Aug. 29, 2009
BOISE, Idaho - Freshman Britney Graff had the best match of her very young collegiate career on Saturday as she put down 16 kills to go with 18 digs as Cal State Northridge defeated Northern Arizona in five sets.
In their second match of the Bronco Invitational, the Matadors (1-1) claimed their first win of the year with the 23-25, 25-11, 24-26, 25-14, 15-12 thriller over the Lumberjacks (1-1).
Graff led all hitters in the match with 16 kills while hitting a solid .333. She also had 18 digs to complete her first collegiate double-double and contributed three of Northridge's seven aces in the match.
Sophomore setter Sam Orlandini dished out 57 assists as four different Matador hitters reached double figures in kills. Senior Angela Hupp nearly missed a triple-double as she added 15 kills (.256) to go with 10 digs and nine blocks. Junior Lynda Morales chipped in 14 kills (.357) and six blocks and fellow junior Brittany Williams added 12 kills (.194), four digs and three blocks. Libero Monica McFarland also had a career-high 23 digs in the win.
The Matadors also posted a sizable advantage in blocks as Northridge had 16.0 team blocks to 5.5 for NAU. As a team, the Matadors hit .277 while limiting the Lumberjacks to an .074 clip.
"This was a much better effort than last night against Tulsa," said Head Coach Jeff Stork. "Britney Graff was outstanding today and Monica was digging a lot of balls for us. I also thought Lynda was rock solid, that's the type of player we know she can be for us."
After Northridge won the second and fourth sets rather handily, the Matadors had to battle in the first and third sets. The decisive fifth set was also a battle. Northridge battled back from a two-point deficit on three occasions (7-5, 8-6, 9-7) and ultimately tied the score 9-9 on a Karina Woehrstein service ace. The Matadors wrestled back the lead at 11-10 after an NAU hitting error and would not be deterred even after the Lumberjacks tied the set 12-12. Back-to-back kills from Hupp and Williams followed by a Graff ace earned the Matadors their first win of the year in dramatic fashion.
"We straightened ourselves out a little bit late in the match," added Stork. "We certainly showed some composure at the end."
Lauren Campbell led NAU with 13 kills and 15 digs while Lumberjack libero Anna Gott posted a match-high 27 digs.
Northridge wraps up the Bronco Invitational tonight at 7 p.m. as the Matadors take on the host Boise State Broncos.
- GO MATADORS -