NORTHRIDGE, Calif. --- In a season full of milestones and firsts, one thing had eluded No. 11 California Baptist University all year; a road MPSF win.
The Lancers finally found their first victory away from Riverside as part of the mighty men’s volleyball conference, taking down No. 9 Cal State Northridge in a thrilling five set comeback match.
The Lancers trailed 2-1 after trading wins the first three games, but would not be denied late, holding off pushes from the home team in each of the last two games.
After CBU led by four late in the fourth game, the Matadors made a run, closing to within one at 22-21. The Lancers would keep their composure, however, finishing out the set on a 3-0 run.
Levi Cabral stopped the CSUN charge with a kill and then combined on a block with Amir Lugo- Rodriguez to give the Lancers set point. Lugo-Rodriguez then got in on another stuff, combining with Jonathan Tuttle to finish off the Matadors and force a decisive fifth game.
Three times earlier this season, CBU had forced a fifth set on the road and were denied.
Wednesday night would finally be different.
The Lancers rattled off four straight points to come back from a 3-1 deficit early with a kill from Guilherme Koepp and a block by Lugo-Rodriguez and Aaron McCalmont. Then CBU hung on for dear life the rest of the way as the teams traded shots back and forth.
Clinging to a 13-12 lead late, the Lancers called a timeout to stem a 2-0 charge from the Matadors.
After CSUN fought off one CBU match point, the Lancers would look to their senior leader to end it as Cabral put away the game winning kill on a set from Brett Anderson.
It was the second time this season the Lancers have beaten the Matadors.
Koepp led the Lancers on the night with 22 kills and McCalmont posted 21, hitting a scorching .633. McCalmont had just two errors on his 30 attempts in the match.
McCalmont also posted seven block assists to join Cabral and Rocky DeLyon with seven total blocks each.
As a team CBU hit .341 on the night, posting eight more kills in the match. The Lancers also owned the net with 16.0 blocks to just 5.5 for CSUN.
John Baker had 23 kills for the Matadors.
The win moves CBU to 12-11 overall, 8-9 MPSF and drops CSUN to 10-9, 8-9.
The Lancers are back in action tomorrow night as they face No. 4 Long Beach State on the road.