January 12, 2013

CSUN Earns First Win With See-Saw Five-Setter Over UC Santa Barbara

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - In a see-saw five-set match that saw each team dominate two sets, 11th-ranked Cal State Northridge had enough to top ninth-ranked UC Santa Barbara 25-16, 16-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-13 for its first win of 2013 Friday night at The Matadome.

In winning sets one and three, the Matadors (1-1, 1-1 MPSF) hit .455 and .357 but in dropping sets two and four, Northridge hit .000 and .062. Conversely, the Gauchos (3-2, 1-1 MPSF) hit .458 and .268 in the two sets they won and .154 and .115 in the two losing sets.

The match came down to the fifth set where Northridge had to overcome a trio of two-point deficits, the last at 11-9 following a kill from Gaucho setter Jonah Seif. Brandon Lebrock answered with back-to-back kills, the second coming when Seif was called for a net violation.

With the score tied at 11-11,  a Drew Staker serve was mishandled by UCSB and a Gaucho hitting error gave CSUN a two-point cushion at 13-11. Staker's ensuing serve went long before Lebrock's kill gave the Matadors match-point at 14-12. After Travis Magorien's serve was long saving one match point, Northridge sent its home fans happy when John Baker's swing found the floor.

"I thought that they affected us with their serving in the sets we lost," said Matador head coach Jeff Campbell. "You have to give them credit in the sets they won but it always comes down to serving and passing in a match that goes five. We were down 13-11 to a really good Santa Barbara team and came back and won so I'm really happy with our team, we fought and never gave up."

Lebrock wound up with a match-high 19 kills to lead the Matadors while also adding 10 digs for his first career double-double. Lebrock hit .224 in a season-high 49 swings while also serving a pair of aces. Senior Jared Moore also had double figures in kills with 10 while hitting .529 in 17 attacks. Moore also posted a match-high six blocks including two solo stuffs.

Drew Staker and John Baker each added seven kills with Baker also recording two aces while setter Travis Magorien handed out 45 assists to go with three aces. As a team, the Matadors had a season-high 11 aces while hitting .219 (48-20-128) for the match.

A trio of UCSB hitters posted double figures in kills led by Austin Kingi's 15 (.231). Matt Marsh added 12 (.206) and Kevin Donohue came off the bench to put down 10 (.250). As a team, the Gauchos hit .241 (58-26-133) with Marsh serving two of the teams four aces.

Cal State Northridge continues its three-match homestand next week as the Matadors host Concordia (Jan. 16) and Grand Canyon (Jan. 18) in a pair of non-conference matches.

- GO MATADORS -