April 7, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Junior Matt Stork pounded a match-high 17 kills as Cal State Northridge snapped a five-match winless streak with a straight set (25-22, 25-19, 25-18) victory over No. 11 UC San Diego Thursday in The Matadome.
The Matadors (7-20, 5-15 MPSF) won for just the third time in their last 13 matches but kept their consecutive win streak over UCSD intact at 39 in a row. The Tritons (9-18, 5-15 MPSF) were eliminated from the MPSF Tournament following the loss.
"We played well tonight," said Matador head coach Jeff Campbell. "It's nice to be home after spending the last two weeks on the road. The setting was good tonight, our attacking was good and as a team we hit over .300 so it was a complete effort and we're happy to get the three-game sweep."
Stork, who is averaging over 4.00 kills per game since moving to outside hitter eight matches ago, was the Matadors' main offensive weapon on Thursday as he accounted for nearly half of Northridge's 35 kills. The junior from Topanga hit .382 in 34 swings while also posting two aces and seven digs. Senior Tanner Nua added six kills (.273) and Greg Faulkner chipped in five (.556).
Matador setter Danny Rodrick registered 32 assists, six digs and one ace while leading CSUN to a .322 hitting clip, the third consecutive match the Matadors have hit at least .300. Senior libero Kaleo Baxter led all players with a match-high 11 digs in the win.
After UCSD took an early 4-3 lead in set one, the Matadors scored three straight points, the last two coming on co-blocks from Nua and Faulkner, to reclaim the lead 6-4. The two-point lead matched CSUN's biggest of the set. The Tritons managed to knot the score six times in the middle of the frame, the last at 17-17 before the Matadors pulled away late, behind a Lebrock ace, for the 25-22 win.
A Shane Veiga kill gave the Tritons their largest lead (11-9) of the second set before CSUN used a pair of UCSD miscues to tie the score. A kill by Calvin Ross gave the Tritons their final lead at 13-12 before the Matadors engineered a 6-0 run to open up an 18-12 lead. UCSD would get back within four at 23-19 but back-to-back Stork kills put the Matadors up two sets.
In the final set, CSUN held a slim 9-8 lead before scoring three unanswered points to go up 12-8. An ensuing 3-0 Triton run narrowed the lead to 12-11 before a Rodrick ace capped a 5-0 CSUN run which gave the Matadors a comfortable 17-11 lead. The Tritons again pulled to within four points late (22-18) but a pair of UCSD miscues followed by a Nua kill on match point sent the Matadors to the straight set win.
Carl Eberts led the Tritons with 12 kills (.226) while Veiga added 10 while hitting .556. UCSD setter Mike Brunsting posted 34 assists and six digs as the Tritons hit .263 as a team.
Cal State Northridge concludes the home season Saturday night as the Matadors host fourth-ranked UC Irvine at 7 p.m. Northridge will honor seniors Jeff Baxter, Kaleo Baxter and Tanner Nua in ceremonies prior to the match.
- GO MATADORS -