Men’s Volleyball: Matadors sweep visiting Tritons

Kevin Kiani

The Matadors (10-6, 8-6 MPSF) won their third straight game as they defeated the Tritons of UCSD (6-15, 3-13) in a clean sweep 25-20, 25-16, 25-21.

Senior opposite John Baker led the way for the Matadors with 17 kills on 28 attempts, and hit .700 in the first set going 8 for 10.

“It was a big team effort, our passing put every ball in the perfect spot,” Baker said. “It was a great hitting night for me, I felt good, but it was all team.”

Senior middle blocker Drew Staker also chipped in 7 kills hitting .667 and sophomore setter Travis Magorien had a game high 31 assists in his fourth game back from injury.

“I hate watching, I hate sitting on the sideline,” Magorien said. “It makes me cherish the moments even more and I’m making sure I stay healthy for my team.”

The Matadors jumped out to an early 12-8 lead in the first set but the Tritons fought back with a 5-2 run of their own, making the score 14-13. Northridge followed up with a big 6-3 run of their own and never looked back. Despite the score of the first set, the Matadors seized control early and never let go.

“Our serving picked up and passing was great all game,” said head coach Jeff Campbell. “Any time you pass well you are going to be in system and you are going to sideout at a good clip.”

The second set started out close but a 9-4 run by the Matadors, punctuated by a Baker kill, set the tone and prompted a Triton timeout. CSUN continued its strong play and dominated the Tritons with a 82 percent sideout percentage.

Northridge had its worst hitting percentage in the third set hitting .111 but raced out to an early 12-6 advantage. The Tritons fought back with a 6-3 run of their making it 15-13 own despite have their worst hitting percentage of the game as well hitting -.036.

After calling a timeout, the Matadors came out firing with a 7-3 run that depleted UCSD and ultimately sealed the deal for CSUN.

“We have confidence and the guys have confidence in themselves,” said Campbell. “Brandon (Lebrock) passed really well so as long as he’s passing well we’re going to be in good shape.”

The Matadors are now 7-3 at home and with their last six games on the road, taking care of business in the Matadome is very important to the team.

“I’m trying to host a playoff game, I love this gym,” said Baker. “This is our home, we’re supposed to win here and steal games on the road.”