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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Wanted: A win

A losing streak only ends with a victory. Simple enough. But sometimes, these streaks tend to get in players’ heads and affect the team’s play negatively. It’s almost as if they don’t want to go away.

A losing streak has been with the Northridge women’s volleyball team for close to a month now. It’s far too long. Dating back to Sept. 13, the Matadors (5-12, 0-4 Big West Conference) have lost nine consecutive matches, with four of those coming at home.

It doesn’t seem to be getting any better for Matador Head Coach Jeff Stork and the players as Friday and Saturday’s showings were two of the lowest points of the season.

The Matadors traveled south to take on the Irvine Anteaters in a Big West match Friday. It’s safe to say that Northridge did not play its best match of the season. A win against the Anteaters (7-8, 2-0) would have been huge. It could have been one of those victories that turns a team that’s feeling down on itself into a confident one for the rest of the season.

And of course, it would have also snapped the losing streak against a quality conference opponent and gotten the Matadors on the right track while it’s still early in Big West-play.

But Northridge came out flat and the Anteaters took control early in the first set, going on a four-point run to build an 8-2 lead. Irvine then rattled off six straight points as Cal State Northridge committed three consecutive attack errors to lead 15-6. They went on to record the 25-18 win.

It set the tone for the rest of the match as Irvine won two of the final three sets by scores of 25-13, 21-25, 25-12.

In the deciding set, an early six-point run gave Irvine an 11-4 lead. Six straight points extend the lead to 13 at 22-9, and that was all she wrote.

Saturday’s match was a heartbreaking, disappointing loss for the Matadors.

UC Riverside (6-12, 1-2) defeated Northridge 3-2 with a come from-behind-win at the Student Recreation Center Gym. After losing the first two sets 25-20 and 25-12, the Highlanders reeled in three straight set-wins by scores of 25-18, 25-17, and 15-5, claiming the victory.

The win was the Highlanders’ first of the season in conference play. It also snapped a 10-game losing streak, a fact the Matadors must be envious of.

Down two sets to none and heading into the third, the Highlanders opened up an early 8-3 lead off a Matador error. Northridge crawled back to within three points, but Riverside extended their lead to as high as 21-13 off a service ace by Amanda Nilsson before finishing out the set.

The Matadors’ ineffectiveness to get one in the win-column lately is affecting the team in a major way. They expressed so before their latest two-game misstep. It can only be worse now.

‘It is very important for us to get back on the winning track because our confidence isn’t as high as it could be,’ sophomore outside hitter Siara Grayson had said before a loss to Cal State Bakersfield Tuesday. ‘With a win, we could gain some of that confidence back and get back on the right track.’

Consistency is something Stork has been stressing all season long. He hasn’t been happy with the team on that department. The Matadors have played well in a set here and there, notably in a match against Cal Poly on Sept. 27 where Stork thought the team hadn’t ‘made the same number of mistakes as in the past,’ but they’re still ways away from putting a complete game together.

If there’s anything positive that can be said, it’s that the conference season is still relatively young and the Matadors can still turn it around. But, it’s definitely not looking good for Stork and his squad. They get a new chance for a win Tuesday in Long Beach as they face the 49ers. At 11-3, Long Beach State is one of the worst opponents to try to end such a streak against.

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