Matadors Come Back To Knock Off Gauchos 3-2 in Big West Opener

Matadors Come Back To Knock Off Gauchos 3-2 in Big West Opener

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sophomore Angela Hupp nearly had a triple-double and redshirt freshman Lynda Morales added a career-high 13 blocks as Cal State Northridge overcame a two games to one deficit to defeat UC Santa Barbara 30-24, 16-30, 25-30, 30-27, 15-13 on Friday at The Thunderdome.

With the win the Matadors snap a five-match losing streak and improve to 4-9 overall and 1-0 in the Big West. The loss drops the Gauchos to 5-8 overall and 0-1 in conference play. The Northridge win was the first over UCSB since 2003.

Hupp led the Matadors with 14 kills, 23 assists and nine digs along with an impressive eight block assists. Junior Kristy Nua added 12 kills in the win while Morales added a career-high 13 total blocks, including two solo. Kayla Wright chipped in 29 assists and Amy Hutner rounded out the team leaders with 24 digs.

Junior outside hitter Lauren McLaughlin led the Gauchos with her 11th double-double of the season, putting away 17 kills and 15 digs along with two block assists. Senior middle blocker Brett Quirarte posted a team-best .385 hitting percentage (14 kills, four errors, 26 attempts) and also led with five total blocks including three solo.

Sophomore Rebecca Saraceno notched her seventh double-double of the season with 15 kills and 11 digs while freshman Stacey Schmidt posted 13 kills. Freshman Dana Vargas had 60 assists in the match and also posted a match-high three service aces. Junior Leigh Stephenson had 22 digs in the loss.

In the match, the Matadors were impressive outblocking UCSB 21-7. Northridge also managed to outhit the Gauchos .239 to .192.

Game one saw 11 ties and five different lead changes before the Matadors broke through a 22-22 tie with five straight points, including three blocks. Somewhat appropriately, Northridge ended the game with a block from Hupp and Val Kepler to take the frame at 30-24.

The Gauchos came alive in the second game as they posted a match-best .378 clip. UCSB jumped out to an early lead and commanded the entire frame with McLaughlin and Schmidt each pitching in six kills. UCSB won game two by way of a 30-16 score. UCSB continued to dominate in the third game as they held the Matadors to a match-low .194 hitting percentage and captured the game at 30-25.

Northridge was dominant early in game four, but the Gauchos used a 7-1 run to tie the game at 16-16. Unfortunately, the Matadors were able to regain their lead and force a fifth game with a 30-27 win.

The final game saw six tied scores and three lead changes early on, but Northridge broke free and jumped out to a 13-8 lead. UCSB chipped away, posting four consecutive points to trail by just one. A Matador attack error tied the score at 13-13, but Northridge recovered and posted two straight kills from Kayla Wright and Brittany Williams to earn the 15-13 win in the deciding game.

Cal State Northridge wraps up its school-record 14-match road trip to open the season on Saturday as the Matadors travelto 20th-ranked Cal Poly at 3 p.m.


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