CSUN swept by Long Beach State

The+Matadors+were+competitive+for+the+majority+of+sets%2C+but+they+are+looking+for+answers+after+falling+to+the+49ers+in+straight+sets.+Photo+credit%3A+David+Hawkins
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CSUN swept by Long Beach State

The Matadors were competitive for the majority of sets, but they are looking for answers after falling to the 49ers in straight sets. Photo credit: David Hawkins

The Matadors were competitive for the majority of sets, but they are looking for answers after falling to the 49ers in straight sets. Photo credit: David Hawkins

The Matadors were competitive for the majority of sets, but they are looking for answers after falling to the 49ers in straight sets. Photo credit: David Hawkins

The Matadors were competitive for the majority of sets, but they are looking for answers after falling to the 49ers in straight sets. Photo credit: David Hawkins

Sarah Goulding

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After sweeping the California State University, Fullerton Titans, the Matadors (6-20, 5-9 Big West) fell to Long Beach State 49ers (21-6, 11-3 Big West) in just three sets (25-23, 25-16, 25-22).

“I thought we could’ve won the first set. I thought we could’ve won the third set. We were obviously in a position to win both of them,” said head coach Jeff Stork.

The first set had CSUN and Long Beach volleying the lead back and forth. Several times the 49ers took a two point lead, but the Matadors continuously brought the lead back within their grasp.

At 18-16 CSUN took a two point lead for the first time in the set, but it would be the last time the Matadors would rise more than one point above the 49ers. The set held five lead changes and 15 tie scores.

“Tonight overall there was a little bit of a lack of energy and while that doesn’t necessarily show up in the stats it does affect a lot of the way that we play the game. So when there’s a lack of energy, you can’t get a flow going,” junior opposite hitter Julie Haake said.

Set two started the same as the first, with the Matadors taking the first point. However things quickly took a turn in the opposite direction as the 49ers took a seven-point lead 11-3.

Long Beach stretched their lead to 10 at 21-11 and 22-12. Here, the Matadors took a four-point run and looked as though they may be making a comeback. However, the 49ers did not allow CSUN to score again after 16 and took the set 25-16.

“We had really good energy from the start, we had a really good strong start and we had it all the way until twenty three or twenty two,” sophomore middle back Rachel Diaz said. “Then we just didn’t have the momentum to just push three more or two more points and [we] let them get too many runs and, especially at the crucial time at the end, they just got a couple points lead, or runs, and then that was it.”

Just as in the previous two sets, the Matadors also took the first point of set three. Both teams battled to stay ahead, giving one point up then immediately taking it back.

CSUN, however, took several two-point leads throughout the set, which kept them in front of the 49ers. But at 22-21, Long Beach made a four-point run to win the set.

Senior outside hitter Cieana Stinson lead the Matadors with 10 kills, one service ace and one solo block, while freshman outside hitter Aeryn Owens added nine kills. Haake added seven kills. Junior setter Maddie Leiphardt also paired 31 assists with seven digs.

“Offensively we were taking some good quality swings, we were getting some good kills. It’s disappointing to lose,” said Stork. “Long Beach is a good team, they’re an unorthodox team. I thought we scouted them pretty well, they [just] came out with a win which is unfortunate for us.”

The Matadors return home next Friday, Nov. 20 to take on UC Riverside at 7 p.m.