NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge did not trail the entire night as the 10th-ranked Matadors swept the visiting Concordia Eagles, 25-17, 25-20, 25-11 Wednesday night in a non-conference match at The Matadome.
In the first match between the two teams since 2001, the Matadors (2-1) hit a season-high .375 while also serving nine aces. CSUN now has 20 aces in its last two matches, both wins.
"Everytime we come out here we try to get better and I think tonight we did," said Matador head coach Jeff Campbell. "The focus was clearly on our side as we tried to serve better and pass better. Our hitting numbers weren't that great and we'll work on that but overall I'm happy with the strides we made tonight."
Senior opposite John Baker had a match-high eight kills (.571) to lead all hitters in the match. Baker rounded out his night with two aces, two digs and three blocks. Fellow senior Drew Staker added seven kills (.600) and had his first hitting error in three matches this season. Junior Brandon Lebrock chipped in six kills (.125) and also had a pair of aces.
Sophomore setter Travis Magorien had three of CSUN's nine aces giving him a team-high eight this season. Magorien also handed out 26 assists as the Matadors had 33 kills in 64 swings as a team. Defensively, Magorien, Kyle Stevenson and Jared Moore all had a team-best four digs.
The first set was tight with neither team leading by more than two points until the Matadors took advantage of a pair of Eagle miscues to open up a four-point cushion at 17-13. A kill from Stevenson followed by a Magorien ace and a Lebrock kill gave the Matadors thier largest lead to that point at 20-14. Still leading by six at 23-17, CSUN used a Staker kill followed by a triple block from Stevenson, Staker and Magorien to close out the 25-17 win.
Set two was also close as Concordia overcame an early 10-7 deficit to knot the score at 12-12 on a Naseri Tumanuvao kill. The two teams then traded sideouts until 15-15 when Staker connected for a kill and the Eagles were whistled for a setting error giving the Matadors a 17-15 lead. After a Baker service error pulled Concordia within one (17-16), Northridge quickly built its lead to three (19-16) following back-to-back kills from Lebrock. Concordia could only get within two the rest of the way as a Baker-Staker block and an Eagle hitting error gave CSUN the 25-20 win.
Set three was all Matadors as Northridge bolted to a 7-1 lead and never looked back. Redshirt freshman Vaughn Wellenreiter capped a late Matador run with a pair of aces as CSUN cruised to the 25-11 victory.
Three Concordia hitters shared team-high honors with five kills apiece while the Eagles hit .079 as a team.
Cal State Northridge continues its four-match homestand on Friday night as the Matadors host Grand Canyon in a non-conference match at 7 p.m.
- GO MATADORS -