November 20, 2015
Matadors 3 – Highlanders 2
Despite taking a two set lead early, the UC Riverside women’s volleyball team couldn’t bring home the win last Friday evening, falling in five sets to the Cal State Northridge Matadors. This marks the first time the team lost in a five set match this season, with three of UCR’s (10-18, 5-10) five Big West victories being taken to the final set.
The game served as sweet revenge for the Matadors (7-20, 6-9), who fell in a five set match to the Highlanders on November 3rd. Helena Peric and Fabiana Rosas led the offense with 18 kills apiece. Chelsea Doyle controlled the attack had 51 assists, while Maddie Hubbell anchored the defense with 20 digs. CSUN was lead by Aeryn Owens and Fabiana Rosas, with 17 and 16 kills apiece. Lauren Conati had 29 assists.
After taking the first two sets, UCR appeared to have control, seemingly cruising into the third. Yet, with the score at 12-9, CSUN turned the momentum of the third completely, taking six straight points on four Aeryn Owens kills, taking the lead in the set and never relinquishing it. It seemed that the Matadors had all the momentum, when UCR seemed to regain some life, taking the six of the next seven points, tying the set at 15.
The teams would continue to trade points, until CSUN took three of four points with the score at 22-21 to take the set. In the fifth set, the Matadors started out to a 4-0 lead and extended it to 8-3. The Highlanders tried to close the gap, scoring four straight and getting to within one. However, the team could never finish the comeback, and fell in the fifth set, 15-12.
The Highlanders followed this loss by closing out their season with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Long Beach State. The team finishes at 10-19 on the year, which, while disappointing, is a vast improvement over 2014’s 2-6 record. The team will look to make another jump next year with stars Peric and Alex Morgan returning and more opportunity for this season’s promising recruits.