USF Holds Off Matadors In Five-Set Thriller

USF Holds Off Matadors In Five-Set Thriller

Box Score

SEATTLE, Wash. - Five Cal State Northridge hitters reached double figures in kills led by Harmony Burdine's 16 but the Matadors dropped the final three games in a five-game setback to San Francisco (30-27, 30-24, 27-30, 30-32, 10-15) Saturday at the Husky Classic.

With the win, the Dons even their record at 1-1 while the Matadors also head into their final match (vs. Washington) with a 1-1 record.

Burdine led Northridge with 16 kills (.245) and also added 12 digs and a pair of blocks. Junior Val Kepler chipped in 13 kills (.346) and added a match-high seven blocks. Other Matadors to reach double figures in the kills column included Alex Johnson (12), Angela Hupp (11) and Lynda Morales (10). Hupp also added 13 digs for her first double-double of the season and Amy Hultner racked up a match-high 29 digs. Northridge wound up out-hitting USF .253 to .224.

For USF, Carly Babin knocked down a career-high 20 kills (.429) to go with five blocks (three solo), while junior Alix Gombos matched her career-high with 16 kills (.500) hitting with five blocks (one solo).

USF dug a hole early in game one, trailing 11-5. After a timeout the Dons roared back on a 10-1 run to seize a 15-12 advantage, prompting the Matadors to call time. Cal State Northridge rallied and tied the score at 18-18. San Francisco opened up a 25-22 lead, but the Matadors went on an 8-2 run to take game one. USF hit a dismal .125 with eight attack errors and three service errors.

In game two San Francisco led 11-10, but the Matadors pulled ahead capitalizing on more Dons miscues to take 13-12 edge and would not trail again. USF recorded more kills, 17-15, but committed eight attack errors and six service errors. Gombos led the way with four kills in the second set.

Down 2-0, San Francisco responded to the challenge and built a 17-11 lead in the third frame. After taking a timeout, Northridge responded to climb back in with a 6-2 run to close to within two at 19-17. The Matadors tied it at 22-22, but the Dons rallied for the win. USF hit at a .348 clip with 21 kills. Babin erupted for eight kills in the third set and Gombos added five.

USF rallied back from a 14-11 deficit to 16-15 edge and traded points with Matadors until taking the lead for good at 31-30 on a service ace by junior defensive specialist Tiffany Woo. Kearney then recorded the game-winning kill. Webster led the way in game four with six kills, while Mandala chipped in five. Babin led a strong Dons block with four (two solo) to go along with a pair of kills.

Cal State Northridge led 2-0 in game five, but USF went on a 7-2 run to seize momentum and rolled to the win.

The Matadors wrap up the tournament Saturday night at 7 p.m. against the host and eighth-ranked Washington Huskies.