Matadors Travel to Third-Ranked UCLA, Host Cal Baptist This Week

MATCH #7 (MPSF Match #4):

No. 9 Northridge Matadors (2-4, 1-2 MPSF) at No. 3 UCLA Bruins (7-1, 2-0 MPSF)

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 - 7:00 p.m. PST
Wooden Center - Westwood, Calif.
Live Stats: Gametracker
Streaming Video: none
Audio: UCLABruins.com
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors


MATCH #8:

Cal Baptist Lancers (1-3) at No. 9 Northridge Matadors (2-4, 1-2 MPSF)

Friday, Jan. 27, 2012 - 7:00 p.m. PST
The Matadome - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: Gametracker
Streaming Video: none
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP, Alex Jones - Analyst)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


FOR STARTERS

Following a successful home opener against No. 8 Long Beach State last week, ninth-ranked Cal State Northridge (2-4, 1-2 MPSF) returns to the road on Wednesday as the Matadors travel to No. 3 UCLA (7-1, 2-0 MPSF) before returning home to host Cal Baptist in a non-conference match on Friday.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET

Follow Cal State Matador volleyball online at the official online home of Cal State Northridge athletics, www.GoMatadors.com. All Matador home matches and a majority of road matches will feature live stats via Gametracker. In addition, select home and road matches will be broadcast live with Mark Schuermann handling the play-by-play and Alex Jones providing analysis. Fans can also follow the Matadors at Twitter.com/gomatadors and YouTube.com/northridgeathletics. Fans can also view and print the Matadors 2012 Record Book online at GoMatadors.com. The guide features statistics and a complete men's volleyball history.

TO RECAP

Julius Hoefer and Matt Stork combined for 38 kills as 11th-ranked Cal State Northridge overcame a 2-1 set deficit to knock off eighth-ranked Long Beach State 15-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-14, 15-11. Hoefer, a freshman opposite, overcame a slow start to put down a match-high 21 kills in 42 attacks (.286). The 21 kills matches Hoefer's season-high and the freshman also had three aces, seven digs and seven blocks (one solo). Stork added 17 kills in 42 swings (.293) and also notched five digs and one ace. Junior middle Jared Moore came off the bench to provide a spark for the second straight match as he chipped in eight kills in 11 swings with just one error to hit .636. Moore also posted five block assists as the Matadors out-blocked the 49ers 14.5-9.0. Travis Magorien, starting for just the second time this season, dished out 50 assists as Northridge hit .255 (60-25-137) as a team. Magorien also had eight digs and three blocks while libero Sina Aghassy made the most of his first collegiate start with 19 digs.

MATADORS REGAIN FOOTHOLD IN AVCA TOP-10

After defeating No. 8 Long Beach State in its 2012 home opener, Cal State Northridge moved up to ninth in this week's AVCA Coaches Top-15 Poll released Jan. 23. The No. 9 national ranking is the highest for the Matadors since the final ranking of 2010 when Northridge finished third. Northridge went the entire 2011 season without cracking the AVCA top-10. The Matadors, who had been ranked 11th in consecutive weeks, earned a season-high 105 points in this week's poll, up 35 points from last week's poll. Northridge, which had been ranked in the AVCA Top-15 for 155 consecutive weeks prior to Feb. 7, 2011, have now been ranked in all four polls this season. BYU earned 14 of 16 first-place votes and 253 points to remain No. 1 for the second straight week. UC Irvine second this week with 234 points followed by UCLA (225) which received the other two first-place votes. This week's top-five is rounded out by Stanford (193) and USC (193). Pepperdine (161) is sixth this week followed by Lewis (147), Penn State (139), the Matadors (105) and Ohio State (104). This week's top-15 is filled out by Long Beach State (99), Pacific (51), Hawai'i (48), Loyola-Chicago (42) and UC Santa Barbara (22).

THIS WEEK'S STORYLINES

It's one road, one home for the Matadors this week as Northridge continues its road grind at No. 3 UCLA on Wednesday before hosting the Cal Baptist Lancers in a non-conference tilt on Friday ... So far in 2012, the Matadors have played five road matches (including neutral sites) against No. 3 UCLA, No. 14 UCSB, No. 10 Loyola, No. 10 Pepperdine and No. 6 USC ... With Pauley Pavilion being renovated, Northridge and UCLA will meet in the Wooden Center on Wednesday ... The Matadors topped the Bruins 3-1 in 2000 in the last meeting at the Wooden Center but are just 7-25 in 32 matches all-time on the Westwood campus ... The Bruins took the first meeting between the two teams this season, winning in four at the season-opening UCSB Asics Invitational ... Northridge will look to make it two straight at home Friday as Cal Baptist pays a visit. The Matadors have never lost to the Div. II Lancers in four matches all-time. Cal Baptist will be the first team not ranked among the AVCA Top-15 Northridge has faced this season.

