CSUN men’s volleyball played one of its best games of the season on Friday night on the road against UC Irvine. Even in the loss, the team showed much resilience behind Arvis Greene’s career-high 40 kill performance and seemed destined to show an identical performance on Saturday night.
=The Matadors instead seemed to have left its effort in Orange County.
Opposite Karl Apfelbach dominated the Matadors from start to finish with 12 kills and CSUN was swept at home by No. 3 ranked UC Irvine (25-18, 25-23, 25-20).
“That was frustrating,” Greene said after finishing with just eight kills. “To go from playing a game like how we played to that. I don’t know what happened to be quite honest. We just didn’t played like the team we knew we were capable of being.”
The left handed hitting Apfelbach made his approach from the right side of the court which created awkward angles that set CSUN out of system. Apfelbach’s attack was something the Matadors were not prepared for.
“Apfelbach’s performance tonight was amazing and we’ve scouted him, he has not played like that all year,” CSUN coach Jeff Campbell said. “The way he stunned us tonight was like the way Arvis performed. Credit to him.”
CSUN (13-10, 3-5) lacked control and rhythm in its offense all night. The Matadors as a team hit only .137 and no player reached double digits in kills. Along with Greene, Dimitar Kalchev and Eric Chance each added eight kills.
UC Irvine (19-7, 5-3) smothered the net when Apfelbach took CSUN out of position. Scott Stadick had four blocks including one on the last play of the game.
“Our players need to come out ready to play and ready to perform,” Campbell said. “Both teams played the same game last night. The difference is Irvine came ready.”
CSUN will look to rebound quickly in its last conference matchup of the season next week against last place UC San Diego before the Big West playoffs.
“I know what this team is capable of,” Greene said. “We know what we can do and we know we are a much better team then we showed. We just need to refocus and get ready for next week.”
Written by Ethan Hanson