SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Cal State Northridge hit a season-low .077 as the eighth-ranked UC Santa Barbara Gauchos swept the Matadors in three games, 30-25, 30-21, 30-22 Saturday in the Thunderdome.
With the win, UCSB improves to 9-1 overall and 4-1 in the Big West, while the Matadors slip to 7-5 overall and 4-2 in conference.
Senior Jen Ryan's season-low nine kills was enough to lead the Matadors as the team hit .025 (10-9-40) in game one and -.029 (10-11-34) in game three. CSUN did hit .267 (11-3-30) in game two, but lost 30-21 as the Gauchos hit .432 (23-4-44). Heather Fobian added six kills, but no other Matador had more than four kills on the night. Ryan and Nadine Nickel each posted a eight kills, while Nickel added 26 assists and libero Jessika Hammerich had a match-high 12 digs.
For the Gauchos, Janine Sandell led a trio of hitters in double figures with 16 kills. Olivia Waldowski added 11 and Megan Blackshire chipped in 10 kills. Blackshire hit a match-high .667 with no errors in 15 swings. Setter Mari Bell had 40 assists and Kristin Nelson had 11 digs.
Outside of out-hitting the Matadors (.234-.077), UCSB had seven aces to CSUN's one and out-blocked Northridge 13.0-3.0.
Cal State Northridge returns home next week to begin a three-match homestand on Tuesday with a non-conference match against Fresno State at 7 p.m. The Matadors will also host UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton on the homestand.