Who’s No. 1 Now?

Victor Corona

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The No. 4 Matadors knocked off No. 1 Pepperdine in a trilling five-set match.
Sophomore Tanner Nua and senior Eric Vance combined on 46 kills to help the Matadors pull out a thrilling 3-2 win over No.1 Pepperdine.

‘We just came out and played Northridge ball tonight,’ said Vance. ‘Which is what we needed to do against a team like this.’

The Matadors came out firing on all cylinders, getting out to a 10′-5 advantage in the first set behind Eric Vance’s three kills and three digs. Pepperdine came back with a 6-3 run that brought Matador coach Jeff Campbell off his seat to call a time out. CSUN responded after the timeout by finishing off the set 17-13 behind Vance’s nine kills and five digs.’ ‘

The Matadors carried the momentum from the first set onto the start of the second, leading by as many as five (14-9).’ The Matadors’ great play at the start of the set forced Pepperdine to call two early time outs. CSUN continue to pound away at the Waves putting away the set midway through with 14 ‘- 7 run that put the Matadors up two sets to none. Mike Gaudino and Tanner Nua, led the way for the Matadors in the second set combining on 13 kills.

‘We knew what our problem was in those two sets,’ said Coach Jeff Campbell. ‘We just started serving really poorly and, conversely, Pepperdine started playing really well.” ‘ ‘ ‘

Down two sets, the Waves came out determined not to get swept by getting out to a threepoint lead at 13-10. The Matadors answered with a 3-0 run tying the match. The set would go back and forth from that point on with neither team leading by more than two points. Vance seven kills in the set almost provided CSUN with the opportunity to sweep the No. 1 team in the nation. The set went in to extra points, where the Waves were able to take the match.’ ‘

Dropping the third set didn’t seem to bother the Matadors early in the set jumping out to a 7-5 lead. Pepperdine would not go away responding to tie the game at seven. The set went back and forth for the next eight points, before the Waves took command of the set with a 15-12 run to tie the match at two games a piece.

The Matadors seemed unfazed after dropping two sets in a row jumping out to 4-0 lead in the fifth and final set. The Waves came back to get within 6-4, before CSUN responded with two straight points. Up 8-4 as the teams switched sides, the Waves once again would come back to get within 14-12. The match ended on a serving error from the Waves.

‘The game is so quick, you got to get off to a great start and that’s what we did in the set,’ said Gaudino. ‘The coach said who ever wants is going to win this match and we just wanted it more.’