March 5, 2013

Seventh-Ranked Matadors Host UC San Diego in Lone Match This Week

MATCH #16 (MPSF #14):

UC San Diego Tritons (6-13, 3-11 MPSF) at No. 7 Cal State Northridge Matadors (9-6, 7-6 MPSF)

Friday, Mar. 8, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: GoMatadors.com
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes  


FOR STARTERS

After a historic weekend in Hawai'i, Cal State Northridge (9-6, 7-6 MPSF) returns home for a single match this week as the seventh-ranked Matadors host UC San Diego (6-13, 3-11 MPSF) Friday at 7 p.m. CSUN, which swept a season road series from the Warriors for the first time since 1991, and UCSD will meet for the second time this season. The Matadors, 6-3 at home this season, won in straight sets on Jan. 25 in La Jolla.

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 Friday's match will feature live video and audio 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, including Friday's CSUN-UCSD match, will be streamed live at GoMatadors.com.

MATADORS UP TO A SEASON-BEST 7TH IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL

After three straight weeks holding down the number eight ranking, Cal State Northridge moved up to a season-best seventh in this week's AVCA Coaches Top-15 poll. With two road wins at No. 11 Hawai'i, the Matadors received a season-high 150 points this week, an 11-point improvement over their season-best total. Cal State Northridge has now been ranked in all 10 polls this season and 181 of the last 193 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 (13-3) took back the top spot this week as the Cougars received 14 of 16 first-place votes and 268 total points. UC Irvine (15-4) dropped to second this week collecting one first-place vote while third-ranked Long Beach State (13-4) received the lone remaining first-place vote. Stanford (12-6) and Pepperdine (9-6) round out this week's top-five. UCLA (11-9) is sixth this week followed by the Matadors (9-6), Lewis (12-5), Ohio State (12-3) and Penn State (14-3). This week's top-15 is filled out by Hawaii (5-12), Cal Baptist (7-9), USC (4-9), UCSB (7-12) and Pacific (5-9) ... CSUN remained eighth for the fourth straight week in the Volleyball Magazine Top-10 Poll. After receiving a season-high 30 points two weeks ago, the Matadors also earned 30 points this week. CSUN has now been ranked in seven of the nine Volleyball Magazine polls this season.

SCOUTING REPORT

UC San Diego (6-13, 3-11 MPSF), which travels to No. 3 Long Beach State on Wednesday, lost at No. 12 Cal Baptist (3-0) and at home to No. 2 BYU (3-0)  last week. The Tritons have now dropped two of their last three and seven of nine since defeating Princeton on Jan. 30. UCSD is 1-5 in road matches this season, last winning at Hope International on Feb. 22. Senior outside hitter Carl Eberts leads the Tritons offensively averaging a team-high 3.33 kills per game. Eberts put down a match-high 15 kills against BYU on Saturday. Sophomore opposite Cheyne Hayes adds 2.51 kpg for the Tritons who are hitting .227 as a team. Friday's match is the 74th meeting all-time between CSUN and UCSD with the Matadors dominating the series 66-7. Northridge won the first meeting between the two teams, 3-0 in La Jolla behind 14 kills from John Baker. The Tritons snapped a 40-match Matador win streak with a 3-1 win Northridge last season.   

BLOCKING TO THE FOREFRONT

The Matadors picked up their blocking in the two matches in Hawai'i. CSUN set a four-set season-high with 15.0 total blocks against the Warriors on Sunday. The Matadors also had 10.0 total blocks in Friday's win and have now out-blocked 10 of their 15 opponents this season. That formula has proved successful as CSUN owns a 9-1 record this season when winning the battle of the net. When the Matadors are out-blocked they are winless in five matches. Senior Jared Moore ranks ninth in the MPSF in blocking at 1.14 per set while fellow senior Drew Staker is right behind at 1.08, good for 11th. As a team, the Matadors are out-blocking their opponents by a margin of 158.5 - 136.5 or an average of 2.64 - 2.28 per game. With 30 solo blocks, CSUN has nearly twice as many as its opponents (17).

