January 22, 2013

Northridge Hosts UC Irvine in Mid-Week Showdown Before Heading to UC San Diego

MATCH #5:

No. 3 UC Irvine Anteaters (4-3, 1-3 MPSF) at No. 9 Cal State Northridge Matadors (3-1, 1-1 MPSF)

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PT
The Matadome - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: none
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

MATCH #6:

No. 9 Cal State Northridge Matadors (3-1, 1-1 MPSF) at No. 12 UC San Diego Tritons (3-4, 2-2 MPSF)

Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PT
RIMAC Arena - La Jolla, Calif.
Live Stats: UCSDTritons.com
Streaming Video: UCSDTritons.com
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


FOR STARTERS

Cal State Northridge (3-1, 1-1 MPSF) concludes its four-match homestand on Wednesday as the ninth-ranked Matadors return to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play by hosting the third-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters (4-3, 1-3 MPSF) in a mid-week showdown. Northridge then opens up a three-match road trip Friday as the Matadors head south to take on the 12th-ranked UC San Diego Tritons (3-4, 2-2 MPSF). Both matches are scheduled for a 7 p.m. first serve ... the Matadors remained unbeaten on their current homestand (3-0) after sweeping both Concordia and Grand Canyon in a pair of non-conference matches last week.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET

Follow Cal State Matador volleyball online at the official online home of Cal State Northridge athletics, www.GoMatadors.com. Select matches, including both Wednesday's and Friday's match, will feature live radio with Mark Scheurmann handling the play-by-play. Fans can also follow the Matadors at Twitter.com/gomatadors and YouTube.com/northridgeathletics. Fans can view and print the Matadors 2013 Record Book online at GoMatadors.com. The guide features statistics and a complete men's volleyball history. Selected Cal State Northridge matches will be streamed live at GoMatadors.com.

MATADORS MOVE INTO TOP-10 IN AVCA NATIONAL POLL

Cal State Northridge continued its ascent up the AVCA Top-15 poll as the Matadors moved into the top-10 this week. The Matadors, who ranked 12th in the preseason poll before moving up to 11th two weeks and 10th last week, received a season-high 105 points this week to gain an additional spot in the rankings. Cal State Northridge has now been ranked in 175 of the last 187 weekly polls dating back to the 2002 season. The last time the Matadors were unranked was a period of 12 weeks (Feb. 7-May 2) during the 2011 season. BYU (5-1) took over the number one spot this week as the Cougars earned all 16 first-place votes and 240 total points. Pepperdine (3-1) moved up to second this week followed by UC Irvine (4-3) while Stanford (4-2) and UCLA (6-3) are tied for fourth. Penn State (3-1) is sixth this week followed by Long Beach State (5-2), USC (2-2), the Matadors (3-1) and UC Santa Barbara (3-2). This week's top-15 is filled out by Ohio State (3-2), UC San Diego (3-4), Cal Baptist (4-3), Pacific (2-2) and Lewis (3-5) ... CSUN is also ranked in the Volleyball Magazine Division I-II Top-10 Poll this week as the Matadors remain at number nine. Northridge, which received 15 points, had not been ranked in the poll prior to last week.

SCOUTING REPORT

No. 3-ranked UC Irvine (4-3, 1-3 MPSF) comes to Northridge on Wednesday having lost a season-high three straight matches. The Anteaters held the top spot in the AVCA rankings for the first three weeks of the season after winning four straight but have since lost to No. 8 USC (3-0), at No. 14 Cal Baptist (3-2) and at No. 3 BYU (3-1). Junior OH Jeremy Dejno leads UCI on offense with a team-high 72 kills (3.00) while hitting .338. Sophomore OPP Zack La Cavera averages a team-best 3.69 kpg in 16 sets for the Anteaters who are hitting .309 as a team, fifth-best in the MPSF. Wednesday's match is the 57th meeting all-time between CSUN and UCI with the Matadors holding a 33-23 edge but the Anteaters have won the last six in a row ... 12th-ranked UC San Diego is off to a 3-4 (2-2 MPSF) start after splitting  a pair of matches last week. The Tritons defeated Cal Baptist (3-2) at home before falling in straight sets on the road at BYU. Senior OH Carl Eberts, who had 22 kills vs. Cal Baptist and 13 at BYU, leads UCSD averaging 3.48 kpg while hitting .321. The Matadors hold a commanding 65-7 lead in the all-time series but the Tritons snapped a 40-match CSUN win streak by defeating the Matadors in four sets last season.

