Matadors' Upset Bid Comes Up Short at Top-Ranked BYU

Final Stats

PROVO, Utah - Sam Holt pounded a career-high 18 kills and ninth-ranked Cal State Northridge nearly overcame a two-set deficit before falling in four sets (25-15, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23) at top-ranked BYU Saturday at Smith Fieldhouse.

After opening a three-match road trip with a 3-0 win at UC San Diego, the Matadors (4-4, 2-4 MPSF) dropped the final two matches but will open up a season-long, five-match homestand Wednesday, Feb. 6 against USC.

After dropping the first two sets to the Cougars (6-2, 5-1 MPSF) on Saturday, CSUN won the third set 25-22 and battled to a 23-23 tie late in set four. But a Travis Magorien service error and a Jared Moore hitting error foiled any thoughts the Matadors had of forcing a fifth set as BYU defeated CSUN for the fourth straight time.

Holt, a redshirt freshman from Cincinnati, Ohio, made his first collegiate start at opposite and responded with 18 kills, the most by a Matador hitter since Brandon Lebrock had 19 against UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 11. Holt, who accounted for 20 of CSUN's 62 points in the match, hit .286 in a match-high 36 swings while also adding five digs, two blocks and one ace. Lebrock added 10 kills (.125) and a team-high seven digs while Moore chipped in nine kills but hit just .263 in a career-high 19 attacks.

Trailing 8-6 in the opening set, the Matadors quickly saw the frame get away as a 6-2 BYU run put to Cougars on top 14-8. Things got worse for CSUN as Lebrock's attack was stuffed at the net giving BYU an insurmountable 19-11 lead. After hitting .026 in dropping set one, the Matadors hit .296 in set two but fell 25-22. The set was tight throughout with the Cougars leading by no more than four. Trailing 23-19 late, the Matadors got kills from John Baker and Holt to get within 23-21. A Drew Staker kill also kept Northridge within two (24-22) before Patch's kill provided the final margin.

The Matadors got their offense clicking in the third set as they hit .476 with Holt connecting for five kills. Holding a slim 11-9 lead, CSUN rolled off a 6-2 run to open up a 17-11 cushion. The Cougars battled back to within 24-22 late but Moore's kill pushed the match to a fourth set.   

For BYU, Taylor Sander matched Holt with 18 kills (.382) while Ben Patch added 15 kills while hitting .464. The Cougars out-hit the Matadors .406 to .220 and were just the second team in 2013 to out-block Northridge, 16.5-9.0.