January 30, 2010

Matadors Improve to 8-1 With Three-Set Sweep at Pacific

Jan. 30, 2010

Final Stats

STOCKTON, Calif. - Theo Edwards had a match-high 12 kills and Mike Gaudino added 11 as third-ranked Cal State Northridge completed a successful two-match road trip to Northern California with a straight set (30-27, 30-25, 30-23) win at Pacific on Saturday.

The Matadors (8-1, 5-1 MPSF) are off to their best start in school history with eight wins in their first nine matches. The 5-1 conference start is also the best by a Northridge team in its MPSF history.

The Matadors upset No. 2 Stanford in five sets on Friday and completed the successful trip to Northern California with Saturday's win.

Northridge hit .355 (47-14-93) as a team as Edwards (.231) had 12 kills and Gaudino added 11 while hitting a season-high .526 with just one error in 19 swings. Middles Jacek Ratajczak and Kevin McKniff combined for 16 kills and just two errors in 26 attacks and Tanner Nua (.125) added six kills, three aces and five digs.

Setter Matt Stork registered 37 assists, five digs and four blocks and libero Ali'i Keohohou had a match-high 11 digs.

"We hit a good percentage and are pleased with the win tonight," said Matador head coach Jeff Campbell. "Now we need to get ready for USC on Wednesday. The Trojans are a great team and we will need to play very well to beat them."

Northridge led by as many as five (22-17) in the opening set but Pacific climbed back to within two following a Matador service error and a Sean Daley kill. After the Matadors boosted their lead back to four at 28-24, consecutive Tiger points pulled Pacific within two but a pair of Ratajczak kills sandwiched around an Edwards service error wrapped up the set 30-27.

In set two, the Matadors used a 5-0 run to open up an 8-5 lead capped by the third of Florian Gornik's three straight hitting errors. After the Tigers closed to within one at 14-13, the Matadors extended their lead to 20-14 following a McKniff-Gaudino block. Pacific would not go away as the Tigers again pulled to within four at 25-21 before Northridge got kills from Ratajczak and Gaudino and three Pacific hitting errors to open up a 2-0 lead in the match.

The Matadors jumped out to a 13-8 lead in the final set and would never look back. Pacific was able to get within two at 20-18 but the Matadors salted away the set by claiming seven of the next nine points to open up a 27-20 cushion. At 29-22, Ashton Hippenstiel served out but the Matadors took the match after Taylor Hughes' hitting error on match point.

Hughes led Pacific with 10 kills (.185) and Jason Borchin added eight kills (.250). The Tigers wound up hitting .168 (36-19-101) in the loss.

Cal State Northridge returns home to open up a three-match homestand beginning Wednesday as the Matadors host top-ranked USC in The Matadome at 7 p.m.

- GO MATADORS -