Matadors, Price Hit Jackpot : College volleyball: Northridge coach finally finds right combination in victory over BYU.


John Price, frustrated coach of the Cal State Northridge volleyball team, tried everything Thursday night in an effort to spark his team.

Price experimented with his lineup, substituting more than usual in search of an effective combination. A new setter, an array of different hitters, were used throughout a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at the Northridge Gym.

It worked. Down two games, the Matadors came back to defeat Brigham Young, 10-15, 12-15, 15-5, 15-10, 15-9.


“I was just trying to find guys who wanted to play,” Price said. “Our biggest problem lately has been mental.”

The Matadors (6-5, 6-4) did not show signs of life until late in the second game. This was not the same ferocious team that swept BYU (5-6, 4-6) in three games earlier this season.

It was not until the end of the second game that Northridge began to play well, living up to its reputation as one of the most inconsistent teams in college volleyball.

Northridge held off six game points in the second game and started making fewer errors. It was a turning point.

“They finally got their guys playing good in games three, four and five,” BYU Coach Carl McGown said. “And they got the right combination.”

Ahead, 6-5, in the third game, Northridge scored four consecutive points behind the serving of Oliver Heitmann to take a commanding lead. The Matadors trailed early in the fourth game until Heitmann’s block tied the score, 7-7. Northridge never trailed again in the last two games.


Northridge jumped to a 7-2 lead in the final game and cruised after building an 11-6 edge.