Matadors Battle But Drop Season Finale to Cal State Fullerton, 20-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-23

Nov. 20, 2010

Final Stats

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge won the first set of its season finale but visiting Cal State Fullerton stormed back to take the final three sets in a tight 20-25, 27-25, 25-23, 25-23 Titan win Saturday night at The Matadome.

The Matadors wrap up the 2010 season with an overall record of 13-19 and CSUN finished 5-11 in the Big West. The conference champion Titans conclude the regular season at 26-5 (14-2 Big West).

Northridge celebrated its 2010 senior night prior to the match as Janet Alvarado, Lynda Morales, Brittany Williams and Karina Woehrstein competed for the Matadors for the final time.

Morales responded with a team-high 14 kills (.273) while also adding eight blocks to her Northridge career-record total of 492. Natalie Allen wrapped up a solid freshman campaign with 13 kills (.244) giving her 363 kills this season, the second-best total by a freshman in Northridge history. Allen completed her 10th double-double of the season by adding 15 digs. Setter Sam Orlandini also notched a double-double with 42 assists and 10 digs while Monica McFarland and Woehrstein also reached double figures in digs with 13 and 12 respectively.

Sophomore libero Cindy Ortiz had the best match of her career posting 36 digs, the third-most digs by a Matador player in a four-set match in school history. Ortiz's total is the most by a CSUN player since Jamie Crawford had 34 against Northern Iowa in 2005. Ortiz also had a career-best five aces as the Matadors had seven as a team.

Northridge wound up hitting out-hitting Fullerton .180 (55-22-183) to .157 (64-31-210). The Matadors also out-blocked the Titans 11.0-8.0 but Fullerton, led by Cami Croteau's match-high 38 digs, posted a 98-95 advantage in team digs.

The Matadors hoped to finish off the season with wins over the conference's top two teams after topping Long Beach State in four sets Friday but the Titans bounced back after being forced to four sets for just the ninth time in 31 matches.

Fullerton looked every bit the conference champions as they quieted the senior night crowd by bolting to a 13-5 lead in the opening set. Trailing 14-6, the Matadors engineered a 9-1 run to knot the score at 15-15 following a Titan hitting error. But back-to-back Fullerton points put the Titans back in front by two and CSF also led by two at 18-16 before the Matadors got a pair of kills from Alvarado and an Erin Saddler hitting error to take their first lead 19-18.

After the Titans battled back to tie the score for the fifth and final time, 20-20, the Matadors rolled off five straight points, three coming on kills from Alvarado, Allen and Brittany Williams, as Northridge took set one 25-20.

The Matadors held leads in both the second and third sets, but was denied a single set point in set two and got as close as 23-23 in set three. After CSUN saved one set point at 24-23, Kayla Neto's hitting error put CSUN on the doorstep of a two set lead at 25-24. But Saddler's kill evened the score at 25-25 and propelled the Titans on a 3-0 run to cap the second set 27-25.

The Matadors held a one-point lead at 23-22 in the third set but again it was a Saddler kill that propelled Fullerton on a late run, as the Titans again scored the final three points of the set on their way to the 25-23 win. Fullerton never trailed in the final set despite the Matadors tying the score twice and trailing by one in the latter stages.

Saddler led the Titans with a match-high 19 kills in 62 swings (.129) while Neto added 12 (.222) and Leah Maurer and Jennifer Edmond each chipped in 10 kills.

- GO MATADORS -

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