Matadors Overcome Slow Start To Hold Off Fresno State in Season Opener
SEATTLE, Wash. - Freshman outside hitter Alex Johnson pounded a match-high 22 kills and junior Harmony Burdine added 16 as Cal State Northridge won its season opener in five games (25-30, 32-30, 30-28, 23-30, 15-12) at the Husky Classic.
With the win, the Matadors claim their season-opener for the second straight season. The loss drops the Bulldogs to 0-1 on the young season.
In her collegiate debut, Johnson came up big for Northridge as she pounded 22 kills with seven errors in 50 swings for a .300 hitting clip. The freshman from Westlake Village also added 20 digs for her first collegiate double-double. Burdine also notched the double-double with 16 kills (.292) and 23 digs. Matador libero Kelley Hanson recorded 29 digs and Northridge posted 99 digs and 20.0 blocks as a team.
Fresno State was led by Kelly Leonardo who led the team with a .345 hitting percentage while Tiffany Hess recorded 48 assists. Lisa Gera had a match-high 32 digs followed by Angela Wiggins with 13 and Meghan Moss with 12. Lauren Berger added eight blocks for Fresno State.
Fresno State came out strong in game one as the Bulldogs opened a 10-point cushion at 14-4. The Matadors got within four at 28-24 before Fresno State closed out Northridge 30-25.
Game two had 10 ties and the Matadors hit .254 compared to just .143 for Fresno State as Northridge evened the match at 1-1 with a 30-32 victory.
Game three was just as close as game two with the Matadors prevailing again, 30-28. With the score tied 24-24, the Bulldogs rolled off three straight points to take a 27-24 lead. But the Matadors answered with a 5-0 run to salt away the win.
In game four, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back on their way to a 30-23 victory.
In the decisive game five, the Matadors an impressive .556 (12-2-18) to .111 (5-3-18) for the Bulldogs. Northridge used an impressive Amy Hultner dig followed by a Cara Crowder solo stuff to propel itself to the 15-12 win.
Cal State Northridge continues tournament play on Saturday as the Matadors tangle with San Francisco (0-1) at 1 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. match with eighth-ranked Washington (1-0).
- GO MATADORS -