CSUN falls to Hawaii in straight sets, loses fourth in a row

The+loss+to+the+first-place+Rainbow+Wahine+is+the+Matadors%27+fourth+consecutive.+Photo+credit%3A+David+Hawkins

The loss to the first-place Rainbow Wahine is the Matadors’ fourth consecutive. Photo credit: David Hawkins

Giovanni Garcia

After losing the previous three games on the road, CSUN (5-19, 4-8) came back home and had its losing streak extended to four as they got swept by the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine (22-1, 12-0) in three sets, 25-14, 25-17, 25-19, on Saturday, Nov. 7.

From the get go, Hawaii’s size was an obvious factor in the match.

“It’s skill level more than anything,” said Head Coach Jeff Stork after the game. “Big and good is better than small and good, but you better be good.”

The Matadors kept up in the first set when it was tied 6-6, but UH would go on a six point run and never relinquish the lead.

“We had good energy and we knew Hawaii was a good team, and we knew they would be coming at us very strong,” said sophomore middle blocker Rachel Diaz. “I thought we took care of what we could and we knew it would be hard and we fought as hard as we could.”

In the second set, the Matadors would start off slow but still gave the Wahine’s a challenge.

Hawaii was able to build a 19-9 lead in the second set. The Matadors would get within four at 20-16 but allowed UH a run to win the set.

The Rainbow Wahine carried that momentum into the third set.

The Matadors began the third set stronger than the previous two as they would take an early 5-2 lead but let UH get back into the game tying it at 12-12 and finishing the set on a 13-7 run to get the sweep.

“We let the little things get to us and we let Hawaii get the momentum back and that was something we didn’t want to happen but unfortunately it did,” said Diaz.

For the second straight game, senior outside hitter Cienna Stinson had a strong performance.

Stinson led the team with 13 kills and a .200 percent on 35 swings and one dig.

Both freshman outside hitter Aeryn Owens and junior outside hitter Julie Haake contributed seven kills and assisted on a block.

“Towards the end we started doing better hitting off the block but they’re just really big and got us a couple of times,” said sophomore libero Katie Sato.

The Matadors were able to stay within reach in each set but the Wahine’s were able to pull away.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t get this match to go a little bit longer which gives us more time to understand the adjustments,” said Stork. “When things happen quickly the team doesn’t get many chances to adjust.”

The team will have to adjust quickly as only four games remain.

On a four-game losing streak, the Matadors have a favorable schedule as three of the final four games are at home.

The Matadors will try to bounce back when they host the California State University Fullerton Titans on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Matadome.