As musical selections go, it was extremely apropos.
Cal State Northridge had just come from behind to defeat the University of San Diego in the second game of Wednesday’s nonconference women’s volleyball match at Northridge Gymnasium, and blaring over the public address system was the song “All Right Now.”
Things were all right and about to get better for Northridge as the Matadors surged to a nine-point lead in Game 3 before sweeping San Diego, 15-11, 19-17, 15-11.
The victory, the third in the last four matches for Northridge (13-8), avenged a five-game loss to San Diego and could be the biggest victory of the year if the Matadors can win their final four matches.
Northridge is regarded as a long shot to make the 32-team field for the NCAA playoffs. But a 17-8 record, a five-match winning streak to end the season and a victory over San Diego--which has spent much of the season ranked among the nation’s top 25 teams--just might do the trick.
“I really don’t know where we stand,” CSUN outside hitter Missy Clements said.
Clements, a 5-foot-11 senior from La Habra High, played a big part in Wednesday’s victory with a match-high 25 kills and a .389 hitting percentage.
After recording eight kills in Game 1, Clements had 11 in Game 2 when the Matadors came back from deficits of 7-0 and 9-4.
Trailing, 11-9, Northridge scored three consecutive points with Heather Anderson serving to take a 12-11 lead, but San Diego countered with a three-point run to go ahead, 14-12.
The Toreros (16-8) had a chance to win the game with Kym Phillips serving, but the Matadors sided out on a Clements kill. After a pair of sideouts, Northridge tied the score, 14-14.
San Diego eventually took a 17-16 lead, but the Toreros couldn’t attain the required two-point advantage to win the game as the teams sided out 17 times in a row.
Northridge tied the score, 17-17, when San Diego was called for a double hit. After a pair of sideouts, the Matadors took an 18-17 lead on a cross-court kill by Ana Kristich, and won the game when Amy McMahon hit a ball wide right for the Toreros.
Clements, who is 33 kills away from becoming Northridge’s all-time leader with 1,327, said that relaxation keyed the Matadors’ ability to come from behind in each of the first two games.
“It has a lot to do with our patience,” she said. “Tonight, we felt like they had a lot more to lose than we did.”
Middle blocker Heather Anderson continued her hot hitting for Northridge, recording 18 kills with a .358 hitting percentage to go along with three blocks and a match-high 22 digs.