Matadors Post Historic Five-Game Win Over UC Santa Barbara
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Freshmen Alex Johnson and Brittany Williams combined for 33 kills as Cal State Northridge defeated UC Santa Barbara to sweep the season series from the Gauchos for the first time in school history. Game scores on Saturday were 21-30, 30-16, 21-30, 30-26, 15-12.
With the win, the Matadors snap a mini two-match losing streak and improve to 8-14 overall and even their Big West record at 5-5. The loss drops the Gauchos to 7-14 overall and 2-7 in conference play.
On their way to historic victory, the Matadors posted 43 block assists, which ranks second all-time in Northridge history and shatters the rally scoring era record of 34.
Johnson's 17 kills (.359) led Northridge while Williams added 16 (.196) and Sophomore Angela Hupp chipped in 10 (.179). Three Matadors had at least nine blocks led by freshman Lynda Morales' career-high 13 (one solo). Hupp posted her second triple-double in as many nights as she had 10 kills, 27 assists and 12 digs. Kayla Wright also notched a double-double with 25 assists and 12 digs and libero Amy Hultner dug a match-high 21 balls.
For UCSB, Lauren McLaughlin talled a match-high 20 kills (.156) to lead for Gaucho hitters in double figures. Rebecca Saraceno (.044) added 16 kills and Charlene DeHoog (.233) and Brett Quirarte (.207) each chipped in 11.
In a match that saw neither team hit particularly well, Northridge out-hit UCSB .165 (58-29-176) to .118 (62-40-187).
The Gauchos trailed just twice in game one's 30-21 win. Northridge held one-point leads at 2-1 and 8-7 before UCSB took command with a 5-0 run to take a 12-8 lead capped by a Quirarte-Saraceno block. The Matadors pulled within three at 13-10 following a Hupp kill but Northridge would get no closer the rest of the game.
Northridge led from wire-to-wire in game two to even the match. The Matadors scored nine of the first 11 points forcing a Gaucho timeout. Following the timeout, UCSB pulled to within three at 10-7 after Morales was blocked by McLaughlin and Kasey Kipp. But on the next points a Johnson-Morales block on Saraceno propelled Northridge on a 6-0 run which opened up a 17-7 Matador lead. Northridge eventually built the lead to 15 points (25-10) before taking game two 30-16. After posting 3.5 team blocks in game one, the Matadors notched an impressive 11 team blocks in game two.
The see-saw match continued in game three as the Gauchos once again trailed just once on their way to a 30-21 win. After hitting -.200 in game two, UCSB bounced back to hit .308 in the third frame.
Game four opened with the Gauchos taking the first point on a McLaughlin kill. But officials ruled UCSB was out of rotation giving the Matadors the point. Northridge used the momentum swing to take a 4-1 lead capped by a Hupp kill. UCSB battled back to take the lead at 6-5 after a Jessica Welch ace and the Gauchos held the lead until a Johnson kill knotted things at 8-8. The Matadors got another kill from Johnson along with a McLaughlin hitting error to take a 10-8 lead. A Saraceno kill tied the game for the last time at 11-11 before a 5-1 run put the Matadors on top to stay at 16-12. UCSB closed to within two four times down the stretch but Northridge held on 30-26.
In game five, the teams played evenly until the Gauchos took a 9-7 lead following a Jenn Probert hitting error. UCSB also led by two at 10-8 before the Matadors engineered a 4-0 run highlighted by a Johnson kill, a Wright ace and a pair of blocks. The Gauchos closed to within one at 12-11 and 13-12 before a Williams kill and a Morales-Hupp block gave the Matadors the 3-2 win.
Cal State Northridge heads out on the road for its next two matches beginning Friday, Oct. 26 at UC Riverside.
- GO MATADORS -