Matt Stork's Team-High 18 Kills Not Enough as Matadors Fall to No. 12 Loyola

March 9, 2011

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Junior Matt Stork made his second start of the season at outside hitter and put down a Matador season-high 18 kills but 12th-ranked Loyola held off Northridge in four sets (21-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-21) in a non-conference match Wednesday at The Matadome.

The Matadors (4-15) dropped their fifth consecutive match and their seventh in eight matches at home this season. The 12th-ranked Ramblers (13-4) became the first non-MPSF team to defeat CSUN at home in a non-conference match since 2000.

Stork, who also started at outside hitter against Ohio State on Feb. 4, pounded a career-high 18 kills while hitting .333 in 39 swings. He finished off his second double-double of the season with a match-high 12 digs. The junior also had two aces and four blocks to round out a solid all-around match.

Sophomore Dillon Auxier added nine kills while hitting .412 and senior Tanner Nua chipped in seven kills (.087) and seven digs. Junior Danny Rodrick made his first start of the season as the Matador setter and registered 36 assists, six digs and had a pair of aces. Redshirt freshman Marty Lorenz had seven of CSUN's 10.5 team blocks.

The Ramblers out-hit the Matadors .288 (50-18-111) to .262 (49-17-122) and had 50 team digs to 38 for Northridge. Both teams had five aces but the Matadors committed 21 service errors.

"We hit .262 so that was much better than we've hit much of the season," said Matador head coach Jeff Campbell. "A lot of that had to do with Matt Stork's hitting but we've got do some other things. Once we get some of our setting issues resolved I think we'll hit for an even higher percentage. But overall this was encouraging to me."

The Matadors overcame an early 12-9 Loyola lead in the opening set as a Stork kill pulled CSUN even at 12-12. The teams traded sideouts until 17-17 when a Lorenz-Rodrick block followed by a Rambler hitting error put the Matadors up 19-17. After a Loyola kill, Lorenz had a hand in two points and Stork's kill capped a 3-0 Matador run as CSUN took the lead for good 22-18. Rodrick's ace on set point gave the Matadors their first set one win since Jan. 15.

The Ramblers won the second set 25-22 despite hitting just .083 as the Matadors hurt themselves with nine service errors. Loyola then hit a match-high .484 to take set three holding off Northridge which hit .440.

The fourth set featured 10 ties and four lead changes as the two teams battled to a 20-20 tie. But a Dainis Berzins kill followed by a co-block on Nua and a Stork hitting error gave the Ramblers the cushion they needed and following a Staker kill, Loyola scored the final two points to seal the match.

Mike Bunting had a match-high 19 kills (.444) to lead the Ramblers while Joseph Smalzer added 15 (.219). Setter Mike Hutz dished out 44 assists to go with 12 digs in the win.

Cal State Northridge continues its four-match homestand Saturday as the Matadors host Harvard in a non-conference match at 7 p.m.