April 10, 2009
LA JOLLA, Calif. - Senior Eric Vance posted a team-high 22 kills to lead five Northridge hitters in double figures as the third-ranked Matadors held off No. 10 UC San Diego 30-26, 29-31, 30-22, 38-36 Friday at RIMAC Arena.
The win is Northridge's 22nd of the season against five losses and the Matadors remain in contention for the top seed in the MPSF Tournament at 15-5. The loss drops the Tritons to 11-14 overall and 7-13 in conference play.
On a night when several Matador hitters struggled, Vance came through with a team-high 22 kills while hitting .315. He also added a match-high three aces to move within six of the Northridge career record. Vance now has 53 aces this season, just one off the single season record set by Raphael Tulino in 1991. He also notched 11 digs giving him a team-high eight double-doubles this season.
Junior Theo Edwards came off the bench for Tanner Nua at the opposite hitter position and put down 11 kills in a season-high 25 swings (.280). Jacek Ratajczak (.533), Kevin McKniff (.444) and Mike Gaudino (.034) each chipped in 10 kills. Despite struggling on the hitting front, Gaudino posted his fifth double-double with 11 digs and recorded five blocks (two solo). McKniff matched his career-high with 10 total blocks (one solo). Setter Matt Stork had a solid all-around match with 60 kills, four kills, six digs and five blocks.
Northridge hit a solid .484 in the first set and also hit well in set three (.333) but struggled in the other two sets. The Matadors hit .182 in dropping set two and hit .179 after being stretched to 38-36 in the fourth and final set.
Northridge blocked well in the match as the Matadors had a season-high 19.5 team blocks.
For UCSD, Frank Fritsch knocked down a match-high 26 kills (.315) and Jason Spangler added 22 (.340). No other Triton hitter had more than eight kills as UCSD hit .261 (68-27-157) as a team.
Cal State Northridge has a quick turnaround as the Matadors return to action Saturday night against eighth-ranked Long Beach State at the Walter Pyramid. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.
- GO MATADORS -