STOCKTON, Calif. - Cal State Northridge bounced back from a tough five-set loss to UC Davis a night earlier with a straight set (25-21, 25-21, 25-17) win over a solid Pacific team Saturday night at the Spanos Center.
In their final meeting as members of the Big West Conference, the Matadors (19-10, 10-6 Big West) swept the Tigers (20-10, 9-9 Big West), the first time Pacific was swept at home in 11 matches this season. The Tigers will move to the West Coast Conference next season.
The Matadors spread the offense around with junior Mahina Haina leading the team with nine kills (.227). Sophomore Casey Hinger added seven kills (.182) and three aces as she and Haina combined for six of CSUN's nine aces. Sam Kaul (.308) and Britney Graff (.211) each added six kills while Sydney Gedryn (.500) and Cieana Stinson (.158) had five kills apiece.
Gedryn also handed out 29 assists and had seven digs and five blocks. The Matadors wound up hitting .238 (38-13-105) as a team meanwhile holding a Pacific team, which came in hitting .216 for the season, to a .112 percentage.
CSUN came out firing hitting .385 while not committing a single hitting error in the opening set. Holding a three-point lead at 15-12, the Matadors won four of the next five points to open up a 19-13 cushion. The Tigers closed to within 23-19 late in the frame but kills from Haina and Graff closed out a 25-21 win.
Set two looked to be all Northridge as the Matadors led 18-10 following a Cindy Ortiz service ace. Still leading by seven at 20-13, Pacific put together a 7-2 run to pull within 22-20 forcing a Matador timeout. The Tigers blocked Haina on the ensuing point to close to 22-21 but kills from Stinson and Kaul late propelled CSUN to the two-set lead.
The Matadors bolted out to an 8-3 lead in the final set and never looked back. A Tiger hitting error gave CSUN an eight-point cushion (17-9) before the lead swelled to as many as nine (19-10) following a Kaul ace. The Matadors then closed out the match on back-to-back aces from Hinger.
Jennifer Sanders led Pacific with nine kills while Anne-Sophie Bauer added seven kills.
Cal State Northridge returns home to close the regular season next week as the Matadors host UC Riverside on Wednesday and Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. CSUN will honor seniors Monica McFarland and Cindy Ortiz prior to Saturday's match.
- GO MATADORS -