SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sophomores Cory Wagner and Brandon Lebrock combined for 19 kills in their first starts of the 2012 season as 12th-ranked Cal State Northridge swept No. 10 Loyola-Chicago 25-16, 25-22, 25-19 for the Matadors first win of the season Saturday at Rob Gym.
The Matadors (1-2) win one of their three matches at the UCSB Asics Invitational and claim seventh-place in the eight-team field. Northridge dropped a pair of four-set matches on Friday, falling to No. 3 UCLA (25-19, 25-23, 24-26, 25-17) and No. 14 UCSB (20-25, 25-17, 25-20, 26-24).
Wagner, who came on off the bench against UC Santa Barbara on Friday, made the most of his first start of the season pounding a match-high 10 kills while hitting .350 in 20 swings. Lebrock, who played the libero spot on Friday, also made his first start at outside hitter and responded with nine kills while hitting a match-high .429 in 14 attacks. Lebrock also had a pair of aces and was a steady passer in the win.
Sophomore Filip Tomicic returned to the setter spot and dished out 26 assists while leading Northridge to a season-high .362 hitting clip. The Matadors committed just 10 hitting errors in 69 swings while putting down 35 kills. Juniors Drew Staker (.417) and John Baker (.188) each added six kills with Baker also posting one ace and four blocks.
"The second team really played very well today," said head coach Jeff Campbell. "It was a good win but more importantly we wanted to rest some of the starters but almost as important was it allowed us to get some of these guys some playing time."
The Matadors limited the Ramblers (0-3) to a .133 team hitting clip and avoiding going winless in the UCSB Asics Invitational for the first time ever.
Cal State Northridge opens up the 2012 MPSF season next Wednesday, Jan. 11 as the Matadors travel to Malibu to take on Pepperdine at 7 p.m.
- GO MATADORS -