NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge improved to 7-0 on its home court as the 24th-ranked Matadors swept the visiting UC Riverside Highlanders Saturday behind 16 kills from Casey Hinger and 14 from Mahina Haina.
CSUN, which completed a 3-0 homestand, improves to 19-4 overall and the Matadors remain atop the Big West at 9-1. With 19 wins in 23 matches, Northridge has matched the 1984 and 1986 Matador teams which both had 19-4 records through 23 matches.
On Saturday, Hinger and Haina both proved virtually unstoppable as did most of the CSUN offense. Hinger connected for a match-high 16 kills in 19 errorless swings to hit an impressive .842. Haina wasn't far behind as the senior had 14 kills in 23 errorless attacks to hit .609.
As a team, the Matadors hit a season-high .455 committing just six hitting errors in the match. Sydney Gedryn and Steffi Miller shared setting duties as Miller handed out 19 while Gedryn had 16. The two also combined for five blocks and four kills.
"Casey and Mahi were off the charts tonight," said CSUN head coach Jeff Stork. "No hitting errors on that many swings makes for a very good offensive night for us. As a team, we were hitting around .500 for most of the night and we sided-out at a high percentage so overall we're playing good volleyball."
In posting their eighth sweep of the season, the Matadors had to battle the visiting Highlanders in each of the first two sets. Each set was tied five different times, in set one it was as late as 15-15. A UCR hitting error followed by a Gedryn kill, a Britney Graff ace and a Natalie Allen-Gedryn block gave CSUN a 19-15 lead. Despite a 2-0 Highlander run temporarily cut the lead to 19-17, the Matadors outscored UCR 6-2 over the final eight points to pull away 25-19.
The second frame was nearly identical despite Northridge bolting out to a 10-2 lead. The Highlanders engineered a 13-5 run to knot the score at 15-15 on a Fabiana Rosas kill. But three straight CSUN points, two coming on Hinger kills, boosted the lead back to three. A Miller service error pulled UCR within 18-16 but again, the Matadors put together a late run to pull away by the identical 25-19 score.
The CSUN lead was 10-2 to open the final set as well but this time the Highlanders could only get within three the remainder of the set. Leading 24-17, Haina's 14th kill of the night on match point sent the 24th-ranked Matadors to their ninth win in the last 10 matches.
Annishia McKoy led UC Riverside (1-21, 0-10 Big West) with 10 kills while hitting .714 on 14 errorless attacks. Ashley Cox and Tyler Dorsey each added nine kills for the Highlanders.
Cal State Northridge hits the road for its next two matches as the Matadors travel to UC Irvine (Nov. 8) and Long Beach State (Nov. 9) next week.
- GOMATADORS.COM -