Matador Comeback Comes Up Just Short in Five-Set Loss at UC Davis

Final Stats (PDF)

DAVIS, Calif. - After UC Davis Aggies bolted out to a two-set lead, Cal State Northridge battled back to force a fifth set only to see the hosts pull out an 18-16 fifth set win Friday at the Pavilion.

The Matadors (18-10, 9-6) opened their final road trip of the regular season hoping to move back into a second-place tie in the Big West standings with Long Beach State. Instead, the Matadors slip a full game behind the 49ers (10-5) and are now one-half game behind the Aggies (10-6).

Casey Hinger was one of four Matador hitters to reach double figures in kills as the sophomore pounded a career-high 18 kills while hitting .429 in 35 swings. Hinger also chipped in six block assists as CSUN posted 22 block assists as a team.

Mahina Haina added 13 kills (.200) while Britney Graff (.200) and Cieana Stinson (.111) each chipped in 10. Setter Sydney Gedryn came within one block of her team-leading 10th double-double of the season as the junior posted 50 assists, 10 digs and nine blocks. She also added seven kills in 20 attacks.

As was the case in a pair of earlier five-set losses this season, the Matadors put themselves in a position to win the fifth set only to see the decision go the other way. On Friday, Gedryn's kill off a Cindy Ortiz pass gave CSUN its first match point at 14-13. The Matadors also had match point opportunities at 15-14 and 16-15 but were denied each time. UCD's Devon Damelio put down a kill knotting the score at 16-16 before attack errors from Sam Kaul and Stinson sent the Aggies home victorious.

The Matadors wound up hitting .220 as a team while Davis hit .249. Each team posted 11.0 team blocks while CSUN was out-dug 88-82 despite a team-high 25 digs from Ortiz.

Alison Whitson led all players a match-high 25 kills (.185) to lead the Aggies which also got 14 kills from Katie Quinn (.700).

Cal State Northridge concludes the road portion of the 2012 schedule Saturday at Pacific which dropped a five-set decision to No. 7 Hawaii on Friday.