Matadors Upset Bid Comes Up Short as No. 23 UC Irvine Prevails in Four Sets

Oct. 6, 2009

Final Stats

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Down two sets to none, Cal State Northridge mounted a comeback winning set three and nearly forcing a fifth set before No. 23 UC Irvine held off the Matadors 25-22, 25-22, 15-25, 25-23 Tuesday at The Matadome.

Northridge (4-12, 0-3 Big West) was paced by senior Angela Hupp who recorded her second consecutive triple-double with a team-high 14 kills, 20 assists and 11 digs. Hupp also contributed two of the Matadors' six aces and had five blocks while hitting .344. Sam Orlandini posted a double-double with 19 assists and 14 digs and Britney Graff chipped in eight kills (.138) and 12 digs. Libero Monica McFarland recorded a team-high 15 digs in the loss.

Juliane Piggott led UC Irvine (14-3, 4-1 Big West) with a match-high 15 kills (.152) while Kari Pestolesi also notched a double-double with 14 kills (.140) and 17 digs. Anteater setter Taryn Robertson had 41 assists, four aces and nine digs in the win.

Northridge out-hit UC Irvine by a slight .126 to .123 margin and outblocked the Anteaters 15.0 to 7.0. Each team had six aces in a very evenly played match.

The Matadors played the 23rd-ranked Anteaters close for much of set one before a 5-1 UCI run broke open a 9-9 tie. The lead grew to five at 16-11 before Northridge engineered a 5-1 run of its own to pull within 17-16 following a Hupp kill. The Matadors also got within one at 19-18, 20-19, 21-20, 22-21 and 23-22 but could never get over the hump and kills from Piggott and Pestolesi put UCI up one set.

The Anteaters never trailed in set two as they jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never looked back. The Matadors made it close late as they closed a 21-16 deficit by taking five of the next six points. A Piggott hitting error got Northridge within 22-21 and another hitting error, this time from Larissa Nordyke pulled the Matadors to within 23-22 but an Alexandra Hauser kill and a Chelsea Johnson hitting error put the Anteaters up two sets to none.

Not willing to fall in straight sets, the Matadors came out firing in set three. With the score tied 5-5, Northridge put together an 11-3 run to open up its then-largest lead at 16-8 capped by a Janet Alvarado kill. The Matadors expanded the lead to 11 at 22-11 before wrapping up the set 25-15 after a Robertson service error.

The Anteaters looked to have the match well in hand after taking an early 12-6 lead in the fourth set. UCI led by eight at 15-7, 17-9 and 18-10 before Northridge rolled off seven straight to get within one at 18-17. Alvardo's second kill of the match capped the run. The Matadors would never claim the lead despite knotting the score 21-21 on a Cindy Ortiz ace. A Graff kill also evened things at 23-23 before back-to-back kills from Hauser and Piggott staved off the Matadors' upset bid.

Cal State Northridge continues its three-match homestand this weekend as the Matadors host Cal Poly on Friday, Oct. 9 and UC Riverside on Saturday, Oct. 10. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. in The Matadome.

- GO MATADORS -

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