IRVINE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge nailed down its eighth conference win as the Matadors put together another solid hitting performance in a 22-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-12 win over UC Irvine in a Big West Conference match at the Bren Center.
Northridge (14-12, 8-6 Big West) completed the road portion of the 2011 season in impressive fashion hitting .319 as a team as the Matadors nailed down their eighth conference win, the most by a CSUN team since 2004. The win also gave Northridge the season sweep over the Anteaters for the first time since the 2001 season, the Matadors' first in the Big West.
It was the sophomore trio of Natalie Allen, Britney Graff and Mahina Haina that did most of the damage offensively for CSUN. Allen matched her season-high by putting down a team-high 13 kills while hitting .355. She also added 18 digs for her team-leading ninth double-double in 2011 to go with a pair of aces, three assists and three blocks. Haina added 13 kills while hitting a blistering .419 with no hitting errors in 31 attacks and also matching her career-high with nine digs. Graff also notched 13 kils (.278) and also posted her third consecutive double-double and fifth of the season with 11 digs.
Another sophomore, setter Sydney Gedryn had another strong match with 46 assists in leading the Matadors to a .319 hitting clip. Gedryn, one of the top servers in the conference, also set a career-high with five aces. Libero Cindy Ortiz had a team-high 21 digs while Monica McFarland added 10 digs in the win.
UC Irvine out-hit the Matadors .323-.270 in taking set one 25-22 but the Anteaters could not replicate that hitting the remainder of the match.
CSUN took a nine-point lead (15-6) midway through set two and held a comfortable lead for the remainder of the frame. Allen's kill gave the Matadors set point at 24-15 before three straight Matador hitting miscues saved three set points but an Anteater service error out of a CSUN timeout evened the match as the Matadors claimed a 25-18 win.
A Haina kill gave Northridge a 13-11 lead in the third set and the Matadors would never look back. Also leading by two at 15-13, CSUN scored on four of the next six points to take a 19-15 lead capped by an Allen kill. Trailing 24-18, the Anteaters saved two set points before the Matadors cashed in on their next opportunity when Haina's kill sent the Matadors to the 25-20 win.
The fourth and final set was all Northridge as a Graff kill opened up a 17-6 Matador lead. The lead swelled to as many as 12 (20-8) following a UCI hitting error before kills from Casey Hinger and Haina wrapped up the set 25-12.
Aly Squires led the Anteaters with a match-high 14 kills (.233) while Shaina Olsen added nine kills (.103).
Cal State Northridge returns home for its final three regular season matches beginning next Friday, Nov. 18 as the Matadors host UC Santa Barbara.
- GO MATADORS -