Matadors Open Final Road Trip of 2013 Friday at No. 6 Stanford
MATCH #21 (MPSF #19):
No. 10 Cal State Northridge Matadors (10-10, 8-10 MPSF) at No. 6 Stanford Cardinal (12-8, 9-8 MPSF)
Friday, Mar. 29, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PDT
Maples Pavilion (7,233) - Stanford, CA
Live Stats: GoStanford.com
Streaming Video: GoStanford.com
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors
MATCH #22 (MPSF #20):
No. 10 Cal State Northridge Matadors (10-10, 8-10 MPSF) at Pacific Tigers (6-15, 3-14 MPSF)
Saturday, Mar. 30, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PDT
Spanos Center (6,150) - Stockton, Calif.
Live Stats: pacifictigers.com
Streaming Video: pacifictigers.com
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors
Cal State Northridge (10-10, 8-10 MPSF) opens up a six-match road trip to complete the 2013 regular season this Friday at sixth-ranked Stanford (12-8, 9-8 MPSF) at 7 p.m. The Matadors will also play at Pacific (6-15, 3-14 MPSF) on Saturday before returning to Southern California for their final four matches. CSUN concluded the home schedule last week dropping a tough five-setter to No. 11 Cal Baptist before falling to top-ranked BYU in straight sets. Despite their current four-match skid, the Matadors are still in position for a postseason berth but will need some road wins over the next three weeks to ensure a spot in the eight-team MPSF Tournament in late April.
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 will feature an audio broadcast with Mark Scheurmann handling the play-by-play. Home matches will also be streamed live at GoMatadors.com. 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.
MATADORS SLIP TO 10TH IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL
After closing the home schedule with losses to No. 11 Cal Baptist and No. 1 BYU last week, Cal State Northridge slipped one spot from ninth to 10th in this week's AVCA Coaches Top-15 poll. The Matadors earned 107 points this week which is actually a one-point improvement over last week. Cal State Northridge has now been ranked in all 13 polls this season and 184 of the last 196 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 (17-3) remained in the top spot for the fourth straight week as the Cougars received all 16 first-place votes and 255 total points. UC Irvine (17-5) remained second this week while Long Beach State (17-7) moved back to third. UCLA (15-9) is fourth and Pepperdine (12-7) rounds out this week's top-five. Stanford (12-8) is sixth this week followed by Cal Baptist (12-12), UC Santa Barbara (11-12), Lewis (17-7) and the Matadors (10-10). This week's top-15 is filled out by Ohio State (15-5), Hawaii (9-14), Penn State (15-6), Loyola-Chicago (15-8) and Ball State (14-5) ... CSUN remained ninth in the Volleyball Magazine Top-10 Poll after receiving 16 points. CSUN, which was a season-high sixth two weeks ago, has now been ranked in 10 of the 12 Volleyball Magazine polls this season.
Stanford (12-8, 9-8 MPSF) comes into Friday's match fresh from a 19-day end-of-quarter break. The Cardinal holds a one and one-half game lead over the Matadors but was swept in their two most recent matches, at UC Santa Barbara (Mar. 8) and at UCLA (Mar. 10). Junior outside hitter Brian Cook leads the Stanford offense averaging 4.18 kpg which ranks third in the MPSF. Fellow outside Steven Irvin adds 3.33 kpg which also ranks among the top-15 in the conference. The Cardinal are hitting .302 as a team through 20 matches. Friday's match is the 64th meeting all-time between CSUN and Stanford with the Cardinal holding a 38-25 lead. Stanford won the first meeting this season (3-1 on Feb. 15) behind 21 kills from Cook ... Pacific (6-15, 3-14 MPSF), which hosts No. 3 Long Beach State on Friday, has dropped 12 of its last 13 matches since defeating UC San Diego on Feb. 8. The Tigers dropped a pair of 3-1 decisions at Hawai'i last weekend. Taylor Hughes leads Pacific in kills averaging 3.90 while Adam Troy adds 2.84 kpg. Tiger libero Javier Caceres leads the MPSF averaging 2.78 dpg. Saturday's match is the 35th meeting all-time in the CSUN-Pacific series with the Matadors leading 24-10. The two teams met Feb. 16 in Northridge with the Matadors coming out on top 3-1. CSUN is 3-2 in its last five in Stockton.
