Jan. 7, 2010
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Seniors Jacek Ratajczak and Kevin McKniff combined for 31 kills as ninth-ranked Cal State Northridge advanced to the final of the Santa Barbara Invitational after a 30-21, 30-32, 30-19, 30-19 win over Cal Baptist Thursday at UCSB's Thunderdome.
The Matadors (2-0) advance to the final of the 46th annual invitational for the second consecutive season. Northridge won its first championship last season defeating Stanford in four sets. The Matadors will meet BYU in Friday's championship match at 6:30 p.m. in Robertson Gym.
"We played really well in a couple of games but then were a little inconsistent in game two," said Matador head coach Jeff Campbell. "Overall it was a good match, it's a nice win and I'm glad that we have the opportunity to play in the final again."
The Northridge middle duo of Ratajczak and McKniff were virtually unstoppable as Ratajczak had 17 kills while hitting .682 and McKniff added 14 kills while hitting .636. The two combined to pound 31 kills in 44 swings with just two errors to go with nine blocks. McKniff also contributed four aces for Northridge which had 12 service aces as a team.
Junior Tanner Nua hit a solid .348 with 13 kills in 23 attacks while Theo Edwards (12 kills, .281) and Mike Gaudino (10 kills, .333) also reached double figures in kills. Gaudino also paced the Matadors with 12 digs while setter Matt Stork had 51 assists and five digs.
The Matadors hit a season-high .444 (66-14-117) while the Lancers hit .216 (51-24-125). Cal Baptist (1-2), which upset Long Beach State in five sets earlier on Thursday, was led by Levi Cabral's match-high 21 kills.
- GO MATADORS -