SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Based on Friday's exhibition round of play, 14th-ranked Cal State Northridge will officially open the 2014 season Saturday against the Pacific Tigers at 10 a.m. The Matadors and Tigers will play the first of four matches in the final round of the Asics UCSB Invitational.
In four best-of-three exhibition matches on Friday, CSUN fell to No. 4 Long Beach State (2-0), IPFW (2-0), No. 2 UCLA (2-1) and UC San Diego (2-1).
"It was nice to be able to play all these teams in an exhibition format in which the matches don't count on your record," said Head Coach Jeff Campbell. "We were able to play both first and second team players and get another chance to see some guys play before the season opens Saturday."
Among the highlights in Friday's morning matches, redshirt freshman Jakub Ciesla put down a team-high five kills in the opener against Long Beach State. CSUN middles Greg Faulkner added four kills (.333) and Brian O'Gorman chipped in three (.600). Against IPFW, redshirt freshman Damani Lenore put down a team-high seven kills while hitting .400 on 15 swings.
The Matadors played better in the afternoon session taking both UCLA and UC San Diego to three sets. Against the Bruins, Lenore connected for six kills while hitting .450 on 11 attacks. In Friday's finale against UCSD, Ciesla, Faulkner and Chance Earnest each had eight kills with Ciesla hitting .470 on 17 swings, Faulkner .460 and Earnest .333.
Following Saturday's match with MPSF rival Pacific, CSUN will open conference play next Wednesday, Jan. 8 as the Matadors host Cal Baptist at 7 p.m.
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