in 16 swings, giving her an impressive .668 hitting percentage. Burdine and sophomore middle blocker Darla Donaldson both had 10 kills, while Donaldson also added a match-high six blocks. Hupp had a stellar performance with nine kills, 16 assists, 12 digs and four blocks. Setter Kayla Wright had 19 assists, three aces, and six digs.
The Matadors will head to Long Beach to take on the 49ers today. Game time is slated for 7 pm.