September 15, 2009

Northridge Comeback Falls Short as Matadors Fall to Loyola Marymount in Five Sets

Sept. 15, 2009

Final Stats

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After falling behind two sets to one, Cal State Northridge battled from behind but came up short in the fifth set as Loyola Marymount defeated the Matadors 22-25, 25-12, 25-16, 21-25, 15-11 on Tuesday at Gersten Pavilion.

Northridge (3-7) looked to end its season-opening, 10-match road swing on a winning note but LMU (7-3) dealt the Matadors their seventh loss in the 10-match stretch.

Senior Angela Hupp put down a season-high 21 kills (.212) in a career-high 66 swings to lead all hitters. She also tallied a season-high 18 digs for her fourth double-double in Northridge's last five matches. Junior Lynda Morales added 11 kills (.261) and freshman Britney Graff chipped in 10 kills (.135) and 15 digs. Sam Orlandini had 45 assists and 13 digs and Monica McFarland added 15 digs and a pair of aces. Brittany Williams, who had a solid weekend in Washington, had a tough night with nine kills and seven errors in 42 swings (.048) but did post a career-best 12 digs.

The Matadors got off to a good start as they hit .233 and held LMU to an .095 clip in winning set one 25-22. Northridge led 20-19 before kills from Morales and Graff, along with a Lion hitting error gave the Matadors a 23-19 cushion. LMU clawed back to 24-22 but Tela Burnett and Graff teamed-up to block Ariana Covington on set point.

Set two was a disaster for the Matadors from the start as LMU scored the first nine points.Northridge played even over the next 12 points to pull within 15-6 but that was as close as the Matadors would get in the frame.

Set three was tight until the Lions broke open a 12-11 set with seven consecutive points. Leading 19-11, the LMU lead was never less than seven the rest of the way.

Northridge found its fortitude in set four as the Matadors took an early 4-1 lead and ultimately led by as many as seven (14-7). Five straight LMU points pulled the Lions within 14-12 and LMU trimmed the Northridge lead to one at 17-16 and 20-19. But the Matadors would not falter a Graff kill followed by three Hupp kills forced a decisive fifth set.

The Matadors took an early 4-1 lead in the fifth set but watched as the Lions scored three straight to knot the score at 4-4. The two teams then traded sideouts until LMU took a 9-7 lead following a Covington ace. But a Covington service error followed by an Orlandini ace evened the score at 9-9. The score was also tied 10-10 before back-to-back Lion points gave LMU the cushion it needed. A bad set was called on Megan Nash pulling Northridge within one at 12-11 but the Matadors would not score again and fell 15-11 in set five.

Covington led the Lions with 18 kills (.194) while Alaina Bergsma added 11 (.091). Lions setter Asleha Young had a solid all-around match with 41 assists and a match-high 27 digs.

Cal State Northridge opens up the home portion of the 2009 schedule this Friday, Sept. 18 as the Matadors host Fresno State at 7 p.m. in The Matadome.

- GO MATADORS -

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