Coach Sue Gozansky likes UC Riverside's chances of beating the Cal State Northridge women's volleyball team--two months from now.
She didn't put much stock in the Highlanders' chances Tuesday night at CSUN, however.
"Northridge has more experienced players than we do and if we're able to do well it's usually at the end," Gozansky said in reference to the latter part of the schedule.
CSUN proved Gozansky's point with a 15-11, 15-12, 9-15, 15-4 win in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. match.
The Lady Matadors (13-4, 2-0), ranked third in the NCAA Division II, extended their undefeated streak in CCAA matches to 26 over the past three seasons.
CSUN jumped ahead, 2-0, in the first match between the teams since UC Riverside defeated Northridge in the Division II final last season. The Highlanders, however, rallied to win the third game after jumping out to an 11-0 lead.
The Lady Matadors regained momentum in the fourth game to ensure their first win at home this season.
Despite the win, Coach Walt Ker was not complimentary of CSUN's play.
"We weren't real crisp, not real sharp," he said. "The girls came out concentrated but not very emotional. The best part of our match was after we were down, 11-0, in game three.
"We didn't celebrate the good plays enough and didn't bounce back well enough from the bad plays. The first two games, I thought we could have put them away better."
The loss dropped UC Riverside to 3-7 and 1-1 in the CCAA and did not surprise Gozansky, who is trying to rebuild the Highlanders after losing several players to graduation.
The 1987 edition of UC Riverside bears little resemblance to its championship team. Two-time All-American Melanie Jones is the only full-time returning starter on a squad that includes nine freshman.
"It's always a tough match when we play Northridge," Gozansky said. "We always have the attitude that there is nothing to lose because our record against Northridge is not that good."
The Lady Matadors are in the Cal Poly Pomona tournament Thursday through Saturday and open against Hawaii.