Jeff Campbell Earns 200th Career Win as Northridge Sweeps Long Beach State
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Top-ranked Cal State Northridge made quick work of No. 6 Long Beach State as the Matadors swept the 49ers 30-24, 30-24, 30-21 giving head coach Jeff Campbell his 200th career win Thursday at The Matadome.
Northridge (10-2, 7-2 MPSF) dispatched the sixth-ranked 49ers (5-5, 4-3 MPSF) in one hour and 27 minutes as the Matadors hit a season-high .476 as a team. Northridge committed just 10 hitting errors in the match as Nua (.476) had a team-high 13 kills and Edwards (.333) added 12. Senior Kevin McKniff had nine kills in 11 swings without an error to hit .818. Nua and Matt Stork each had two of the Matadors' six aces.
Dean Bittner led Long Beach State with a match-high 15 kills (.346) as the 49ers hit .244 as a team.
"I am pleased that our team played so well tonight and defeated a very good Long Beach team," said Campbell. "I'm also proud of the way our student-athletes showed great focus and determination in tonight's victory."
The first set was the tightest of the match as the two teams traded sideouts until 8-8. Back-to-back kills from Nua and McKniff put Northridge up 10-8 before a pair of Dalton Ammerman kills evened the score again at 10-10. But an Ammerman service error propelled the Matadors on a 5-0 run which gave Northridge a 15-10 lead they would never relinquish. Another McKniff kill gave the Matadors their largest lead of the set at 23-17 before the 49ers used a 4-1 run to pull within three at 24-21. Leading 28-24, Northridge got kills from McKniff and Nua to salt away the set 30-24.
Set two was tied early before the Matadors opened up a 6-2 lead when Stork, Jacek Ratajczak and Mike Gaudino combined for one of Northridge's 7.5 blocks in the match. The Matador lead swelled to 12-6 on a Nua kill and eventually grew to 23-13 on a Ratajczak kill. A late run by Long Beach trimmed the lead to 28-24 but a McKniff kill followed by an Ammerman hitting error put the Matadors up two sets to none.
Holding a slim 9-8 lead in the third set, Northridge scored four straight points, three coming on kills from McKniff, Nua and Edwards to take a 13-8 lead. The 49ers got a Josh Riley kill to get within three at 13-10 but the Matador lead was never threatened the rest of the way and Campbell had his 200th career win.
"The 200th win is nice, but it is more a testament to all the players, coaches and administrators that have worked so hard throughout the years to put us in this position," said Campbell, who now owns a career record of 200-159 (.557) in his 13th season. "As the CSUN volleyball coach I continue to feel blessed to have the confidence of our President and the continued support of the great community of Northridge and the San Fernando Valley.
"As representatives of CSUN, we are proud and will continue to put forth the effort needed in our commitment and ultimate goal of winning a national championship for Cal State Northridge," added Campbell.
Cal State Northridge opens a five-match road trip on Friday as the Matadors travel to La Jolla to take on 13th-ranked UC San Diego. First serve at RIMAC Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.
-Article courtesy CSUN athletics.