Feb. 19, 2009
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Fourth-ranked Cal State Northridge used a dominating serving and hitting effort to sweep the visiting Pacific Tigers, 30-14, 30-16, 30-18 in an MPSF match Thursday at The Matadome.
The win is the Matadors fourth straight as Northridge improves to 10-2 overall and 6-2 in the MPSF. The loss, Pacific's ninth straight, drops the Tigers to 2-13 overall and 0-10 in conference play.
The Matadors broke the school's single-match record for team aces with 17 on Thursday as Tanner Nua and Eric Vance each had four, Theo Edwards added three, Kevin McKniff and Mike Gaudino each had two and Matt Stork and Jeff Baxter each added one. The previous record was held by the 1985 team who had 16 aces in three sets against Chapman and the 1990 squad who had 16 aces in four sets against San Diego State.
Vance also pounded a match-high 14 kills while hitting .619 as Northridge hit a robust .526 as a team. The Matadors looked like they might approach the single-match record for hitting percentage (.588 against NJIT in 2007) but came up just short. Edwards (.417) and Gaudino (.412) each added eight kills while McKniff chipped in seven while hitting a match-high .875.
The Matadors also proved up to the task defensively as they held the Tigers to a team hitting clip of .065 with 19 kills and 15 errors in 62 swings. Northridge posted 5.0 team blocks to 2.0 for Pacific and also has 22 digs to 17 for the Tigers.
After Pacific tied the score 3-3 in set one following a Joe Forbes kill, the Matadors, behind Vance's serving, rolled off nine straight points to take a 12-3 lead. A Vance service error pulled Pacific within 12-4 but an ensuing 7-0 Northridge run blew the set wide open at 19-4. A Gaudino kill gave the Matadors a 20-5 lead and Northridge cruised home 30-14.
In the second set, Vance's put-away capped a 6-1 run to open the frame. Another Vance kill opened up an insurmountable 15-7 lead and the Matadors were not threatened the rest of the way. The Tigers got as close as 22-13 after Edwards hit long but at 29-16, a McKniff kill ended the set.
The third set looked similar to the first two after Northridge bolted out to a 9-3 lead following a Vance kill. The lead swelled to 13-6 after a Gaudino kill and ultimately grew to 11 at 18-7. Leading 28-17, the Matadors got a pair of kills from Edwards to close out their fifth consecutive home sweep.
Clay Ostrander led Pacific with nine kills (.136) but no other Tiger hitter registered more than two kills.
Cal State Northridge wraps up its five-match homestand Friday night as the Matadors host seventh-ranked Stanford at 7 p.m.
- GO MATADORS -