Northridge Volleyball Squad Comes Up Short in Upset Bid

Cal State Northridge men’s volleyball Coach John Price is going to make an audio tape. On that tape, he will record “We’re a good team, but our passing broke down.”

The tape would have come in handy Monday night, when the Matadors lost to UCLA, 15-3, 12-15, 15-9, 14-16, 15-3, in a Western Intercollegiate Volleyball Assn. match at Northridge.

For the second time this season, Northridge stretched the nation’s top-ranked team to five games before losing. In February, Northridge lost at Stanford, then the No. 1 team in the country.

“I don’t know what to say,” Price said. “Our passing breaks down, our hitting breaks down and the guys try to do too much.”


CSUN (8-19, 2-14 in conference play) trailed 9-7 in the fourth game after dropping two of the first three games, but rallied to tie the match.

Bob Samuelson, who finished with a game-high 34 kills, had six kills as Northridge rallied to tie at 14-14. Setter Tom Ribarich put Northridge ahead, 15-14, on an ace serve that barely cleared the net, and after six side outs, the Matadors took the game on a Bruin error.

But any momentum the Matadors took into the fifth game was quickly doused when UCLA (25-3, 14-1) jumped to a 6-0 lead. The Bruins readjusted their blocking scheme on Samuelson and he failed to execute a spike during the run.