MATADORS IN MPSF TOURNAMENT PICTURE
Two home losses last week did not enhance CSUN's postseason chances. The Matadors (8-10) slipped into a three-way tie with UC Santa Barbara (8-10) and Cal Baptist (8-10) with six matches to go. Cal Baptist is ineligible for the postseason but the Matadors still have to worry about 10th-place Hawai'i (8-12). The Warriors host UC Santa Barbara for two this weekend before capping the regular season with a pair at UC San Diego. UCSB travels to Hawai'i for two, Cal Baptist for one then returns home to host BYU, USC and Pepperdine. The Matadors have the toughest road of the three teams with all six remaining matches on the road (Stanford, Pacific, Pepperdine, USC, UC Irvine and Long Beach State). The Matadors, who have climbed as high as fifth this season, are currently three full games behind Pepperdine (11-7) and UCLA (11-7) while BYU (16-2) and UC Irvine (14-5) have already clinched a postseason berth. Only the top-eight teams qualify for the postseason.
BAKER DOUBLES UP FOR THE SECOND TIME IN 2013
Senior opposite John Baker has become the focal point of the Matador offense this season. But the four-year letterwinner from Racine, Wis., has also become a team-leader on the defensive end as well. With match-highs of 23 kills and 10 digs in Wednesday's loss to Cal Baptist, Baker notched his team-leading second double-double this season and third of his career. He leads the Matadors with 107 digs this season (1.39 dpg) which has already extended his season career-best. After putting down a season-low one kill at Cal Baptist (Jan. 30), Baker has reached double figures in kills 12 times in his last 13 starts averaging 4.28 kills per game over that stretch.
STAKER ENTERS MATADOR CAREER TOP-10
Senior middle blocker Drew Staker has etched his name in two career categories as his final season winds down. Staker, who is hitting a team-high .480 this season, currently ranks seventh in hitting in CSUN history at .402. Staker also ranks 10th in career blocks with 244 total blocks in 321 sets. He also leads the Matadors this season with 86 total stuffs which is just 20 blocks behind his career-best 106 from the 2011 season.
The announced attendance of 1,455 against top-ranked BYU on Friday was the 10th-largest crowd to ever see a Matador men's volleyball match. The largest attended match was CSUN-UCLA in 1991 when 2,632 witnessed a 3-1 Matador win. In 2009, the Matadors hosted Pepperdine and also drew 1,455 fans ... The Matadors had never lost a match in five tries to Cal Baptist before losing both contests this season. The Lancers, transitioning from NAIA to NCAA Division I status, topped CSUN in four on Jan. 30 before coming back to win in five last week ... Redshirt sophomore Ryan Mason made his Matador debut against BYU, picking up one dig while serving a pair of points ... CSUN finished up the home schedule with seven wins in 13 matches, the second-lowest amount of home wins since the 2003 season. In 2011, the Matadors won just four of 13 matches in The Matadome.
DOUBLE FIGURE WINS ACHIEVED
By picking up their 10th win of the season against UC San Diego on Mar. 8, the Matadors have now earned double figure wins in 13 of the last 14 seasons and 35th time in the 37 years of Matador men's volleyball. Jeff Campbell has now posted double figure win totals in 14 of his 16 seasons at the helm.
Following Saturday's match at Pacific, the Matadors will head home to prepare for a crosstown battle with Pepperdine (Apr. 4) and a road match at USC (Apr. 6). CSUN concludes the regular season at UC Irvine (Apr. 10) and at Long Beach State (Apr. 13).
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