HÖEFER, STORK PROPEL MATADORS TO HOME WIN

In a performance Matador fans hope is a sign of things to come, senior Matt Stork and freshman Julius Höefer formed a formidable offensive duo against Long Beach State. The pair combined for 38 of Northridge's 60 kills against the 49ers while hitting .290 in 83 swings. Höefer matched his season-high with 21 kills while Stork also matched his season-high with 17 kills. Not since the UCSB match on Jan. 6 has Höefer and Stork reached double figures in kills on the same night but the duo combined to hit just .185 against the Gauchos while losing in four sets. Stork and Höefer also provided four combined aces (three from Höefer), 12 digs, seven blocks and two assists.

AGHASSY DIGS FIRST START

After making his Matador debut against USC on Jan. 13, redshirt freshman libero Sina Agahssy made his first start against Long Beach State. The change paid dividends as Aghassy had a Northridge season-high 19 digs and the Matadors had a team season-high 44 digs in the five-set win. Aghassy's total is the most by a Northridge libero since Kaleo Baxter scooped up 19 digs at Stanford on Mar. 25, 2011. Aghassy, who redshirted as a freshman at Hawai'i in 2011, also scooped up three digs at USC and leads the Matadors with a 2.75 digs per game average. Charlie Condron, who started the first five matches at libero this season, ranks second at 1.78 digs per game.

MOORE UP, STAKER DOWN

Junior middle blocker Jared Moore has enjoyed a resurgence so far in 2012 while fellow junior Drew Staker has struggled in the early going. Moore, who started the first two matches this season with mixed results, has been Northridge's best middle off the bench in each of the last two matches. He came in for the final two sets at USC and had five kills in seven error-less swings (.714) while also blocking two Trojan attacks. Against Long Beach State, Moore came on in the second set and went on to post a career-high eight kills in 11 attacks to hit .636. The junior from Corona, Calif., also had a career-high five blocks in the win. Moore currently ranks third in the MPSF in hitting (.543) and is ninth in blocking (1.07 bpg). Conversely, Staker has struggled to regain the form that saw him finish 2011 as one of the top hitters in the conference. A career .398 hitter, the junior from Las Vegas, Nev., is hitting .228 this season with 24 kills and 11 errors in 57 attacks. Staker, who has had to adjust to a pair of new setters this season, committed just 44 errors in 321 swings as a sophomore but has found himself with a negative hitting percentage in two of the first six matches this season.

NORTHRIDGE NOTES

Redshirt sophomore Marty Lorenz also made his 2012 debut against Long Beach State and although he had just three kills in 18 swings, the middle from Spokane, Wash. shared match-high honors with seven total blocks to go with one ace ... True freshman Travis Magorien made his second start of the season against the 49ers and dished out a Matador season-high 50 assists while leading Northridge to a .255 hitting clip ... The Long Beach match was the first five-set match for the Matadors this season and Northridge has now won seven of its last eight matches that have gone five. The win also gave the Matadors four home-opening wins in the last five seasons. The only loss in that time was a 3-0 setback to UCSB in the 2011 home opener.

CAMPBELL APPROACHES 225 CAREER WINS

Having become Cal State Northridge men's volleyball's all-time winningest coach in 2010, Jeff Campbell is fast approaching his next milestone win which would be the 225th of his 15-year Matador career. Campbell reached the 150 and 200 career wins over the last four seasons and after defeating Long Beach State now has 222 career victories. The second-longest tenured head coach at Cal State Northridge (men's basketball head coach Bobby Braswell is in his 16th season) has posted double figure win totals in 12 of his 14 previous seasons on the bench and notched a career-best 24 wins in 2009.

UP NEXT

Following this week's matches, the Matadors will open up a stretch where they will play four of their next six matches on the road beginning Feb. 3 at Long Beach State. Northridge will have played 10 of its first 13 matches on the road before opening up a season-long, nine-match homestand against UC Santa Barbara Feb. 29.

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