October 30, 2010

Matadors Claim Final Two Sets to Knock Off UC Davis in Five 10-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21, 15-13

Oct. 30, 2010

Final Stats

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Freshman Natalie Allen led Cal State Northridge with a match-high 19 kills as the Matadors overcame a two sets to one deficit to upset the visiting UC Davis Aggies 10-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21, 15-13 Saturday night at The Matadome.

The Matadors (10-16, 3-8 Big West), who have now won four of their last five matches at home, nailed down their 10th win this season, the sixth time in nine seasons under Jeff Stork that Northridge has posted double figures in wins. The win also snaps the Aggies' four-match win streak as UC Davis slips to 16-8 overall and 7-4 in conference play.

Allen, who missed Friday's match against Pacific with an injury, came back with her best offensive match since the Matadors' fourth outing of the season. The freshman from Murrieta, Calif., hit an impressive .425 on 40 swings while committing just two errors. She completed her seventh double-double of the season by adding 11 digs.

Junior Una Siljegovic added 14 kills (.216) and freshman Mahina Haina came off the bench to add eight kills (.000). Northridge utilized two setters in the match as freshman Sydney Gedryn registered 30 assists and six digs while junior Sam Orlandini had 17 assists and six digs. After a disastrous opening set where CSUN hit .037, the Matadors wound up hitting .195 (57-24-169) in the match to Davis' .240 (64-24-167).

With the score tied at three early in the opening set, the Aggies went on a 5-0 run and ultimately opened up a 10-point cushion at 16-6 and never looked back. Gedryn was whistled for a bad set and UC Davis led 22-8 before setting on a 25-10 set one win.

The Matadors upped their hitting in the second frame to .136 and won after pulling out a late rally. After leading early on, the Matadors overcame a 10-8 Aggie lead as CSUN used a pair of Allen kills, a UCD hitting error and a Haina-Lynda Morales block to cap a 4-0 run. The Matadors would not trail again in the set despite the Aggies getting within one on three different occasions. After Betsy Sedlak's kill pulled Davis within 20-19, Northridge got a kill from Allen, an ace from Cindy Ortiz and a pair of Aggie miscues to open up a 24-19 advantage. Haina then put down the final kill for the Matadors evening the match at 1-1.

Both teams hit well in the third set as the Aggies hit a match-high .519 while Northridge hit .385. The set featured just one tie (3-3) before UC Davis used a 6-1 run to bolt to a 9-4 lead. Trailing by five at 16-11, the Matadors narrowed the Aggie lead to 19-17 following a Siljegovic kill. CSUN also trailed 20-18 when three consecutive UC Davis kills erased all doubt and the Aggies had a 2-1 lead.

The Matadors won a tight fourth set outhitting the Aggies .158-.103. Puneet Pataria came off the bench to put down back-to-back kills to give CSUN a 12-8 lead. Three straight UC Davis points pulled the Aggies within 12-11 and the Matadors would not lead by more than two for the next 11 points. But three straight UC Davis miscues expanded a CSUN lead from 18-16 to 21-16 and the Matadors looked to have the set in hand. Katie Denny's ace capped a 4-0 run which cut the Matador lead to 21-20 but a Siljegovic kill and a co-block by Pataria and Gedryn put CSUN in front 24-20 before an Allen's kill sent the match to its decisive fifth set.

The Aggies won six of the first 10 points in the final set and led until Kayla Varney's attack went wide pulling the Matadors even at 9-9. A Morales kill then gave Northridge its first lead since early in the frame but UC Davis regained the momentum scoring three unanswered points to take a 12-10 lead. Kills by Siljegovic and Orlandini evened the score again at 12-12 before a Varney kill gave UCD its final lead at 13-12. Kills from Morales and Allen and Varney's hitting error on match point capped a 5-1 Matador run as CSUN pulled out the five-set decision.

Alison Whitson led the Aggies with a team-high 17 kills (.289) while Varney added 14 (.303) and Sedlak chipped in 12 (.286). Varney also had a match-high 19 digs in the loss.

Cal State Northridge plays its next four matches on the road beginning next Tuesday, Nov. 2 at CSU Bakersfield.

- GO MATADORS -