Loe Returns and Leads No. 7 Cal State Northridge to 3-0 Sweep Over No. 14 UC Santa Barbara


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Santa Barbara, Calif. - Redshirt freshman Cody Loe, expected to be a key contributer for Cal State Northridge in the middle, returned to the lineup and matched teammate Kevin McKniff with a team-high 12 kills as the seventh-ranked Matadors topped No. 14 UC Santa Barbara 30-21, 30-25, 30-27 for their first win of the season on Friday night at Robertson Gym.

With the win, the Matadors even their overall record, as well as their tournament record, at 1-1. Earlier in the day, Cal State Northridge lost to No. 13 Stanford 27-30, 25-30, 30-28, 32-30).

The Gauchos, who earlier lost to No. 5 UC Irvine 1-3, slip to 0-2 with the loss to the Matadors.

Loe, who missed the Matadors' earlier 3-1 loss to Stanford to attend a class, had 12 kills and just two errors in 20 swings for an even .500 hitting clip. He also added five blocks, including one solo. McKniff also had a solid match as he hit a match-high .579 with 12 kills and one error in 19 swings. True freshman Tanner Nua, making his first collegiate start, had nine kills (.227) for the second consecutive match. Senior setter Travis Bluemling rebounded from a tough opening match against Stanford with 42 assists, three digs and four blocks (one solo).

For the Gauchos, Jeff Menzel knocked down a match-hig 15 kills but no other UCSB hitter registered more than three kills.

As a team, Northridge hit .320 (48-15-103) to .045 (28-24-89) for UCSB.

"Both middles (Loe and McKniff) played well against UC Santa Barbara," said head coach Jeff Campbell. "We passed the ball pretty well and overall it's a good win over a good team (UCSB). I think we played tight against Stanford but played much better against Santa Barbara."

The Matadors will take on the winner of the USC-Pacific match on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in The Thunderdome.

Article courtesy of Cal State Northridge athletics.

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