March 21, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Senior Eric Vance pounded a match-high 21 kills as second-ranked Cal State Northridge defeated Hope International 30-16, 30-17, 30-23 in a non-conference match Saturday at The Matadome.
With the win the Matadors improve to 19-3 on the season and wrap up their season-long, seven-match homestand at 6-1. The Royals, an NAIA squad, slips to 13-8 with the loss.
Vance was the lone player in the match to post double figures in kills as he was virtually unstoppable all match long. The senior had just three hitting errors in 30 swings for an impressive .600 hitting clip. He also added a pair of aces, four digs and three blocks. Tanner Nua added nine kills (.500) in just two sets of action while Jacek Ratajczak chipped in eight kills (.583) and a pair of blocks. Setter Matt Stork posted 43 assists and served three of Northridge's seven aces.
As a team, the Matadors hit .467 with 55 kills and just 12 errors in 92 attacks. Hope struggled to a -.042 hitting clip with 18 kills and 21 errors in 71 swings.
The first set was close for the first 32 points as the Matadors held a slim 17-14 lead following a Ratajczak kill. A Stork service error pulled the Royals within 17-15 before Northridge rolled off seven consecutive points to put the set out of reach at 24-15. Ratajczak had a pair of kills and a block in the run.
Set two was also close early as the Matadors led 11-8 after a Kevin McKniff kill. After a Hope block narrowed to gap to 11-9, Northridge claimed the next four points to go on top 15-9. The Royals would get no closer as the Matadors eventually built their lead to 28-15 after a Gary Ramirez hitting error.
In set three, Northridge surged to a 13-4 lead and never looked back. The Royals would get as close as 25-21 after a Shane Nelson hitting error but that was as close as they would get and Ratajczak ended the match with an ace.
Ramirez's five kills (-.062) was enough to lead Hope who also got three kills from a trio of hitters.
Cal State Northirdge hits the road for its next two matches as the Matadors travel to Stanford and Pacific next week.
- GO MATADORS -