Gauchos Drop 3-0 Match at CSUN

Chanel Hoffman (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Chanel Hoffman (Photo by Tony Mastres)

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – UCSB's three-match winning streak came to an end on Friday night with a 3-0 loss at Cal State Northridge.

The loss evens the Gauchos overall record at 12-12, as they are now 7-6 in the Big West. CSUN evened the season series with UCSB, as it now owns a 15-8 record with a 6-5 conference mark.

Chanel Hoffman was the standout player tonight for UCSB in finishing with 11 kills, six digs, and two block assists.  Ali Barbeau, Britton Taylor, and Jaylen Villanueva all contributed to the Gaucho offense in recording six kills each. At the net, Kristen Berlo and Phoebe Grunt both added two block assists to UCSB's eight overall blocks.

Villanueva led the Gaucho defense in recording seven digs. Ali Santi and Ali Barbeau followed closely behind with five and four scoops, respectively.

CSUN's offense performed well at home in finishing with a .319 hitting percentage compared to the Gauchos' .242 clip. The primary attackers for the Matadors were Danetta Boykin and Casey Hinger who each finished with a match-high 13 kills.

Although UCSB came out strong in the first set with kills from Hoffman, Villanueva, and Berlo, Northridge was still able to grab hold of a seven-point advantage at 17-10.

With the help from two consecutive service aces from Hanna Nielson as well as four kills in five plays from Hoffman, UCSB had a 9-3 run and pout themselves within one at 20-19.

A ball handling error gave the Gauchos service when they were trailing 22-21 and quickly capitalized on the opportunity with three straight kills (Villanueva, Berlo, Barbeau) and reached set-point.

UCSB was unable to complete the comeback, though, as the Matadors battled back and recorded three unanswered points to close the first set at 26-24.

After scoring three straight points to open the second game, Northridge continued its strong offensive play in building on its early lead. The Matadors went on to take the 2-0 lead going into the break after a 25-15 win.

UCSB came back fighting in the third set, as it was rarely more than four points behind the Matadors. Timely kills from Villanueva, Hoffman, and Barbeau kept the game extremely competitive early on. Northridge was able to get a six-point gap over UCSB, but the Gauchos retaliated with key offensive plays, narrowing the score to 23-21 towards the end. However, Boykin and Hinger would end the night with back-to-back kills to finish game three on top 25-21.

The Gauchos will return to the court tomorrow night at Long Beach State starting at 7:30 PM. The match will be featured on ESPN3, as UCSB will be making its second appearance on the network this season.