Johnson, Kepler, Williams Lead Matadors Past UC Riverside
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Junior Val Kepler along with freshmen Alex Johnson and Brittany Williams each had 10 kills apiece as Cal State Northridge defeated UC Riverside, 30-20, 30-27, 30-28 in a Big West Conference match on Friday.
With the win, the Matadors improve to 9-14 overall and 6-5 in the Big West. The loss drops the Highlanders to 5-15 overall and 1-8 in conference play. The win is Northridge's fourth straight over UCR.
Kepler hit a team-high .500 on her way to 10 kills while Johnson hit .280 and Williams hit at a .214 clip. Sophomore Angela Hupp had a solid all-around match as she tallied seven kills, a team-high 30 assists, six digs, two aces and three blocks. Junior Kayla Wright also added a double-double with 16 assists, a team-high 15 digs and a career-high four aces in the Matadors' third road win of the season.
For UCR, senior Angie Mitchell had a match-high 11 kills, hitting .304 on the night. Junior Kelly Quinn added seven kills (.700) while fellow junior Raquel Salinas chipped in six kills (.545).
Northridge out-hit Riverside, .231 (53-23-130) to .176 (41-20-119).
The Highlanders struggled in game one, amassing just seven kills and hitting .000 as the Matadors pulled out a 30-20 win. Northridge wasn't much better hitting just .186 and committing 11 hitting errors in the frame. The Highlanders trailed by one at 13-12. but the Matadors built the margin to five at 18-13. UCR got back to within three at 23-20, but the Matadors scored the last seven points of the game.
In game two, the teams were tied at 25-25, but the Matadors took advantage of three Highlander hitting errors to post a 30-27 win. UCR improved its hitting with a .333 clip in the game.
In game three, the Highlanders roared back from a late 28-24 deficit to cut the lead to 28-27. But the Matadors held on for the 30-28 win.
The win gives Northridge a season-long two-match win streak as the Matadors head to UC Irvine for a showdown with the third-place Anteaters. Match time at Crawford Court is 7 p.m. on Saturday.
- GO MATADORS -