Matadors Drop Season-Opener to No. 3 UCLA at UCSB Asics Invitational

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Despite a match-high 15 kills from freshman Julius Hoefer, 12th-ranked Cal State Northridge dropped its season opener 25-19, 25-23, 24-26, 25-17 to No. 3 UCLA in its first match of the 2012 UCSB Asics Invitational Friday morning at The Thunderdome.

The Matadors (0-1) dropped the first two sets of the match but staved off a sweep by claiming set three before ultimately fell in four sets to the Bruins (1-0).

Northridge, which struggled to get their offense going throughout the match, were led by Höefer's co-match high 15 kills. In his first collegiate start, the freshman opposite from Steingaden, Germany, hit .206 in 34 swings and also added two aces, six digs and six blocks (three solo). Senior Matt Stork showed flashes of the potential that Campbell hoped for when he moved the senior from setter to outside hitter to open the season. Stork had eight kills in 31 attacks but also committed eight hitting errors.

UCLA, which out-hit the Matadors .397-.188, were paced by middle hitters Weston Dunlap (.789) and Thomas Amberg (.500) who combined for 29 kills in 35 swings. Amberg committed the only two errors for the Bruins out of the middle. Jack Polales also added 13 kills (.212) for UCLA in the win.

Cal State Northridge will meet 14th-ranked and host UC Santa Barbara in the evening match at 7 p.m. in Rob Gym.

A full recap of Friday's two matches will be available following the CSUN-UCSB match.