Matadors Stymied in Five Sets as Seattle Comes Back to Win 25-19, 24-26, 17-25, 25-17, 17-15

Sept. 10, 2010

Final Stats

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Trailing two sets to one, Seattle University won the final two sets to hand Cal State Northridge a 25-19, 24-26, 17-25, 25-17, 17-15 loss in the opening match of the SJSU Tournament at Spartan Gym.

The Matadors (2-5) held a two sets to one lead but could not close the match and dropped their second five-set match of the season.

Freshman Natalie Allen led Northridge with 13 kills (.225) to go with seven digs and five blocks. Sophomore Monica McFarland added 11 kills but struggled on offense hitting a season-low .054. She did however add a career-high three aces and a team-high 16 digs. Senior Lynda Morales also reached double figures with 10 kills but also struggled hitting .097.

Matador setter Sam Orlandini posted her second straight double-double with 43 assists and 11 digs while Cindy Ortiz posted a career-high 14 digs.

In the opening set, Seattle (3-5) claimed three of the first four points before a Morales kill and a Redhawk hitting error evened the score at three. Seattle tallied the next three points and ultimately boosted its lead to four at 15-11 following a Julia Bonadio kill. Northridge also trailed by four at 19-15 before a McFarland kill followed by an Allen-Nicole Jarvis brought the Matadors back to within 19-17. A McFarland ace pulled Northridge within one at 20-19 before a Redhawk kill and a Janet Alvarado hitting error forced the Matadors to call timeout trailing 22-19. But three straight Seattle kills out of the timeout gave the Redhawks set one 25-19.

Seattle bolted out to a 10-3 lead early in the second set before the Matadors put together a 9-4 run capped by an Allen kill to pull within 14-12. A Redhawk hitting error pulled Northridge even at 20-20 and the teams traded sideouts until Seattle had set point at 24-22. But three straight Seattle hitting errors (one on a CSUN block) followed by a McFarland ace capped the Matador comeback 26-24.

The Matadors looked to build on the momentum of set two and hit a blistering .355 to take set three 25-17. Consecutive Redhawk hitting errors gave Northridge its largest lead at 14-8 and the Matador lead was never less than three the rest of the way. A triple block by Mahina Haina, Allen and Puneet Pataria on set point put the Matadors up two sets to one.

Looking to wrap up the match in four sets, Northridge took an early 6-4 lead before Seattle re-established control. The Redhawks led by as many as four at 13-9 before the Matadors battled back to within one (17-16) following a Morales kill. But six straight Seattle points ended all doubt as the Redhawks outscored CSUN 8-1 over the final nine points to take the set 25-17.

Seattle controlled much of the decisive fifth set leading by as many as three points until a Redhawk hitting miscue tied the score 12-12. The teams traded sideouts until 14-13 when a Seattle service error and an Allen kill gave CSUN match point at 15-14. But back-to-back Cristin Richards kills set Seattle up for match point at 16-15. The Redhawks then cashed in when Jordan Keller and Richards teamed up to stuff Allen sending the Matadors to the five-set loss.

Cal State Northridge travels to Santa Clara Friday night at 7 p.m. to take on the Broncos (5-2) as part of the Santa Clara Tournament. The Matadors return to San Jose on Saturday at 1 p.m to take on Portland State, a 3-0 loser to Santa Clara on Friday.