SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Sophomore Casey Hinger bounced back from a series of rough outings to put down a match-high 10 kills while leading Cal State Northridge to a 32-30, 25-23, 25-22 sweep over the host Cal Poly Mustangs in a Big West match Saturday at Mott Gym.
In helping the Matadors (13-6, 4-3 Big West) snap a mini two-match losing streak, the sophomore middle blocker from Fullerton, Calif., pounded 10 kills in 20 swings with just one error to hit .450. Hinger also had four blocks (one solo) and one dig as CSUN evened its record at 1-1 on its current three-match road trip.
A pair of Matadors posted nine kills as Cieana Stinson (.333) and Britney Graff (.222) helped CSUN hit .267 as a team with Graff also adding a match-high 14 digs. Mahina Haina added eight kills while Hinger's partner in the middle Sam Kaul chipped in six kills (.333), five blocks, five digs and a pair of aces.
After being out-hit in consecutive matches (UCI, UCSB), the Matadors put together a solid hitting performance against the Mustangs. CSUN put down 48 kills and committed just 17 errors in 116 swings to hit .267 while limiting Cal Poly to a .171 clip. CSUN did maintain its season-long advantage at the net as the Matadors out-blocked the Mustangs by a 12.0-5.0 margin.
In a thrilling opening set, the Matadors set themselves up with two set points (24-22) following a Cal Poly hitting error. But three straight Mustang points gave Cal Poly set point at 25-24 when Graff's kill evened things at 25-25. CSUN then saved five set points, the last at 30-29 when a Hinger-Sydney Gedryn co-block, a Cal Poly hitting error and a Haina kill pulled out the set for the Matadors 32-30.
Set two was also tight as the two teams battled to a 23-23 tie before a Stinson kill and a Mustang miscue gave CSUN a 25-23 win. In the third and final set, the Matadors led by as many as six (23-17) in the latter stages before staving off a late 5-1 Cal Poly run. Following a Mustang service ace which capped the run pulling Cal Poly within 24-22, Stinson cashed in with a kill in the ensuing point giving the Matadors their first 3-0 sweep since Sept. 15.
Cal State Northridge wraps up its three-match road trip next week (Oct. 12) as the Matadors travel to Honolulu, Hawai'i to take on the Rainbow Wahine at the Stan Sheriff Center.
- GO MATADORS -