March 19, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - A night after Cal State Northridge pulled off a straight set upset win over No. 2 BYU, the visiting Cougars returned the favor by sweeping the Matadors 25-17, 25-16, 25-19 in an MPSF match Saturday at The Matadome.
BYU (14-7, 10-6 MPSF) took it to CSUN (6-16, 4-11 MPSF) from the get-go on Saturday, hitting .410 as a team to just .115 for the Matadors. The Cougars also served nine aces and had 14.5 team blocks in the dominating victory.
"I think we were very sharp last night and BYU was not," said Matador head coach Jeff Campbell. "They came in tonight and were very sharp, they served extremely well and we were out of system the entire night. They served as well as any team has served against us all year."
Northridge, which had its brief two-match winning streak snapped, was led by Matt Stork's nine kills but the junior hit just .040 in 25 swings. Freshmen Greg Faulkner and Brandon Lebrock each added five kills with Lebrock hitting .444 and Faulkner .400 to go with a team-high three blocks. A night after pounding 16 kills while hitting .371, senior Tanner Nua struggled with four kills while hitting -.150.
CSUN and BYU played even for the first six points of the opening set before the Cougars broke open the 3-3 tie by claiming six of the next seven points. Trailing 11-5, the Matadors used a Lebrock kill and a Nua ace to pull within 11-7. But that was as close as Northridge would get the remainder of the set as a Taylor Sander kill gave BYU its largest lead of the frame 21-10. The Matadors were able to get back within seven points three times late in the set, the final time at 24-17 before Alex DaPron put down one of his five kills of the game on set point.
Set two was eerily similar for Northridge as the two teams played to an early 5-5 tie before the Cougars again put together a significant run to pull away. A 5-0 run put BYU in front 10-5 and although the Matadors kept within striking distance at 13-9 following a Nua-Drew Taker block, an ensuing six-point Cougar run erased all doubt as BYU cruised 25-16.
The third and final set was the tightest of the match as the score changed hands seven times. The Matadors used a Cougar hitting error followed by a Cory Wagner kill to take their largest lead of the night at 6-4. After BYU battled back to tie the score at 8-8, the Cougars took advantage of a Nua hitting error to take the lead for good. Trailing 18-14, CSUN got a kill from John Baker and a Jared Moore solo block to get as close as 18-16 but again BYU rallied for three straight to salt away the set and the match.
Sander wound up with a match-high 12 kills while hitting .429 and Futi Tavana added 11 kills while hitting .625. Sander also served three of BYU's nine aces.
Cal State Northridge opens up a four-match road trip next Friday, Mar. 25 as the Matadors travel to Stanford at 7 p.m.
- GO MATADORS -