Matador Front-Line Overwhelms UCSB in Four-Set Victory
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Led by a Cal State Northridge blocking corps that was more than three times as effective at the net compared to its opponent, the Matadors extended their current win streak to three matches with an 18-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-14 victory over the visiting UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Saturday night.
Northridge (18-8, 9-5 BWC) out-blocked Santa Barbara (13-14, 6-6 BWC) by a 13-4 margin; Sydney Gedryn posted two of her team's five solo blocks, Casey Hinger led all Matadors with seven block assists.
"We have always been a good blocking team that has consistently been ranked in the top-three in blocks per set since I began coaching here. This year, we have consistently led the conference with our blocks per set average," said Northridge head coach Jeff Stork.
By sweeping its matches this past week, Northridge is now in sole possession of second place heading into its bye week. CSUN will face Loyola Marymount in its final non-conference match of the season before returning to Big West competition at Pacific the following week.
Also responsible for 40 of her team's 51 assists, Gedryn recorded her ninth double-double of the season with her performance against the Gauchos.
Bolstered by its .429 offensive clip, and a sideout success rate of 82 percent, Northridge returned to the floor after the break to capture the third set, and break a 1-1 tie en route to its eventual victory.
Seven tied scores took place throughout that frame until a Stinson kill gave CSUN a 10-9 lead.
From that point on, Cal State Northridge held the lead for the remainder of the match as the Matadors led from start-to-finish in the fourth set to defeat the Gauchos and earn a split of their season series.
"As the match progressed our sideout percentage just kept on improving," said Stork.
"That improvement from 68 percent, to 82 and 86 percent is due to the hard work of the players who competed and did their job. This is a quality team that knows how to win in a number of ways."
UC Santa Barbara's Leah Sully finished with a match-high 22 kills out of her 57 swings. Jaylen Villanueva Taylor Formico also led their team with 35 assists and 26 digs.
As a team, Santa Barbara only hit .127 (52-28-189) against a Northridge squad that posted a .210 (51-16-167) attack percentage.
Nearly a full week will pass before Cal State Northridge takes the floor on Saturday, Nov. 10, to compete against the Loyola Marymount Lions. That match, the last of three straight home contests for the Matadors, will start at 7 p.m.