Sports, Women's Sports, Women's Volleyball

LBSU sweeps CSU Northridge at Walter Pyramid

The Long Beach State women’s volleyball team put last weekend’s close loss to Hawaii behind it in closing out CSUN 3-0 on Saturday night at the Walter Pyramid.

Even though they swept the match, Coach Brian Gimmillaro said they still made some errors.

“We did a lot of good things and made some mistakes,” Gimmillaro said. “We could dominate, and then we made a mistake.”

Both teams put up strong spiking, blocking, and digging numbers in the first set. The score was tied with no one gaining throughout the set until the 49ers kicked it into high gear, taking the set 25-21. Junior outside hitter Nele Barber led the team with 6 kills.

Freshman Megan Kruidhof had a career night from the back row. The outside hitter got a career-high 11 digs in one set alone and finished with 14.

“I’d like to pursue working my way up and [getting] stronger to become a good outside hitter,” Kruidhof said.

CSUN led the second set with service aces, but the 49ers were able to pull ahead in the end, winning the second set 25-19. Barber got 7 kills in the second set.

The Matadors were able to block many kill attempts by Barber. Barber has finished with double-digit kills in every match since the first match of the season. She averages 3.82 kills per set and 3.10 digs per set.

Sophomore middle blocker Ashley Murray was just behind her with 9 kills of her own. Murray is one of eight players in the Big West with a hitting percentage over .300. She was recently injured in the Sept. 18 game against UCLA, but made her return to the starting lineup against Hawaii last weekend.

The third set was close, with Northridge leading from the start 7-5 after LBSU gave away a few service errors. But in the end, the 49ers won the third set 25-16 to complete the sweep.

Barber ended the night with 18 kills. Murray followed behind with 11 kills on the night. CSUN senior outside hitter Cieana Stinson matched Barber with 18 kills of her own.

Matadors’ head coach Jeff Stork said the game’s outcome was fair, but called his team’s performance uncharacteristic.

“There are some things that we didn’t do well that we had control over,” Stork said. “Long Beach is a pretty good team but we gave them far too many points from our errors, in particular the over-passes and over-digs. That’s something that normally we don’t do.”

The 49ers return to the Walter Pyramid on Friday to play UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.

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