LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Cal State Northridge got off to a successful start in its first fall tournament as the Matadors won all six of their matches at the USC Fall Tournament Friday and Saturday at the Galen Center Pavilion.
The Matadors struggled at the same tournament last season playing primarily an all-new starting lineup. Head coach Jeff Campbell played alternated first and second teams over the two-day tournament this season and both lineups found success.
"We won every match so that's a good thing," said Campbell. "Our first and second teams both played well at times but the most important thing is that everybody played and now we've got video on each one of our players to look at."
All matches were best-of-three games and if one team swept the first two games, the two coaches had the option of playing a third game. The Matadors opened the tournament Friday night defeating Lewis 25-17, 25-22, 13-15. Playing on the first unit, newcomer Julius Hoefer had 17 kills (.500) while Matt Stork added 10 kills (.333) in the win. Northridge then swept Cal Baptist 25-22, 29-27 behind its second team as Dillon Auxier had a team-high nine kills (.583), John Baker added seven kills (.667) and Greg Faulkner chipped in four kills in five errorless swings.
The Matadors then had four matches on Saturday beginning with a 16-25, 25-21, 17-15 win over USC. Northridge played its second team against the Trojans' first team and Auxier responded with 10 kills (.350) while Baker added eight (.420). Faulker and Jared Moore combined for eight kills in 15 swings without an error in the middle. The Matadors next took on undefeated UCLA and Northridge handed the Bruins their first loss 29-27, 25-20, 13-15. Stork was the top threat for the Matadors as he pounded a team-high 13 kills while hitting .434. Hoefer added seven kills (.250) while Kyle Stevenson (.555) and Marty Lorenz (.714) each had five kills.
The tournament concluded with wins over Stanford (25-22, 25-15, 15-9) and Pacific (25-20, 25-27, 15-11). Auxier had 12 kills (.526) against the Cardinal while Baker added 11 (.434). Drew Staker and Moore combined for 10 kills in 21 attacks from the middle. Against Pacific, Hoefer had a team-high 14 kills in 26 swings with three errors to hit .423. Faulkner also hit well with eight kills and one error in nine attacks (.778).
"Those were all good teams we played this weekend," said Campbell. "It was nice just to play someone other than ourselves. Matt (Stork) was our best player this weekend but I thought Filip (Tomicic) did a nice job and Brandon (Lebrock) played well at libero which gives us some depth at that position. We need to get more reps but this was certainly a good start."
The Matadors will play one final fall tournament Nov. 11-12 at UCLA's SAC Tournament.
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