NORTHRIDGE – Sophomore Daniel Wetter had a team-high 11 kills but the CSUN men’s volleyball team fell in straight sets to a hot-hitting Purdue Fort Wayne team in its 2020 home opener Wednesday night at The Matadome.
The 10th-ranked Mastodons (3-0) remain unbeaten with the 25-20, 25-23, 26-24 win while the Matadors drop to 1-3 on the young season.
• Wetter finished the night with a team-high 11 kills, committing a single hitting error on 15 attacks to hit .667. The sophomore middle from Camarillo also tied for team-high honors with four blocks, including one solo stuff.
• Junior Maciej Ptaszynski also reached double figures with 10 kills (.222) while redshirt freshman Kyle Hobus chipped in seven kills (.130) and a team-high eight digs. Hobus also matched Wetter with four blocks.
• Sophomore setter Taylor Ittner registered 33 assists and six digs as the Matadors wound up hitting .286 (39-13-91) as a team.
• The visiting Mastodons hit a robust .357 (51-16-98) for the match, not hitting below .293 in any of the three sets.
• Pelegrin Vargas led all hitters in the match with 22 kills, hitting .588 on 34 swings to lead Purdue Fort Wayne.
Coach Jeff Campbell said:
“That’s a good team we played tonight, but again it came down to a couple points here and there. Our serving was much improved from last weekend and when we passed to the net, (Daniel) Wetter was amazing. We are definitely better than we were last weekend, which is important. We’ll make some adjustments tomorrow and get ready for Ball State on Friday.”
After a Hobus kill pulled CSUN even at 6-6 early in the opening set, the Mastodons scored three straight to force a Matador timeout. A block on Ptaszynski out of the timeout extended the run to 4-0 before CSUN claimed two of the next three points to pull within 11-8. But three more points for the Mastodons pushed the lead to six (14-8) and the Matadors called their final timeout. CSUN remained within four on several occasions before a late 3-0 run, capped by a Hobus ace, cut the deficit to 22-19. The visitors then claimed three of the final four points in the 25-20 win.
CSUN used a 4-0 run to erase an early 4-2 deficit when a Ptaszynski-Paul Rzepnieski block gave the Matadors a 6-4 edge. Wetter and Hobus then teamed up to stuff a Mastodon attack giving the Matadors their largest lead at 12-9. A Ptaszynski kill maintained a three-point CSUN lead at 15-12 when the visitors engineered a 6-0 run to take an 18-15 lead. Trailing 20-17, a Steven Rotter kill propelled the Matadors on a 3-0 run that knotted the score. Two more ties followed, the last at 22-22, when two straight Purdue Fort Wayne points set the Mastodons up with set point at 24-22. A Rzepnieski kill saved one set point before Vargas connected on set point sending the visitors to the 25-23 win.
Looking for a win to stay in the match, CSUN opened up a 13-11 lead following a Wetter kill and a Mastodon hitting error. An ensuing 4-2 run pulled Purdue Fort Wayne even at 15-all and the two teams traded sideouts until Wilmer Hernandez gave the visitors an 18-17 edge. But back came the Matadors who reclaimed the lead at 20-19 following a 3-1 run. Sideouts ensued until a Hobus kill gave CSUN set point at 24-23. But Hernandez saved one set point and the Mastodons followed up with a block and a kill to seal the 26-24 win and the 3-0 sweep.
The Matadors continue their six-match homestand Friday, hosting Ball State in the Matadome at 7:00 p.m.