Matadors Top UC Irvine in Five-Set Thriller on Dig Pink Night

Oct. 16, 2010

Final Stats

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Una Siljegovic, Lynda Morales and Natalie Allen combined for 42 kills as Cal State Northridge topped visiting UC Irvine in five hard-fought sets (25-19, 18-25, 25-21, 22-25, 16-14) Saturday night at The Matadome.

The Matadors (9-13, 2-5 Big West) claim their third straight home win and first victory over the Anteaters (5-15, 1-6 Big West) since the 2007 season.

Siljegovic provided a spark off the bench as she came on in the second set and recorded a team-high 15 kills over the final four sets. The junior hit a team-high .343 and also added four digs. Morales, who was a perfect 8-for-8 in kills in the opening set, wound up with 14 kills and eight blocks and six digs while hitting .242. Allen added 13 kills (.146) and 14 digs for her fifth double-double of the season.

Sam Orlandini also notched a double-double with 45 assists and 10 digs while Monica McFarland and Cindy Ortiz each had a team-high 18 digs. McFarland also served three of the Matadors' six aces, while Orlandini had the other three.

Northridge was out-hit by UC Irvine .165 to .148 but had 81 team digs to 73 for the Anteaters. UCI put up a 17.0-12.0 advantage in blocks.

After the Anteaters led early in the opening set, a McFarland ace gave the Matadors their first lead at 5-4. A 3-0 run midway through the set gave CSUN its largest lead 13-8. But UCI came back with five unanswered points and the set was tied 13-13. Northridge would not surrended the lead however and after the Anteaters pulled within 19-18 following a Larissa Nordyke kill, the Matadors salted away the set with a four-point run.

UCI then out-hit the Matadors .200 to -.022 in the second set and cruised to the 25-18 win. Trailing by five at 16-11, CSUN engineered a 5-0 run, capped by kills from Siljegovic and Allen to pull even at 16-16. But trailing by one at 18-17, the Matadors were outscored 7-1 over the final eight points.

Northridge never trailed in winning set three 25-21 and Irvine never trailed in winning set four 25-22 setting up the decisive fifth set. The Matadors claimed the third set despite hitting just .083.

CSUN looked to take command early in the fifth set as the Matadors claimed four of the first five points. A Siljegovic kill put Northridge in front 6-3 but a Nordyke kill and an Orlandini setting error pulled the 'Eaters within 6-5. The two teams then battled to 9-9 when the Matadors got back-to-back kills from Morales and Allen to open up an 11-9 lead. Another Morales kill put the Matadors up 12-11 before CSUN watched as the Anteaters rolled off three straight points to serve for the match at 14-12. But back-to-back-to-back kills by Siljegovic fueled the Matadors on a 4-0 run as they overcame a pair of match points and Nicole Jarvis and Sydney Gedryn teamed-up to block Julianne Piggot on match point.

Piggott would up leading UCI with a match-high 17 kills (.119) while Nordyke added 16 hitting .268. Anteater libero Kristin Winkler recorded a match-hig 23 digs in the loss.

Cal State Northridge begins the second half of Big West play next weekend (Oct. 22-23) as the Matadors visit Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.

- GO MATADORS -