LONG BEACH, Calif. – Thirteen was a lucky number for Cal State Northridge Saturday evening as the Matadors recorded 13 kills in all three of its set victories at Long Beach State. With its 25-22, 25-23, 19-25, 15-25, 15-12 win over the defending Big West champions, Northridge secured its first-ever season sweep over the 49ers and emerged victorious from the Walter Pyramid for the first time since 2004.
Northridge (16-8, 7-5 BWC) has now won five of its six five-set matches played this season, Long Beach remains winless in its two matches that have gone the distance.
Led by Casey Hinger who tied her season-high with 17, three Matadors recorded double-digit kills against the 49ers (11-11, 6-5 BWC). Haina and Britney Graff added 13 and 10 apiece to aid CSUN's cause.
Graff also earned 12 scoops to record her sixth double-double of the season.
In the decisive fifth set, the Matadors hit .500 by recording 13 kills in 24 attempts, with Haina responsible for the swing that clinched the victory for the Matadors. Six tied scores took place throughout the final frame; once CSUN took a 9-8 lead on Graff's second of three fifth-set kills, the Matadors held the lead for good and were able extend its cushion as the action progressed.
On consecutive points, Sydney Gedryn simply outmuscled the 49ers at the net as she emerged victorious on two jousts to push CSUN's lead to 12-9. Long Beach called a timeout shortly thereafter in an attempt to stem the momentum the Matadors were quickly building, a last-minute effort that did little to disrupt the Matador attack. Hinger and Gedryn each recorded kills to help their team earn its first match point, an opportunity that was quickly taken advantage of once Gedryn assisted Haina on the final play of the match.
Gedryn finished with a team-high 47 assists and narrowly missed earning her ninth double-double of the year as she ended her evening with nine kills. She was also responsible for seven digs and tied Hinger with a team-high four blocks.
Northridge nearly matched its five-set season high with its six service aces; Sam Kaul led all Matadors with two and was followed by Alia Casino, Gedryn, Graff and Cindy Ortiz who tallied one apiece. In another five-set triumph at UC Riverside (Sept. 22) earlier this season, Northridge earned seven points via service ace.
Ortiz also finished with a match-high 19 digs, the 23rd time this season the senior libero recorded 10 or more digs in a match.
Janisa Johnson and Chisom Okpala led Long Beach with 22 and 20 kills respectively, Tara Roenicke finished with a match-high 51 assists for the 49ers.
Cal State Northridge will begin a three-match homestand on Thursday, Nov. 1, in a 7 p.m. contest against the Cal Poly Mustangs (3-19, 2-8 BWC).