The CSUN Matadors defeated UTRGV 25-16, 26-24, 25-15 to op the USF Challenge on Friday at War Memorial at the Sobrato Center in San Francisco.
The Vaqueros (6-5) face host San Francisco at 8 p.m. on ESPN+.
Junior Margherita Giani led the Vaqueros with seven kills on .357 hitting. Senior Luisa Silva Dos Santos posted six kills on .357 hitting. Junior Ilana De Assis recorded six kills with two digs. Junior Luanna Emiliano dished out 21 assists with nine digs, one ace and one block.
The Vaqueros and Matadors traded points over the first eight serves, as the first set was tied at 4 on an Assis kill. That’s when the Matadors broke things open by going on an 8-1 run. The Vaqueros pulled as close as 10-14 at the end of a 5-2 run.
The Matadors led 3-0 to start set two before a kill by freshman Nadine Zech sparked a 7-1 run to put the Vaqueros up 7-4. The Vaqueros led 8-5 on an Assis kill before the Matadors won five-straight serves to take the lead. The Matadors pushed their lead to as big as three at 19-16 before the Vaqueros scored 3-straight points to tie the set. The Matadors again led by three at 23-20 before kills by Zech, Giani, and junior Perris Key tied the set at 23. The Vaqueros defended on set point to tie the score at 24 before a kill and an ace by Barron ended the set.
Giani and Zech opened the third set with a block before the Matadors went on a 16-3 run to take the lead. A pair of Santos kills helped the Vaqueros scored the next three points. The Vaqueros got as close as eight twice – at 11-19 on a Key kill and 15-23 on an error.