Matadors Fall to 49ers in Season Finale
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - 15th-ranked Cal State Northridge dropped its 2014 season finale as the visiting seventh-ranked Long Beach State 49ers clinched a spot in the postseason with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 win in The Matadome.
The Matadors wind up the season at 10-17 overall and 9-15 in the MPSF as they honored senior libero Charlie Condron in pre-match festivities. CSUN will lose only Condron as it heads into the 2015 season.
"We had the same amount of conference wins we had last season but in actuality the MPSF was so much better this year," said head coach Jeff Campbell who concluded his 17th season. "Give Long Beach credit, they're a great team and it's tough to end the season with a loss but I'm very happy with the improvement we made this year and next season will be even better."
Redshirt freshman Jakub Ciesla came off the bench to put down a team-high nine kills (.273) while junior Greg Faulkner added eight kills while hitting a team-high .438. Sam Holt, who came in averaging a team-high 3.89 kills per set, was held in check by the 49ers as he added seven kills while hitting .118.
The visiting 49ers out-hit the Matadors .482 (36-9-56) to .192 (30-16-73) while Long Beach also had a sizable advantage in blocks (10-2) and digs (21-8).
The opening set saw CSUN open up a 9-7 lead following a Faulkner kill. A Cody Martin kill pulled the 49ers within one and then Taylor Crabb stepped to the service line and Long Beach rolled off six consecutive points to open up a 14-9 cushion. A Holt kill pulled CSUN within 19-16 but three was as close as the Matadors would get the remainder of the set.
The 49ers opened up leads of 11-6 in set two and 13-7 in set three and although CSUN would get within four in set two, the Matadors would not threaten the lead in the final set.
Crabb, who had a match-high 17 kills in the 49ers 3-0 win on Thursday, had a match-high 13 kills on Saturday while hitting .750 on 16 swings. Martin added 10 kills on 19 attacks to hit .474. Long Beach State earned the seventh seed in the MPSF Tournament and will travel to Pepperdine for a Quarterfinal match next week.
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