Matadors' Upset Bid Comes Up Just Short as Cal Poly Wins in Five Sets

Oct. 22, 2010

Final Stats

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Looking for its first win over Cal Poly in five years, Cal State Northridge's upset big came up just short as the Mustangs held off the Matadors in five sets, 25-15, 23-25, 27-29, 25-16, 15-12 Friday at Mott Gym.

Northridge (9-14, 2-6 Big West) was looking to knock off the Mustangs for the first time since 2005 and had a two sets to one lead after a 29-27 win in set three. But Cal Poly (16-6, 6-3 Big West) claimed the final two sets to pull out the win at home.

Freshman Natalie Allen led the Matadors with 14 kills (.111) while junior Una Siljegovic added 11 kills (.152). Freshman Sydney Gedryn came off the bench to post her first collegiate double-double with 38 assists and 10 digs and narrowly missed a triple-double after posting eight blocks. Libero Cindy Ortiz also had a team-high 16 digs in the loss.

After an opening set that saw the Matadors trail by just one (8-7) after a Cal Poly hitting error, CSUN's offense went south and the Matadors eventually trailed by 12 at 22-10 following a 14-3 Mustang run. Cal Poly wrapped up the set on Morales' service error. As a team, Northridge had just six kills in the set while hitting -.080.

The second set appeared to be heading the Mustangs' way as well as Cal Poly used a 5-1 run midway through the set to open up a 13-8 lead. The Mustang lead was four at 17-13 when the Matadors got a pair of blocks along with kills from Nicole Jarvis and Monica McFarland to knot the score at 17-17. CSUN took its first lead since early in the set when Jarvis' solo block gave the Matadors a 19-18 lead. Jarvis' attack error gave Cal Poly its last lead at 21-20 before Northridge rolled off three straight points to take a 23-21 lead. The Mustangs cashed in the next two points to tie the score for the final team as a Cal Poly service error followed by a Gedryn-Morales block evened the match at one set apiece.

CSUN led a good portion of a tight third set. Neither team led by more than two points for the first 42 points of the set. With the score knotted at 18-18, the Matadors outscored the Mustangs 5-2 over the next seven points to take their largest lead at 23-20. But four straight Cal Poly points put the Mustangs back in front 24-23. CSUN regained the lead and had a chance at the set at 25-24 but Kristina Graven's kill evened the set at 25. The Mustangs saved another set point at 26-25 and took two straight points to set up a set point at 27-26. Kills from Gedryn and Mahina Haina put CSUN back in front 28-27 before Gedryn and Morales teamed-up to stuff Olowolafe on set point giving CSUN the 29-27 win and the two sets to one lead.

After putting down 15 kills as a team in set three, the Matadors were limited to nine kills as they dropped the fourth set 25-16. Cal Poly held a slim 13-11 lead before blowing open the set with a 9-2 run. The Mustangs led 22-13 before Northridge scored three straight to pull within 22-16 but the Matadors would get no closer as the match went to a fifth set.

Cal Poly opened the fifth set with three straight points, two coming on Matador hitting errors. Trailing 4-1 after a Graven kill, CSUN claimed the next five points, two coming on Haina kills as the Matadors took a 6-4 lead. Cal POly then answered with a three-point run of its own to retake the lead 7-6 before an Allen-Morales kill ended the run. Back-to-back Mustang kills gave Cal Poly a 9-7 lead before Morales' kill kept the Matadors close at 9-8. A Catie Smith hitting error pulled CSUN even for the final time at 9-9. A pair of Mustang kills opened up a 13-10 lead before the Matadors crept within two at 13-11 and finally 14-12 before Jarvis' hitting error sent Cal Poly to the five-set win.

Graven led the Mustangs with a match-high 25 kills (.264) while Smith added 11 (.077). Cal Poly libero Alison Mort dug a match-high 23 Matador attacks.

Cal State Northridge concludes its two-match road trip Saturday as the Matadors travel to UC Santa Barbara to take on the Gauchos at 7 p.m.