Matadors Hold Off Cal State Bakersfield To Win in Four Games
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Junior Val Kepler knocked down a team-high 14 kills and Cal State Northridge held off Cal State Bakersfield 30-23, 25-30, 30-21, 30-24 in a non-conference match Thursday in The Matadome.
With the win, the Matadors claim their third win in their last four matches and improve to 10-15 overall. The loss drops the Roadrunners to 6-18 on the season.
Kepler, who hit a solid .542 and added three aces and eight blocks, was the only Northridge hitter to register double figures in kills. Freshman Brittany Williams added nine kills (.269) and sophomore Angela Hupp had eight kills (.080), 17 assists and 10 digs. Libero Amy Hultner posted a team-high 14 digs and Jenn Probert added a match-high nine blocks. As a team, the Matadors registered a season-high 36 block assists, the highest total for a Northridge team in the rally scoring era (since 2001) and the second highest total for a four-game match in Matador women's volleyball history.
For Cal State Bakersfield, Sarah Norman pounded a match-high 19 kills but hit just .109 in the loss. Three other Roadrunner hitters added eight kills while Norman completed the double-double by adding 15 digs. Libero Mystie McNaughton posted a match-high 18 digs.
After trailing early in game one (the last at 4-3), the Matadors took a five-point lead (11-6) after Kepler and Alex Johnson teamed up to block Norman. The Northridge lead swelled to 13-6 after a Probert kill and a Melissa Myers hitting error. Bakersfield cut the lead to three at 20-17 after a Myers kill but would get no closer as the Matadors took game one 30-23.
The Roadrunners jumped out to a 7-3 lead in game two and eventually led 12-6 following a Norman kill. But Northridge took 10 of the next 12 points to take a 16-14 lead capped by a Kepler-Johnson co-block. But CS Bakersfield answered with a 6-0 run of its own with McNaughton at the service line and the Roadrunners would not trail again taking the 30-25 decision.
The Matadors bounced back in game three as Northridge led wire-to-wire. Bakersfield managed to tie the score four times, the last at 9-9 before the Matadors reeled off six straight points to lead by six at 15-9. The Northridge lead swelled to seven (19-12) after Norman's attack went long and the Matadors were not threatened the rest of the way in game three.
In what turned out to be the decisive game four, the two teams played evenly until Northridge took a 16-13 lead on a Kayla Wright kill. But the Matadors could not pull away and the Roadrunners closed to within one at 23-22 on a Norman kill. But back-to-back kills from Hupp and Lynda Morales gave Northridge the cushion it needed as the Matadors pulled away 30-24.
Cal State Northridge returns to Big West action on Saturday, Nov. 3 as the Matadors host Long Beach State at 7 p.m.
- GO MATADORS -