RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge picked up an important MPSF road win Thursday as Sam Holt's match-high 22 kills led the Matadors to a 25-23, 25-21, 26-24 victory at Cal Baptist.
CSUN (6-10, 6-9 MPSF) picked up its second road win of the season with the straight set victory, its first away from The Matadome since a Jan. 31st win at Pacific.
"It was a good road win, we played well," said Matador head coach Jeff Campbell. "Sam (Holt) had a nice night and Vaughn (Wellenreiter) also had really good game and served well. We don't have a ton of experience but we had a little more tonight and it paid off."
Holt, who came into the match with a career-high of 19 kills, erased that after connecting for 22 against the Lancers. The sophomore committed just six errors on 37 swings to hit a solid .432. Greg Faulkner (.364) and Jakub Ciesla (.308) each added six kills while Wellenreiter (.625) and Kyle Stevenson (.214) chipped in five kill apiece.
Wellenreiter also notched a career-high three aces while Colby Magorien added a fourth for CSUN. Travis Magorien had a solid night setting with 35 assists to go with four digs and a pair of blocks as the Matadors hit .379 (45-12-87) as a team.
The host Lancers, who out-hit CSUN by 15 percentage points (.394-.379), committed 14 service error and had one ace while the Matadors served four but kept Cal Baptist off balance.
"We served tough which also might have been the difference tonight," added Campbell.
Johannes Brink, who came in ranked fifth in the MPSF in kills per set, was limited to 12 kills (.250) by the Matadors while Kristopher Johnson added 11 kills while hitting .769.
With the score in set one tied at 21-all, Faulkner put up a solo stuff on a Lancer attack which was followed by a Ciesla kill and CSUN forced a CBU timeout at 23-21. A Lancer kill out of the timeout cut the lead to one before Holt answered and after CBU saved one set point, Holt put away a kill giving CSUN the 25-23 win.
Set two was equally tight as the Matadors held a slim 19-18 lead following a CBU kill. But Lancer miscues on three of the next four points gave CSUN the margin it needed as the Matadors opened up a 22-19 lead. Another Holt kill set the Matadors up with set point at 24-20 when, following a set error on Stevenson, Faulkner and Stevenson teamed up to stuff a Lancer attack and CSUN was up two sets.
Cal Baptist looked to stretch the match to a fourth set as the Lancers took a 23-20 lead late in the set after Johnson's attack found the floor. But four straight CSUN points erased the lead and gave the Matadors match point at 24-23. Holt's attack went long saving one set point but a Lancer service error followed by a Ciesla-Faulkner block sent the Matadors to the 3-0 win.
Cal State Northridge returns home for a single match on Saturday as the Matadors host second-ranked BYU in The Matadome at 7 p.m.
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