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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Women’s volleyball ends season with loss

The CSUN women’s volleyball team closed out its 2006 season on a rather sour note, falling to the Loyola Marymount Lions in four games by scores of 30-18, 30-26, 24-30, 30-22.

Freshman Siara Grayson knocked down a team-high 14 kills and sophomore Darla Donaldson added 13. Freshman Angela Hupp had 23 assists and 20 digs and sophomore Kayla Wright had 18 assists and 13 digs. Sophomore Kelley Hanson had 19 digs and Harmony Burdine had 17.

“We tried hard, it just didn’t come out the way we hoped,” Grayson said.

CSUN jumped out to an early 3-1 lead until Loyola Marymount won six of seven sets to take a 7-4 lead. Donaldson stopped the run with a kill off a block, but the Lions then won another six of seven sets to take a 13-6 lead and force a Matador timeout. Unfortunately for CSUN, Loyola Marymount was just getting started, winning four of five sets to raise its lead to double digits at 17-7. The closest the Matadors got was 11 points, and the Lions rose their comfortable lead to an easy game one win.

Game two started out just like game one. The score was tied at five until the Lions ran off five consecutive points to take a 10-5 lead. Loyola Marymount led by as many as six, however, CSUN never let them get any further. The Lions led 21-16 until the Matadors won four of the next five sets to cut the lead to 22-20. CSUN put together a rally to tie the score at 25 forcing Loyola Marymount to take its first timeout.

Following the break, Burdine sent a ball that went off a Lion and headed toward the scorer’s table, but Lions’ setter Ashley Dutro just managed to keep the ball in play and Heather Hughes sent a hit that glanced off a Matador to give the lead back to Loyola Marymount. Then, Dutro and Sandy Krone denied Hilary Brinkman on an attack to make it a 27-25 Lions lead. Burdine kept CSUN in the game with a kill, but kills by Reneau and Dutro, followed by a Matador net violation ended game two in the Lions favor.

“I would’ve liked to come out a little stronger in game one, game two, we pushed a little bit,” head coach Jeff Stork said.

In game three, Loyola Marymount held a brief 7-5 lead, but the tide finally turned the Matadors’ way. Sophomore Jenn Probert got CSUN going with a kill, then Wright found an open spot in Lions territory for a service ace to tie the game. Hughes sent an attack out of bounds, which put the Matadors in front. Then another Lions attack was denied by Brinkman and Hupp and another Wright ace gave CSUN a 10-7 lead.

CSUN won three of five sets to lead 13-9, but the Lions won three straight sets to cut the lead to one. The Matadors won the next two sets to raise the lead to three, but the Lions followed with consecutive points to get back within one. Both teams traded the next two sets, but the Matadors won the next five building a 21-15 lead. The Matadors won three more sets, the last two coming off the hand of Grayson, to build a 24-15 lead. The Lions, however, won four of the next five sets to cut the lead to 25-20, forcing a CSUN timeout. Grayson stopped the run with a kill, but Loyola Marymount won four of the next five sets to get within three at 27-24, but it was the closest the Lions got in game three. Two hitting violations, a block and a hitting error by the Lions gave CSUN the win and kept them alive in the match.

However, the Lions made sure the match didn’t last beyond four games. Following a trend in the first two games, Loyola Marymount won four straight sets, turning a 6-6 tie into a four-point lead and force a CSUN timeout. The Lions won two straight sets following the break to make a six-point game. The closest CSUN got was 14-9, as the Lions managed to extend their lead to 18-9. The Matadors, though, stormed back, winning six of seven sets to cut the lead to 19-15. LMU countered with four in a row to raise its lead to eight at 23-15. The Lions’ run only stopped due to a net serve by Cat Svorinich, but LMU won another three sets to build its lead to ten at 26-16.

Just as quickly as LMU had built its huge lead, once again CSUN cut back into it. Probert again started things off with a kill, then Grayson found an open spot in the Lions’ court, then went off an LMU block for another point. Probert then rejected a Reneau attack and a two-hit violation capped off a five-point Matador run that sliced the Lions’ lead in half.

“A couple service runs, a couple set-back blocks, and good kills kept us in it,” Hanson said.

Krone stopped the bleeding for the Lions, and Grayson followed with her 14th kill of the night, but LMU was not going to be denied, as they won the final three sets to close out the match.

“It was a little of a rough night for us,” Brinkman said.

Day led the Lions attack with 23 kills and 15 digs while Hughes had 12 kills and 15 digs and Reneau had 10 kills and 13 digs.

Tuesday’s regular season match with LMU also meant the final regular season match for seniors Brinkman and Colleen Tobin. Brinkman only played two years at CSUN after transferring from Jefferson College in Missouri. Still, Brinkman will reflect a lot on her two years as a Matador.

“I’ll remember so much,” Brinkman said. “Mostly just the team and everybody involved, it’s been so wonderful these past two years, its just incredible, I’m really going to miss everybody.”

Tobin spent four years at CSUN, though her first year was a hard one, as she appeared in two matches before sitting out a majority of the season with an injury to her left arm. Still she too will cherish her time as a Matador.

“There have been so many people here,” Tobin said. “Everyone’s made the experience very well.”

As for the returning Matadors, there is plenty of optimism. After having to endure a 4-23 season in 2005, including a 2-12 Big West Conference mark, CSUN turned the corner around quickly, going 16-12 on the season and finishing at 7-7 in Conference play, placing them in a tie for fourth with UC Irvine. The Matadors will surely look to carry the optimism and momentum into the 2007 season.

“It shows that we’re improving, it shows that were getting better, it shows that we’re learning,” Donaldson said.

“I think we’ve proven ourselves as a better team and people are going to have to watch out for us, certainly next year,” Wright said.

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