Waves Fall at #2 CSUN in Five Games
The Waves (8-8, 8-8 MPSF) defeated CSUN in three games in
Pepperdine junior opposite Paul Carroll (
Overall hitting percentages were close (the Matadors’ .352 to the Waves’ .340), but CSUN’s serving may have been the deciding factor, as the Matadors managed 12 service aces and forced the Waves into difficult passing situations.
The Waves last led at 10-9 in game one. It was still tied at 18-18 before CSUN scored four straight points, the last two on service aces by Isaac Kneubuhl. Thanks to a pair of kills by Carroll as part of a 3-0 run, Pepperdine got it back to 22-21, and was still down by just one point at 26-25, but CSUN scored four of the game’s final five points.
Tied 17-17 in game two, Carroll pounded down three straight kills, and a Matador attack error made it 21-17. The Waves led by five points at 24-19, though CSUN rallied to cut the lead to one point several times. Pepperdine held a 27-26 lead, and the teams traded points until the Waves claimed game two on a CSUN service error.
Game three belonged to CSUN’s Mike Gaudino, who had four of his match-high six aces along with three kills. It was tied 10-10 but the Matadors scored points on their next four sideouts (including two consecutive Gaudino aces) and went up 19-13. The Waves got no closer than three points the rest of the way.
Carroll got the Waves off to a terrific start in game four, and Pepperdine held on from there. He had three kills and a service ace as Pepperdine broke out to a 6-1 lead. CSUN rallied to make it 23-22, but after a Matador service error and hitting error, they got no closer than two points the rest of the way. Up 28-26, Pepperdine ended it on a CSUN service error and a block by Winder and junior middle blocker Mark Hulse (
The teams traded points in game five, and it was Northridge that finally made the big run that decided the match. Tied 6-6, CSUN ran off four straight points on a kill, a Pepperdine hitting error, another kill and a block. Pepperdine got it down to 11-9 but couldn’t get any closer than two points.
The Matadors were led by Eric Vance’s 27 kills and 13 digs.
The Waves play their final road match of the regular season on Saturday (March 15) at UC Santa Barbara before finishing up with six straight home matches.