VOLLEYBALL : CSUN Women Block Path of San Jose State


Defense wins championships.

That axiom is frequently used when talking about football, but it also applies to volleyball.

Just ask the Cal State Northridge women’s team, which defeated San Jose State, 15-4, 15-13, 13-15, 15-6, to win the National Invitational volleyball championship at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City on Sunday.

The Matadors (23-8) had 16 total team blocks to San Jose State’s eight, and out-dug the Spartans, 61-44, to win their 11th match in a row.


Northridge clinched the title on a block by Ana Kristich.

“We knew they were a powerful team,” Kristich said. “The key was not to get down and keep siding out. We were ready.”

Northridge trailed, 3-2, in the first game before scoring the next 11 points for a 13-3 advantage. The Matadors didn’t trail in the second game, but blew a 12-9 lead in the third before winning the fourth.

“I think (San Jose State) played well in the third game,” Kristich said. “We didn’t let up. We just picked it up another notch in the fourth game.”

The title was Northridge’s first in postseason play since the Matadors defeated Central Missouri State for the 1987 NCAA Division II championship.

Aimee Stone had a match-high 19 kills for Northridge and Missy Clements (.455 hitting percentage) and Heather Anderson added 16 each. But it was the blocking of the 6-foot-2 Anderson and the 6-1 Kristich that shone brightest.

Each had nine blocks and freshman Rene Goth added six.

Setter Kathleen Shannon had 44 assists, three service aces and three blocks for Northridge.


Paolo Paz-Soldan led San Jose State (23-12) with 18 kills.

The Matadors swept Iowa State, 16-14, 15-6, 15-4, in a semifinal match Sunday morning, and Jose State defeated San Diego, 15-10, 19-17, 7-15, 12-15, 15-9.