NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge had its three-match win streak snapped by UC Irvine Saturday evening as the Matadors fell 17-25, 19-25, 25-21, 19-25 to the visiting Anteaters.
Britney Graff led all Matadors with 14 kills and 18 digs to record her third double-double of the season. This is the second time that the junior outside hitter finished with 14 kills, a season-high total originally set at the Rice Invitational (Sept. 14) against the host Owls.
"We had a lot of positive moments in the game," explained Graff, "we just needed to use those moments to create momentum and play at a more steady pace."
"This was two pretty good defensive teams going after each other," added Northridge head coach Jeff Stork. "Both sides had a low sideout percentage, but they were just able to press us a little more."
Trailing two sets to zero, and by as many as four points in the third set, Northridge battled back to tie the score at 14-14 thanks to the serving prowess of Mahina Haina. Midway through the set, on her serve, the Matadors (12-5, 3-2 BWC) scored six straight points to build a lead as high as 18-15. Shortly thereafter, the Anteaters (8-9, 3-1 BWC) responded by scoring four of the next five points to tie the score at 19 apiece.
Alia Casino helped bring an end to the frame by helping her team record five consecutive points to win its only set of the match. On her serve, a combination of kills and blocks earned Sydney Gedryn and Casey Hinger, in addition to a Graff kill helped Northridge slice UC Irvine's set lead in half.
"That set win helped bring a lot of energy to us… we just allowed them to make too many runs," said Graff.
Gedryn posted a team-high .400 hitting percentage, earning six kills in her 15 attempts. As a team, Northridge recorded 43 kills in its 163 swings, and ended its evening with 10 blocks. Hinger led CSUN with three solo blocks and four block assists.
Haina also collected 10 kills to record her first-ever double-double as a Matador.
Led by Marisa Bubica with 16, four players recorded double-digit kills for an Anteater squad that finished with a .219 attack percentage (57-22-160). Irvine's Kristin Winkler led all players with 19 digs.
Prior to taking the floor Saturday night, Northridge had defeated UC Irvine in three of the last four head-to-head matchups.
The Matadors will return to action at UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Oct. 5, in the first of three straight road matches.