SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The Cal State Northridge hitters struggled for the second straight match as the Matadors dropped a straight set decision (25-18, 25-14, 25-16) to the host Utah Utes in their second match of the Utah Classic Saturday at Crimson Court.
Northridge (0-2), which hit .027 against Northwestern on Friday night, hit just .009 (24-23-109) against Utah on Saturday. Freshman Casey Hinger's six kills (.188) were enough to lead the Matadors who also got five kills apiece from Mahina Haina (.045) and Natalie Allen (-.044). Cindy Ortiz and Sydney Gedryn each had two aces while Ortiz added a match-high 15 digs.
The Matadors looked good early in the first set as a Utah hitting error put CSUN on top 9-6. Natalie Allen's first kill of the season kept the Matadors in front 10-8 before the roof caved in. The Utes outscored CSUN 9-1 over the next 10 points to take an insurmountable 17-11 lead. Another Allen kill temporarily pulled the Matadors within 19-14 but CSUN would get no closer dropping the set 25-18.
Another huge Utah run in set two doomed the Matadors after a Nicole Jarvis-Gedryn block pulled Northridge within 7-5. Nine straight points propelled the Utes to a 16-5 lead and despite the Matadors pulling within eight points (22-14) late, Utah went up two sets with the 25-14 win.
The third set was more of the same as the Utes broke open a 3-2 score with a 12-3 run forcing the Matadors to call timeout trailing 15-5. Things got no better for CSUN as the Matadors eventually went down 22-11 and ultimately dropped the set 25-16.
Morgan Odale led Utah (2-0) with a match-high 10 kills (.286) as the Utes hit .284 in the win.
Northridge plays again at 4 p.m. against former Big Sky foe Weber State to conclude play at the Utah Classic.
- GO MATADORS -