Holt Powers Matadors to Straight-Set Victory Over Pacific

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Sophomore Sam Holt pounded a match-high 13 kills to lead Cal State Northridge to a straight-set sweep (25-22, 25-17, 25-15) over the visiting Pacific Tigers in a MPSF match Friday in The Matadome.

Holt notched double figures in kills for the third consecutive match as the Matadors improved to 5-9 overall and 5-8 in conference play. The sophomore outside hitter from Cincinnati, Ohio hit .303 on 33 attacks to go with seven digs and a pair of block assists.

Junior Greg Faulkner came up one short of double figures with nine kills but hit a match-high .538 on 13 swings. Faulkner also added six block assists and helped out with a career-high three assists. Fellow junior Kyle Stevenson chipped in seven kills (.190), five digs and four blocks and redshirt freshman Jakub Ciesla added six kills (.143) while also posting five digs and four blocks.

CSUN posted a 48-39 advantage in team digs as redshirt freshman Bradley Sakaida was all over the court to the tune of a career-high 20 digs. Junior setter Travis Magorien added nine digs of his own to go with 27 assists and one ace as the Matadors held the Tigers to an .059 hitting clip.

The two teams traded sideouts for much of set one as the score was tied for the 12th time at 14-14 following a Holt kill. But three straight Pacific points forced CSUN head coach Jeff Campbell into a timeout trailing 17-14. An ensuing service error followed by a Colby Magorien ace pulled the Matadors within one and CSUN used a 3-0 run, capped by a Faulkner-Ciesla block, to take back the lead 19-18.

A kill from Christian Franceschi pulled the Tigers even for the final time at 19-19 when the Matadors outscored Pacific 4-1 over the next five points to take a 23-20 lead. A Brian O'Gorman kill set CSUN up with set point at 24-21 before Holt's kill ended the frame after the Tigers saved one set point.

The final two sets weren't nearly as competitive as the Matadors bolted out to a 13-6 lead in set two and led by as many as seven in the final set to seal the straight-set win.

Thomas Hodges paced the Tigers (2-14, 1-12 MPSF) with nine kills (.075) while Tommy Carmody added six kills (.308) out of the middle.

Cal State Northridge wraps up its season-long, four-match homestand Saturday as the Matadors host eighth-ranked Stanford at 7:30 p.m. The match will be preceded by the CSUN women's basketball game vs. UC Riverside at 4 p.m.


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