Matadors Open Nike Cougar Challenge with Four-Set Loss to Washington State

Sept. 11, 2009

Final Stats

PULLMAN, Wash. - Cal State Northridge opened play at the Nike Cougar Challenge with a 25-16, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21 loss to the host Washington State Cougars Friday afternoon at Bohler Gym.

After opening the season 2-1, the Matadors (2-5) have now dropped four straight matches but will have a chance to end the skid on Saturday afternoon against Idaho. Northridge will also have a rematch with Washington State on Saturday night.

Senior Angela Hupp led the Matadors in kills for the third time this season as she put down 14 kills (.115) to go with 12 digs. The double-double is Hupp's team-leading fourth of the season. Britney Graff posted her second double-double of 2009 with 12 kills (.222) and a team-high 15 digs while Brittany Williams also added 12 kills (.152). Setter Sam Orlandini completed her double-double performance with 41 assists and a career-high 13 digs. Monica McFarland tallied 13 digs from the libero spot and Karina Woehrstein added a season-high 10 digs in the loss.

The Cougars (7-0) took a tight first set as they broke open a 12-11 set by scoring nine of the next 11 points to open up an insurmountable 21-13 advantage. A late Lynda Morales kill pulled Noorthridge within seven at 23-16 but the Matadors would get no closer.

The second set was all Northridge as the Matadors hit .294 on their way to the 25-20 win. With the score tied 1-1 early on, Northridge used a 4-0 run, highlighted by kills from Hupp and Williams, to open up a 5-1 cushion. A McFarland ace gave the Matadors their largest lead of the frame at 12-5. Northridge matched the seven-point lead after a Tela Burnett kill kept the Matadors on top 14-7. The Cougars battled back to within four at 23-19 but Hupp responded with a pair of kills evening the match at one set apiece.

Northridge was not able to build on the momentum however as Washington State opened the third set with a 6-0 run which propelled the Cougars to 25-19 win. The Matadors crept within three at 11-8 following a Williams kill but Northridge would not get within four point the remainder of the set.

After trailing by as much as 12 points (21-9) in set four, the Matadors put together a 10-2 run to pull within 23-19. Williams and Graff had kills during the run and Woehrstein added an ace. Another McFarland ace got Northridge within 24-21 but Graff's hitting error on set point ended the match.

Cassie Robbins led the Cougars with a match-high 16 kills (.464) as Washington State hit .236 as a team.

Cal State Northridge and former Big West rival Idaho meet Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.