HOUSTON, Texas - Cal State Northridge continued its solid play in the state of Texas as the Matadors swept Texas Tech 25-21, 25-16, 25-21 Saturday morning in its second match of the Rice Invitational II.
The Matadors improve to 8-3 on the season and have yet to drop a set in two matches in the Lone Star State. CSUN defeated the host Rice Owls in straight sets on Friday and will look to extend the streak this afternoon against Houston Baptist.
With Natalie Allen sidelined, it was junior Britney Graff that propelled the Matador offense against the Red Raiders. Graff, who connected for a team-high 14 kills against Rice, reached double figures with 10 kills (.226) against Texas Tech while also adding five digs, one ace and one block. Fellow junior Mahina Haina added nine kills (.174) and four digs while freshman Cieana Stinson had seven kills in 12 errorless swings (.583) in Allen's spot on the right side. Stinson also recorded three digs and a pair of blocks.
Setter Sydney Gedryn was one of three Matadors to post five kills as the junior also dished out 34 assists to go with eight digs and three blocks. Sam Kaul and Casey Hinger each had five kills from the middle and the duo also posted eight total blocks.
For the 10th time in 11 matches this season CSUN out-blocked their opponent, this time by the slim margin of 8.0-7.0. But the Matadors had a sizable edge in team digs (49-36) while out-hitting the Red Raiders .260-.103.
"We're doing good things with our blocking schemes right now," said head coach Jeff Stork. "In the two matches here, we've held two good teams to a low hitting percentage. Because of our blocking, we're getting easy digs. We're also serving in most of the time and were not committing hitting errors which keeps the pressure on our opponents."
Texas Tech led by as many as five (10-5) early in the opening set before the Matadors rolled off a string of six straight points to take an 11-10 lead following a Graff kill. Back-to-back Red Raider kills put Texas Tech back on top 12-11 before a Kaul kill and a pair of hitting errors put CSUN back in front to stay 14-12.
The Red Raiders held a single lead in set two at 8-7 before the Matadors outscored Texas Tech 8-2 over the next 10 points to open up a 15-10 cushion. CSUN led 20-14 following another Graff kill before setting on the final score of 25-16.
Set three turned out to be the tightest of the match as the Red Raiders held a 16-14 lead just past the halfway point. A Texas Tech hitting error and a Gedryn kill pulled the Matadors even at 16-16 and propelled CSUN on a 5-0 run which put the Matadors in control 19-16. The lead swelled to as many as four (20-16) before Hinger's kill on match point kept the final a four-point margin.
"We're playing with a lot of confidence right now and doing a lot of good things," added Stork. "Overall it was a very good win for us."
Lydia McKay led Texas Tech, which lost for just the second time in 13 matches, with 11 kills (.308) while setter Emily Ruetter had 28 assists and five digs.
- GO MATADORS -