Torrid Hitting Leads Matadors to 25-23, 25-16, 25-17 Sweep Over UC Davis

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge put together one of its best all-around matches of the season as the Matadors swept UC Davis 25-23, 25-16, 25-17 in a Big West match Friday night at The Matadome.

Northridge (12-11, 6-5 Big West) shattered its season-high by hitting .465 as a team as no Matador hitter hit less than .353. Sophomore Mahina led the charge with a match-high 15 kills (.379) while Casey Hinger and Natalie Allen each added 12 kills. Hinger hit .750 in 16 swings with no hitting errors while Allen checked in at .391 in 23 attacks.

Sophomore setter Sydney Gedryn had 48 assists in three sets leading a balanced attack that committed just eight hitting errors in 101 swings. The Matadors also had 46 team digs with 21 coming from junior libero Cindy Ortiz.

CSUN wound up out-hitting the Aggies .465-.226 and had a 46-31 advantage in digs. UC Davis served six aces to the Matadors' four while the blocking was fairly even.

The two teams traded sideouts until 5-5 in the opening set when CSUN got a pair of kills from Gedryn along with a kill and a block from Hinger to open up a 9-5 cushion. The Matador lead was at least two until a Valerie Brain put-away cut the CSUN lead to 17-16. But a Britney Graff kill followed by a Gedryn-Hinger co-block boosted the lead back to three (19-16). But the Aggies kept it interesting by cutting the lead to one three times in the latter stages, the last at 24-23 when Allen put away set point giving the Matadors the 25-23 win.

With Northridge holding a slim 5-4 lead in set two, Allen's kill propelled the Matadors on a 13-4 run during which the Aggies spent both timeouts. Hinger and Allen combined for six kills and each had an ace during the decisive run. After the Aggies cut the lead to 22-16, kills from Hinger, Allen and Haina wrapped up the set in convincing fashion.

Another Allen kill gave the Matadors a 7-4 cushion early in set three. A Katie Denny ace temporarily pulled UC Davis within one at 8-7 before CSUN quickly built its lead back to three at 10-7 following a Denny service error and a Graff kill. The Aggies kept the Matador in sight at 16-13 before the Matadors engineered a 6-2 run to open up an insurmountable 22-15 lead. After a UC Davis ace at 23-17, Haina's 14th and 15th kills of the evening wrapped up the straight set win.

Devon Damelio wound up leading the Aggies (20-7, 6-6 Big West) with nine kills (.304). Betsy Sedlak chipped in eight kills (.538) and a pair of blocks while Brain added six kills (.167).

Cal State Northridge continues its two-match homestand on Saturday as the Matadors host Pacific at 7 p.m.