September 13, 2013

24th-Ranked Creighton Hands Matadors First Loss of 2013

DENVER, Colo. - 24th-ranked Creighton proved too much to handle as the Bluejays handed Cal State Northridge its first loss of the season 25-20, 25-17, 25-12 Friday morning at Denver's Hamilton Gymnasium.

The Matadors (6-1), looking to improve on their impressive start to the 2013 season, were limited to a .season-low .195 hitting clip in being swept for the first time this season.

"We weren't able to affect them as much as they affected us," said CSUN head coach Jeff Stork. "We weren't strong enough in all aspects of the game today. I'm not sure if we were flat or if they executed very well but I think you've got to give Creighton some credit in that they made us change some of the things we do and we weren't able to respond."

Junior Natalie Allen and sophomore Cieana Stinson each had a team-high eight kills to lead the Matadors. Allen hit .263 on 19 swings to go with four digs and one solo block. Stinson hit .211 equaling Allen's 19 swings while also recording a pair of blocks. Junior Casey Hinger contributed seven kills (.267) but had a season-low one block as the Matadors recorded a season-low 6.0 blocks as a team.

Sydney Gedryn had 31 assists, four digs and a team-high three blocks while libero Kelcie Randazzo dug a team-high seven Creighton attacks.

"I thought the girls pressed a little which may have affected the outcome," added Stork. "But we simply got beat today."

The Matadors, who led only twice the entire match, trailed by seven points (14-7) early in the opening set and still trailed 17-9 before putting together a late run. Following a Kelli Browning kill, the Matadors scored the next four points on kills from Hinger (3) and Stinson (1) to get within 17-13. But four points is as close as CSUN would get down the stretch as the Bluejays claimed the set 25-20.

Looking to bounce back in set two, the Matadors held an early 5-3 lead following kills from Mahina Haina and Gedryn. But a 4-0 Creighton quickly erased the CSUN lead and the Bluejays never trailed. Holding a slim 15-13 lead, Creighton outscored the Matadors 10-4 over the final 14 points to take a two-set lead.

The final set was all Bluejays as they out-hit CSUN .438-.050 and won going away 25-12.  

Lauren Smith led the 24th-ranked Bluejays with a match-high 10 kills in 11 swings for a .909 hitting clip. Smith also posted a match-high five blocks for Creighton which improved to 6-1.

Cal State Northridge has a quick turnaround as the Matadors face 11th-ranked UCLA at 3:30 PDT.

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