Matadors Fall in Four Sets at Top-Ranked Pepperdine

Feb. 26, 2010

Final Stats

MALIBU, Calif. - Redshirt freshman John Baker had a career-high 19 kills but fifth-ranked Cal State Northridge came up short at top-ranked Pepperdine 39-37, 30-27, 26-30, 30-28 in a n MPSF match Friday at Firestone Fieldhouse.

Baker's 19 kills led the Matadors (12-5, 9-5) who dropped their third in the last four matches.

The Waves (9-4, 8-3 MPSF), who won their eighth straight match, got a big performance from senior outside hitter J.D. Schleppenbach who had a career-high 24 kills and tied a career high with 17 digs while hitting .444 (24-8-36).

Northridge hit a solid .345, also got 17 kills and 10 blocks from Jacek Ratajczak and 18 kills from Kevin McKniff.

The Waves had a big comeback in the first game and later overcame five game points. CSUN broke out to a 5-1 lead and led by as many as six points, last at 23-17. But Pepperdine eventually tied it at 26-26 after a triple block by Schleppenbach, Jaynes and Crider. The Waves would go ahead and serve for the game twice, but CSUN eventually reclaimed the advantage and had five game points. A block by Riecks and Jaynes gave Pepperdine the edge once again. Later, tied 37-37, a CSUN service error was followed by a kill by Riecks to end the marathon first game.

Schleppenbach and Torres had seven kills apiece as the Waves took the second game to go ahead 2-0. Tied 5-5, a kill by Schleppenbach and a service ace by Crider put Pepperdine ahead to stay. During a 4-0 run that pushed Pepperdine's lead to 13-8, Riecks had two kills and Torres had a kill and an ace. The Matadors got no closer than two points the rest of the way.

CSUN scored four of the first five points of the third game and never trailed. The Matadors had six blocks and forced the Waves into 11 attack errors. Their lead grew to as many as eight points at 25-17, although a 7-1 Pepperdine run cut the lead to two at 26-24 to make things interesting before CSUN recovered and finished things off.

The fourth game had 14 ties and two lead changes. The last tie was at 27-27, and a kill by Santos was followed by a CSUN attack error, giving Pepperdine its first match point. After a Pepperdine service error, the Waves wrapped up the match on a kill by Riecks.

Cal State Norhridge returns to action next Friday, MAr. 5 as the Matadors open a two-match series with Hawai'i.

- GO MATADORS -