NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Cal State Northridge freshman middle blocker Cieana Stinson led all players with a career-high 18 kills in the Matadors' 23-25, 25-19, 25-17, 25-21 win over the visiting Long Beach State 49ers Thursday evening.
CSUN (12-4, 3-1 BWC) has now defeated Long Beach (7-7, 2-1 BWC) in four of its last five head-to-head home matches.
"She (Stinson) has a very live arm... Anytime you place the ball in the air and let her go get it, she is good," said Northridge head coach Jeff Stork. "It is no surprise to us that she had that kind of night."
In addition to Stinson, Mahina Haina recorded 13 kills, the fourth consecutive match the junior outside hitter has recorded double-digit kills. Long Beach State's Delainey Aigner-Swesey hit a team-high .200 and led all 49ers with 14 kills.
The Matadors finished with 14.5 blocks compared to the 49ers' 10; Northridge has now won the net battle in all 12 of its victories this season. Casey Hinger led all Matadors with a season-high eight block assists, followed by Sydney Gedryn with five.
"I thought our blockers were outstanding tonight," added Stork.
CSUN senior libero Cindy Ortiz recorded 29 of her team's 71 digs, the highest individual total earned by any player from either team.
Leading two sets to one, CSUN built an early 8-5 fourth-set lead before Long Beach battled back to tie the score at 16 apiece. Each team took turns scoring against one another before the score was tied again at 20-20. Northridge closed out the match by recording five of the last six points scored; Graff helped her team earn its first match-point opportunity by recording her final service ace, Haina and Hinger officially ended the evening moments later by forcing Long Beach State to commit its 31st, and final attack error of the match.
Led by Britney Graff with her three, four Northridge players combined efforts to record a season-high eight aces. Sam Kaul and Ortiz each scored twice on their serve, with Gedryn responsible for CSUN's other ace.
In addition to hitting .220 (54-21-150), Northridge held Long Beach to a season-low .120 attack percentage as the 49ers earned 51 kills out of their 167 swings.
Thursday's match was only the third time this season that Northridge women's volleyball competed on its home floor, the Matadors have earned wins in two of those matches.
"We play so much better at home in front of a crowd. More fans have come out to support us this season, we really appreciate it. It is amazing to play inside The Matadome," explained Hinger.
Victorious in six of its last seven matches, Northridge will end its brief homestand Saturday evening in a 7 p.m. contest against UC Irvine.