September 14, 2013

CSUN Bounces Back to Top Denver in Four Sets

DENVER, Colo. - Cal State Northridge bounced back from a tough Friday afternoon to get out of Denver with a 25-18, 21-25, 28-26, 25-23 victory over the host Pioneers Saturday afternoon at Hamilton Gymnasium.

After the Matadors opened the Denver Invitational with losses to a pair of Top-25 teams (Creighton, UCLA) on Friday, All-Tournament selection Natalie Allen led four Matador hitters in double figures with 13 kills as CSUN finished the tournament at 1-2. Allen added 12 digs for her team-leading sixth double-double this season.

Casey Hinger, Cieana Stinson and Mahina Haina each added 10 kills in the win as Hinger hit .368 in 19 swings and also had half of CSUN's six aces. Setter Sydney Gedryn steered the Matador hitters to a .248 hitting clip as the senior handed out 48 assists to go with eight kills and eight digs.

"Denver is a very good team," said Matador head coach Jeff Stork. "Today was a battle, the girls were exhausted and they challenged us but we rose to the challenge."

At 7-2 through nine matches, CSUN is still off to its best start since 2000 when the Matadors also opened with seven wins in nine tries. The Matadors will finally play a match on their home court this Tuesday (Sept. 17) as CSUN hosts Seattle in its 2013 home opener. Stork was pleased his team was able to rebound from Friday's action and ultimately head into the home opener at 7-2.

"We didn't play well against Creighton but we were in control against UCLA which made that loss disappointing," added Stork. "To have to come back the next day, we regrouped and came back to our training and executed at a high enough level. Because of all the travel we've done over the first three weeks, the girls are a little tired but they're handling it very well."

A quartet of Denver hitters also had double figures in the kills column led by Nola Basey's match-high 15 (.196). The Pioneers slipped to 5-5 on the season.

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