MATADORS OPEN SECOND HALF OF MPSF PLAY

The Matadors officially got the second half of the conference season off to a good start with the pair of wins in Hawai'i. CSUN has now played 13 of its 24 conference matches and is 7-6 just past the mid-point. The Matadors are just one game out of the MPSF's top-four with Stanford and Pepperdine currently sharing fourth-place at 9-6. CSUN, which is one-half game ahead of UCLA (7-7), is one of two teams that have played 13 league matches.

NORTHRIDGE WILL HAVE TO GET IT DONE ON THE ROAD

If the Matadors are to secure their second straight berth in the MPSF Tournament in late April, CSUN will have to win on the road. Last Friday's match in Honolulu opened up a stretch where the Matadors will play nine of their final 13 regular season conference matches away from The Matadome. CSUN, which evened its road record at 3-3, will play four of its next five at home before embarking on a regular season-ending, six-match road swing. The Matadors will honor their three seniors (John Baker, Jared Moore and Drew Staker) prior to the BYU match on Mar. 22.

MATADORS MAKE WAVES IN HAWAI'I

Last weekend CSUN did something it hadn't done in 22 years, win two matches in Honolulu. Friday's 3-1 win marked the Matadors' first win inside the Stan Sheriff Center since 2003 and with Sunday's identical 3-1 win, CSUN claimed both matches for the first time since the 1993 season. Prior to last weekend, CSUN was 3-17 (.150) in Hawai'i between 1992 and 2012.

NORTHRIDGE NOTES

By hitting .312 in the two matches against Hawai'i, the Matadors have upped their team hitting percentage to a near season-high .278. Following the win over Pacific on Feb. 16, CSUN was hitting a season-high .285 as a team ... With their next win, the Matadors will reach double figures in victories for the 35th time in 37 seasons of men's volleyball at Cal State Northridge. Only on two occasions has a Matador squad failed to post double figures in wins (1999, 2011) ... The Matadors will face an unranked team for the first time since January when UC San Diego visits The Matadome on Friday. CSUN has played 11 straight ranked opponents since sweeping Grand Canyon on Jan. 18. UC San Diego was ranked 12th when the Matadors and Tritons met on Jan. 25 ... Kyle Stevenson came off the bench and recorded a season-high five blocks against Hawai'i on Sunday. The sophomore also matched his career-high with two assists and one ace while also hitting a season-best .500 in 14 swings ... Senior John Baker put down team-highs of 19 and 15 kills in the Hawai'i series and has now been CSUN's leading hitter in six of the last seven matches. Baker has led the team in kills nine times this season while junior Brandon Lebrock has led five times. Stevenson has been the kill leader twice while redshirt freshman Sam Holt led the Matadors with 18 kills at BYU on Feb. 2 ... The announced attendance of 2,715 and 2,573 were the two largest crowds CSUN has played in front of this season. The Matadors also played in front of 2,318 in a 3-1 loss to top-ranked BYU on Feb. 2. Northridge's largest home crowd this season was 962 against Pepperdine on Feb. 8.

241 WINS AND COUNTING FOR CAMPBELL

Having become Cal State Northridge men's volleyball's all-time winningest coach during the 2010 season, Jeff Campbell is closing in on the latest milestone win of his 16-year Matador career. Having earned his 225th career win in Northridge's 3-0 win at UC San Diego on Feb. 24, 2012 Campbell now has a career record of 241-212 (.531). He 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

Friday's match against UC San Diego opens up a stretch where CSUN will play four of its next five inside The Matadome. The lone road match during that stretch comes next Wednesday, Mar. 13 when the Matadors travel to UC Santa Barbara. Northridge then returns home for its final homestand of the regular season Mar. 15-22 against UCLA, Cal Baptist and BYU.

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