The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Matadors fall to Gauchos in conference match

Unable to overcome continuous surges of offensive runs, the CSUN women’s volleyball team fell to conference rival UC Santa Barbara by scores of 30-26, 30-19, 30-23 at the Matadome Oct. 19.

The loss dropped the Matadors’ record to 12-6 overall and 5-2 in Big West Conference play while the Gauchos improved to 12-8 and 4-3.

The Matadors were without outside hitter Siara Grayson due to injury but head coach Jeff Stork did not blame injuries for the loss.

“Siara is one of our better outside hitters,” Stork said. “She was unable to play today but I think in general we weren’t playing well enough as a team tonight to win this match.”

CSUN found itself playing catch-up throughout the match.

In game one, the Gauchos jumped out ahead quickly by a score of 8-2, however, service errors, net violations and a key kill rocketed into UCSB territory by Darla Donaldson helped the Matadors take a one-point lead at 14-13. UCSB regained the lead with four straight points but the Matadors responded with three straight kills to tie the game at 17. While managing to stay close, CSUN held its last lead at 20-19 before losing 30-26.

The Gauchos outhit the Matadors in the first game .286 to .114.

Game two remained tight early on in the game. With CSUN trailing 9-8, a service error by the Matadors started a 7-1 run by UCSB, capped off by a Stephanie Brandt kill, giving them a 16-9 lead.

CSUN refused to go down without a fight. Kills by Donaldson, Harmony Burdine and Hilary Brinkman helped bring them to within three points.

The Gauchos, however, continued their run with three straight kills to give them a 21-16 lead. A Val Kepler kill temporarily interrupted UCSB’s run but a hitting error gave the momentum back to the Gauchos. The Gauchos capped off the game with a 7-2 run giving them the 30-19 victory.

CSUN was once again outhit by UCSB .333 to .095.

The games featured many self-induced mistakes by both sides.

“I thought the first two games were actually quite sloppy on both sides of the net,” Stork said.

Northridge fell behind early again in game three but fought its way back. Down 5-1, CSUN went on a five-point run to give them the 6-5 lead.

The Matadors’ lead was short-lived as the Gauchos retook the lead. CSUN fell behind 14-11 but fought its way back again as another Donaldson kill brought the Matadors to within one at 15-14. UCSB scored five unanswered points and was able to absorb a late comeback attempt, taking the 30-23 win and completing the sweep.

The Matadors recorded a .080 hitting percentage to UCSB’s .137.

CSUN was outblocked by UCSB 13-3 in the match.

“They were pretty big blockers so it was pretty tough but I think once we kind of figured them out it was easier but we still needed to push through their other players,” Burdine said.

The only Matador to reach double figures in kills, Burdine knocked down 12. Angela Hupp and Darla Donaldson added six each.

Kelley Hanson, CSUN leader in digs, recorded a match-high 16 digs while Amy Hultner added 12 of her own.

Up next, the Matadors will host the conference rival Pacific and Fresno State Oct. 26 and 28.

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