Matadors Claim Final Two Sets to Knock Off Elon For First Win of 2010

Sept. 3, 2010

Final Stats

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Freshman Natalie Allen put down a match-high 20 kills and junior Puneet Pataria added 13 as Cal State Northridge claimed its first win of the season with a come-from-behind five set win over Elon at the Sacramento State Invitational.

The Matadors (1-3) dropped the opening set 27-25 before taking set two 25-22. Elon (5-1) went back on top with a 25-20 victory in set three setting the stage for Northridge's first comeback win of the 2010 season.

The Matadors fell behind 8-4 early in the fourth set before putting together a 7-3 run, capped by a co-block from Allen and Pataria, to knot the score at 11-11. Another Allen-Pataria block gave Northridge its first lead of the set 12-11. Elon regained the lead until a Sarah Schemerhorn hitting error put the Matadors back in front to stay 15-14. A Pataria service ace gave Northridge its biggest lead 19-15 before the Phoenix battled back to within one at 22-21, 23-22 and 24-23. But a Traci Stewart hitting miscue on set point set the match to a fifth and deciding set.

An Allen kill followed by a co-block from Allen and Jarvis gave the Matadors a 4-1 lead early in the fifth set. Following a pair of Elon hitting errors, kills from Allen and Alvarado gave Northridge its biggest lead at 8-2. Back-to-back Phoenix points cut the lead to 8-4 before Allen answered and Orlandini and Pataria teamed-up to stuff Allison Johnson and the Matadors led 10-4.

The lead grew to seven (11-4) after Pataria's kill and Northridge used a Phoenix service error to gain match point at 14-6. Elon however saved six match points, ultimately pulling within 14-12 before the Matadors claimed their first win on a Megan McMahon service error.

Allen, who hit .366, completed her first collegiate double-double by adding 10 digs. Sophomore Monica McFarland also posted a double-double with 11 kills (.211) and a season-high 20 digs while Pataria, who came on for an injured Lynda Morales, had 13 kills (.524), two aces and nine assisted blocks. Junior setter Sam Orlandini had a solid all-around match with 42 assists, eight digs and six blocks.

The Matadors had a slim .209 (56-22-163) to .208 (66-31-168) advantage in hitting and out-blocked their fourth straight opponent, this time 16.0-6.0.

Cal State Northridge continues tournament action on Saturday as the Matadors meet Texas-San Antonio at 10 a.m. and host Sacramento State at 7:30 p.m.

- GO MATADORS -