Matadors Post Straight-Set Road Win at UC San Diego
Final Stats (PDF)
La Jolla, Calif. - Senior John Baker pounded a match-high 14 kills and sophomore Travis Magorien served three aces as ninth-ranked Cal State Northridge swept the 12th-ranked UC San Diego Tritons, 25-23, 27-25, 25-20 in an MPSF match Friday night at RIMAC Arena.
The Matadors (4-2, 2-2 MPSF) rebounded from Wednesday's four-set home loss to No. 3 UC Irvine by defeating the Tritons for the 40th in the last 41 matches between the two teams. CSUN picked up its first road win of the season as the Matadors opened up a three-match road trip which will also take them to Cal Baptist and BYU next week.
Baker hit .379 in 29 swings while also adding three digs and two blocks. Fellow senior Jared Moore continued his torrid hitting as the MPSF leader hit .667 with eight kills in 12 errorless attacks. Brandon Lebrock added seven kills (.143) and four blocks while Kyle Stevenson chipped in five (.308).
Magorien had 32 assists in leading the Matadors to a .333 hitting percentage but also was a factor from the service line as he served three of Northridge's four aces in the match. The sophomore setter now has a team-high 12 aces as the Matadors hit over .300 for the third time in their last for matches.
Northridge had to come-from-behind in each of the first two sets as the Matadors overcame a pair of late two-point deficits in set one. CSUN was forced to call a timeout trailing 19-17 and then used its final timeout trailing 21-19. A Drew Staker kill and a Magorien ace pulled the Matadors even forcing UCSD to use a timeout. Magorien's second ace gave CSUN a 22-21 lead but the Tritons would claim the next two points to retake the lead 23-22. Following a UCSD service error, the Tritons' ensuing attack went wide and Staker's kill ended the set 25-23.
The Matadors fell behind 23-20 late in the second set when a Stevenson kill propelled Northridge on a 4-0 run. The Tritons saved one set point on a Sebastian Brady kill then saved another at 25-24 when Baker's serve went long. But another Moore kill and a UCSD hitting error put the Matadors up two sets to none.
CSUN used a 6-2 run midway through the final set to open up a 15-9 lead. The Matador lead was still six at 18-12 and the Tritons could only get within four points the rest of the way.
"San Diego is a good team so I'm very pleased with the 3-0 win," said Matador head coach Jeff Campbell. "We were down and really fought for games one and two so I'm really proud of my guys for being able to pull out those wins. We addressed some of the problems we had against Irvine but we still have some things to work before we play two more tough matches next week."
Carl Eberts led the Tritons (3-5, 2-3 MPSF) with 12 kills (.250) while Brady added eight kills in 10 swings to hit .800.
Cal State Northridge returns to court next Wednesday, Jan. 30 as the Matadors travel to Riverside to take on Cal Baptist at 7 p.m.