MATADORS SWEEP NON-CONFERENCE WEEK

Northridge made the most of its week break in the MPSF schedule as the Matadors swept both Concordia and Grand Canyon in non-conference matches. The pair of wins improved CSUN to 13-2 (.867) in non-conference home matches over the last five years. The only two non-conference teams to defeat the Matadors at home over the last five seasons were Harvard in 2012 and Loyola-Chicago in 2011. Northridge is now done with non-conference play this season as the addition of Cal Baptist to the MPSF has added an additional two MPSF matches.

MOORE TOPS THE MPSF IN HITTING

After hitting .714 in two Matador wins last week, senior middle Jared Moore has vaulted to the top of the conference in hitting at .513. Moore now has 23 kills and three hitting errors in 39 attacks and has the conference lead by 13 percentage points over UCSB's Ryan Hardy. Fellow Matador senior Drew Staker would easily be leading the conference in hitting if he had enough attempts. Staker, who is just under the minimum of 2.50 swings per set, is hitting .676 this season with 26 kills and just one hitting error in 37 attacks. As a pair, Moore and Staker are hitting .592 in 76 swings with 49 kills and just four errors while also combining for 36 blocks. As a team, CSUN ranks atop the conference in both service aces and opponent hitting percentage. The Matadors, led by Travis Magorien's team-high nine, have 27 aces through 16 sets which averages out to a conference-best 1.69 per game. Northridge is the only team in the MPSF which is holding its opponents under .200 in hitting percentage. After limiting Concordia and Grand Canyon to a combined .139 hitting last week, the Matadors have held their four opponents to a .194 clip.

BAKER BENEFITS IN MATADOR WINS

Senior opposite John Baker also was a beneficiary in CSUN's two non-conference matches. Baker came into the week hitting .171 but with hitting efforts of .571 against Concordia and .350 vs. Grand Canyon, the senior has upped his hitting percentage to .260 for the season. Baker now ranks third among all Matador hitters while averaging 2.44 kpg which is second on the squad.

NORTHRIDGE NOTES

The Matadors will attempt to complete their first unbeaten homestand of at least four matches since the 2010 season against UC Irvine on Wednesday. With wins over UC Santa Barbara, Concordia and Grand Canyon, CSUN has a chance for its first unbeaten homestand since topping Stanford, Pacific, UC Santa Barbara and Penn State from Apr. 2-10 of the 2010 season ... Alex Jones and Brian O'Gorman each made their Matador debut against Concordia on Wednesday. Jones handed out a pair of assists and had one dig in one set of action while O'Gorman notched his first collegiate kill against the Eagles. At 6-10, O'Gorman is the tallest player on the Matadors' 2013 roster and the tallest CSUN player to don a Matador uniform since Jacek Ratajczak in 2010 ... CSUN's six-match losing streak to UC Irvine is the second longest current streak to an MPSF school. The Matadors have dropped seven straight to UCLA after dropping their season opener to the Bruins on Jan. 8.

235 WINS AND COUNTING FOR CAMPBELL

Having become Cal State Northridge men's volleyball's all-time winningest coach during the 2010 season, Jeff Campbell picked up the latest milestone win of his 16-year Matador career in Northridge's 3-0 win at UC San Diego on Feb. 24, 2012. The victory gave the Matador boss his 225th career victory. Campbell, who now has a career record of 235-208 (.530), reached the 150 and 200 career wins over the last four seasons and now sets his sights on his 250th career win. Currently, the third-longest tenured head coach at Cal State Northridge (men's golf coach Jim Bracken is in his 27th season & men's basketball head coach Bobby Braswell is in his 17th season) Campbell has posted double figure win totals in 14 of his 16 seasons on the bench and notched a career-best 24 wins in 2009. 

UP NEXT

Following its road match at UC San Diego on Friday, the Matadors will make their second-ever trip to Riverside (Jan. 30) but first to take on Cal Baptist as a member of the MPSF. The road trip also takes CSUN to the altitude-laden Smith Fieldhouse, the home of top-ranked BYU on Feb. 2.

- GO MATADORS -