Oct. 17, 2009
LONG BEACH, Calif. - After a disastrous opening set, Cal State Northridge played even with No. 25 Long Beach State before the 49ers prevailed in three sets 25-12, 27-25, 28-26 on Saturday at the Walter Pyramid.
The loss ends a mini two-match win streak for the Matadors, who slip to 6-14 overall and 2-5 in the Big West. Long Beach improves to 12-5 overall and 5-2 in conference.
Junior Brittany Williams had a team-high 11 kills on a night that the Matadors struggled to get much going on offense. Williams hit .226 and also added five digs and a pair of blocks. Lynda Morales and Angela Hupp each added six kills but both hit under .100. Hupp, who added nine digs and five blocks, and Sam Orlandini combined for 34 assists and Orlandini served two of the Matadors three aces.
Northridge looked good early in the first set as the Matadors bolted to an early 5-0 lead on kills from Williams and Morales and three 49er hitting errors. Long Beach however settled down to score the next nine points and Northridge played from behind the remainder of the set. An Orlandini ace temporarily pulled the Matadors within 10-8 but the 49ers outscored Northridge 15-4 over the remainder of the set.
Northridge had 12 hitting errors and hit -.167 as a team in the opening set but would bounce back over the next two sets.
Long Beach never led by more than four points in set two as the Matadors battled back from a 17-13 deficit to take a brief 20-19 lead after Hupp and Chelsea Johnson blocked Naomi Washington. But Washington kill and a setting error on Orlandini gave the 49ers back the lead at 21-20. After a Siara Grayson service error gave Long Beach set point at 24-23, Northridge got a Williams kill and a solo block from Tela Burnett and had a chance to serve for the set at 25-24. But three straight 49er points, two on kills from Jocelyn Neely put Long Beach up two sets to none.
Northridge trailed for a good portion of set three before a pair of Washington hitting errors put the Matadors on top for the first time at 24-23. Northridge also served for the set at 25-24 and 26-25 but were denied each time and with the score tied 26-26, the 49ers used a Britney Graff hitting error and a Brittney Herzog kill to end the match.
Washington wound up leading Long Beach State in kills with 14 (.143) while Caitlin Ledoux added 11 (.370).
Cal State Northridge returns home to open a season-long, four-match homestand next Friday, Oct. 23 as the Matadors host Pacific at 7 p.m.
- GO MATADORS -