March 2, 2011

Matadors Battle But Fall to Eighth-Ranked UCLA 26-24, 27-25, 25-23

March 2, 2011

Final Stats

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge looked to wrap up its homestand on a winning note but eighth-ranked UCLA held off a spirited Matador effort in sweeping CSUN 26-24, 27-25, 25-23 in an MPSF match Wednesday at The Matadome.

The Matadors (4-13, 3-9 MPSF) will now look to snap a three-match skid Friday at fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara. UCLA improves to 10-9 overall and 5-8 in the MPSF with the victory.

Sophomore Dillon Auxier put down a career-high 10 kills (.261) to go with five digs, two blocks and one ace. Freshman Brandon Lebrock added eight kills (.250) and redshirt freshman Marty Lorenz had seven kills (.333) and five blocks in his first action since Jan. 12. Matador setter Matt Stork posted 34 assists, five blocks and had two of CSUN's five aces while leading the Matadors to a .250 (39-17-88) hitting clip.

"We played well tonight and obviously we were right there with them," said head coach Jeff Campbell. "We just weren't good enough to beat them."

UCLA out-hit the Matadors .375 (48-15-88) to .250 and had 29 team digs to 20 for CSUN. The Matadors did have a slight edge in blocks posting 9.0 as a team to 8.5 for the Bruins.

The opening set was the tightest of the night as the score was tied 11 times and the lead changed hands twice. UCLA took an early 3-1 lead before the Matadors used a Bruin service error, a Tanner Nua kill and a Lorenz-Stork block to take their only lead 4-3. But the Bruins then capitalized on a pair of CSUN miscues followed by a Nick Vogel-Alex Scattareggia block to take back the lead 6-4. The UCLA lead was at least two until a Vogel service error and a Kyle Caldwell hitting error pulled Northridge even at 10-10.

The two teams then traded sideouts until 15-15 when UCLA used a Caldwell kill followed by an Auxier hitting error to take the lead for good, 17-15. Another Vogel-Caldwell block gave the Bruins their biggest lead at 21-18 and UCLA also led by three at 22-19 before the Matadors put together a late charge. Kills from Nua and Drew Staker along with a Stork ace pulled CSUN even at 22-22 but the Bruins responded with a Caldwell kill and when Staker's attack found the net, UCLA had set point at 24-22. Kills from Lebrock and Auxier staved off two set points but back-to-back kills from Weston Dunlap and Caldwell gave the Bruins set one 26-24.

Set two was equally tight although the Matadors never led in the frame. The Bruins opened up an early 5-2 lead only to see CSUN battle back to even things at 7-7 following a Caldwell hitting error. With the score tied at 9-9, kills from Scattareggia and Dunlap followed by a Dunlap-Robart Page block on Nua gave UCLA its largest lead at 12-9. Trailing by three at 16-13, the Matadors scored three unanswered to tie the score at 16-16. CSUN stayed within striking distance and again overcame a 21-19 UCLA lead to tie the score on a Lorenz kill and a Jeremy Casebeer hitting error.

But the Bruins answered each and every time the Matadors drew even and a Stork setting error gave UCLA set point at 24-22. But again CSUN saved a pair of set points as a Lebrock kill and a Caldwell hitting error evened the score at 24-24. A Caldwell kill gave the Bruins another set point at 25-24 but his ensuing serve found the net and the Matadors tied the score for the final time at 25-25. Gonzalo Quiroga's kill and a Scattareggia setter dump on set point put UCLA up 2-0.

The Matadors came out blazing in the third set scoring seven of the first eight points and looked to send the match to a fourth set. CSUN still led 9-3 before the Bruins slowly began to whittle away at the lead. Trailing 14-11, UCLA outscored the Matadors 5-2 over the next seven points to tie the score for the first time at 16-16. The run however was not over as two more points out of a CSUN timeout put the Bruins on top 18-16.

But the Matadors would not go away as a Lorenz kill, a Bruin hitting error and a John Baker ace gave Northridge its final lead at 19-18. Back-to-back kills from Quiroga and Vogel quickly gave the Bruins the lead back at 20-19 and despite the Matadors pulling even at 20-20 and again at 21-21, UCLA pulled away late and Vogel's kill at 24-23 gave the Bruins the 3-0 victory.

Caldwell led UCLA with a match-high 11 kills (.300) while Dunlap added 10 kills (.667) and three blocks. Vogel and Quiroga each chipped in eight kills with Vogel adding a team-high five blocks.

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