January 22, 2010

Northridge's Six-Match Win Streak Comes to an End After 3-0 Loss to No. 10 UCLA

Jan. 22, 2010

Final Stats

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Second-ranked Cal State Northridge saw its season-opening, six-match win streak come to a crashing halt as 10th-ranked UCLA came into The Matadome and dealt the Matadors a 30-21, 30-24, 30-21 setback Friday in MPSF action.

Northridge (6-1, 3-1 MPSF) had trouble getting anything going against the Bruins (3-4, 2-2 MPSF). The Matadors' offense was stymied all night long as Northridge wound up hitting a season-low .052 (29-24-96). Meanwhile UCLA enjoyed a solid hitting night (,270, 42-18-89) and the Bruins served eight aces to Northridge's one. UCLA also out-blocked (14.0-8.0) and out-dug (35-27) the Matadors.

The Bruin win also snaps a streak of five consecutive Northridge wins over UCLA.

Junior Tanner Nua's nine kills (.160) was enough to lead Northridge which also got six kills (.200) from senior Kevin McKniff. The Matador outside hitters (Theo Edwards and Mike Gaudino) combined for eight kills while committing 14 errors in 43 swings for a -.140 hitting clip. Libero Ali'i Keohohou did post a team-high 10 digs in the loss.

"We didn't play particularly well tonight," said Matador head coach Jeff Campbell. "To me it looked like we were tired. We didn't serve well, we didn't put any pressure on them and we didn't pass well. It's no secret how to win this game, you've got to pass and you've got to serve and we didn't do either one of those very well."

Sets one and three were similar in that the sets were close until the midway point. With the score tied 11-11 in the first set, the Bruins claimed eight of the next 10 points to open up a 19-13 cushion. The UCLA lead grew to as many as 10 (24-14) following one of five Dylan Bowermaster aces.

In the third set it was a 9-3 Bruin run that broke open a 10-10 tie. Again UCLA blew the set wide open as a Thomas Amberg kill capped a 4-0 run giving the Bruins their largest lead at 27-16.

Set two was up for grabs as the teams traded the lead until 15-15. Back-to-back Bruin hitting errors gave the Matadors their largest lead of the night at 17-15 and Northridge ultimately went up 19-16 following a Garrett Muagututia hitting error. A Nua kill also gave the Matadors a three-point lead at 20-17 but UCLA quickly erased the Northridge lead with six straight points and the Bruins cruised home 30-24.

Muagututia and Jack Polales each had a match-high 11 kills to lead UCLA while Bowermaster chipped in 10 kills and five aces. Bruin libero Tom Hastings had 14 digs while setter Kevin Ker had 37 assists, two aces, four digs and four blocks.

Cal State Northridge heads to Northern California for its next two matches. The Matadors travel to Stanford next Friday (Jan. 29) followed by a match at Pacific next Saturday (Jan. 30).

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