Long Beach State Falls in Four at CSUN
LBSU saw its three-match winning streak snapped with a four-set loss at CSUN on Saturday night.
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - A strong opening set gave Long Beach State (4-11, 1-1 Big West) a 1-0 lead on the road, but LBSU couldn’t maintain its form against CSUN (8-6, 2-0 Big West) in a 15-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 loss on Saturday night at the Matadome.
Junior Megan Kruidhof led the Beach with 17 kills and hit .308 for the match. Freshman Radi Marinova posted a career-high 10 kills and hit a career-best .450 in the loss. Libero Hailey Harward had 14 digs to lead Long Beach State and Alexis Patterson posted her second consecutive double-double with 33 assists and 12 digs. LBSU had nine service aces as a team, getting a season-high four from Patterson and three from Harward.
Long Beach State looked crisp in the opening set, out-hitting the Matadors .522 to .000 in their own gym. Kruidhof had six kills on eight swings (.750 hitting) in the first and Marinova had four on five (.800) to lead a rather comfortable LBSU win. The Beach won the first five points of the match, then after CSUN tied it at 6-6, bounced back to lead 12-7 and never trailed again. CSUN committed nine hitting errors compared to just two for Long Beach State in the set.
The Matadors turned things around in set two, hitting .435 while Long Beach was in the negative at -.030. CSUN’s Aeryn Owens had six kills in the second set alone and CSUN took the set going away, ending on a 9-3 run.
In set three, it was Morgan Salone who took things over for CSUN, recording nine kills in the third frame. At one point, she had five straight kills as the Matadors went on a 6-0 run to take a 10-6 advantage. Another 5-0 run for the Matadors made it 17-9, and Long Beach couldn’t battle back close enough to worry the Matadors. CSUN hit .472 in the third, committing just two hitting errors.
CSUN was able to close things out in the fourth, using a 5-0 run to take a 13-9 advantage for some breathing room. LBSU made things interesting later in the set as three consecutive aces from Harward were part of a 4-0 run to make it an 18-16 score, but Long Beach could never pull even. The Matadors scored six of the final nine points to close the door and end LBSU’s three-match winning streak.
Long Beach State returns home to face Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara next weekend. Those matches will be Friday and Saturday, respectively, and both will start at 7 p.m. at Walter Pyramid.
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