13th-Ranked Matadors Look to Build on Momentum in Northern California
MATADORS THIS WEEK:
MATCH #6 (MPSF Match #5):
No. 13 Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-3, 2-2 MPSF) at Pacific Tigers (1-6, 0-4 MPSF)
MATCH #7 (MPSF Match #6):
No. 13 Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-3, 2-2 MPSF) at No. 7 Stanford Cardinal (4-3, 1-3 MPSF)
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 - 7:00 p.m. PST
Maples Pavilion (7,223) - Stanford, CA
Live Stats: gostanford.com
Streaming Video: gostanford.com
In-game Twitter updates: @CSUN_InGame
Cal State Northridge (2-3, 2-2 MPSF), coming off a hugely successful week, heads to Northern California this week as the 13th-ranked Matadors take momentum on the road for matches at unranked Pacific (1-6, 0-4 MPSF) and No. 7 Stanford (4-3, 1-3 MPSF). CSUN has firmly established itself as a team to be reckoned with in the MPSF following a near upset of top-ranked Pepperdine followed by a dominating three-set sweep over No. 4 USC in matches in The Matadome 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. Home matches will be streamed live through Big West TV while select home and road matches will feature a live audio broadcast. Fans can also follow the Matadors at Twitter.com/gomatadors, @CSUNMensVB and CSUN InGame as well as view highlights at YouTube.com/northridgeathletics. Fans can view and print the Matadors 2014 Record Book online at GoMatadors.com. The guide features statistics and a complete CSUN men's volleyball history.
MATADORS RANKED 13TH IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL
Cal State Northridge moved into the national rankings as the Jan. 27 AVCA Coaches Top-15 poll was released Monday. The Matadors, who earned a season-high 48 points in the first poll of the 2014 season, received 36 points this week and are ranked a season-best 13th. CSUN, which was ranked in all 15 polls last season, has now been ranked in 187 of the last 202 weekly polls dating back to the 2002 season.
Loyola-Chicago (6-1) became the fifth different team in as many weeks to move to the top of the AVCA poll. The Ramblers, who earned 11 first place votes and 254 total points, share the top spot with UCLA (6-1) which received five first-place votes. The rest of the top-five is Pepperdine (4-1), BYU (6-2) and USC (4-2). Long Beach State (4-3) is sixth this week followed by Stanford (4-3) UC Irvine (5-4), UC Santa Barbara (3-0) and Lewis (6-2). This week's AVCA Top-15 is filled out by Hawai'i (5-2), Penn State (3-2), the Matadors, IPFW (3-1) and Ohio State (4-3).
Loyola-Chicago is also number one in this week's Volleyball Magazine Top-10 Poll. The Matadors remain unranked in the Volleyball poll but are receiving votes for the first time this week.
• The Pacific Tigers are 1-6 (0-4 MPSF) to open the season after dropping road matches at Cal Baptist (3-1) and No. 7 BYU (3-0) last week. Pacific has played just two home matches over its first seven, falling to both Grand Canyon (3-2) and No. 8 Lewis (3-0). The Tigers' lone win this season came over CSUN at the UCSB Asics Invitational in early January ... Thomas Hodges leads Pacific in kills averaging 2.67 kps but is hitting .196 on a team-high 158 attacks. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .167 ... The Matadors lead the all-time series with Pacific 24-12 and are 6-4 over the last 10 matches between the two teams.
• Seventh-ranked Stanford is 4-3 overall but just 1-3 in MPSF play after splitting matches at No. 7 BYU (1-3) and Cal Baptist (3-0) last week. The Cardinal are unbeaten at home this season with wins over Lewis and Grand Canyon ... Brian Cook, who had a team-high 13 kills in the win at Cal Baptist, ranks second (3.21) to Steven Irvin (3.71) in kills per set to lead the Cardinal who are hitting .336 as a team ... Stanford holds a slight edge in the all-time series with the Matadors, 38-26. The two teams split last season's series with each team winning on the other's home court.
LENORE NAMED NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
The Matadors, and redshirt freshman Damani Lenore in particular, made quite a statement in two matches last week. With a near upset of No. 1 Pepperdine and a dominating sweep of No. 4 USC, Lenore pounded 41 kills over the course of seven sets. For his efforts the opposite from Yorba Linda, Calif., was named Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week. Lenore's 28 kills against Pepperdine matches the season-high in the MPSF this season as the Waves' Josh Taylor also had 28 against Long Beach State. Lenore's kill total is the most by a CSUN player since Jacek Ratajczak had 30 kills against Hawai'i on Mar. 5, 2010.
MAGORIEN, MATADORS COME UP ACES
Junior setter Travis Magorien, who came into his junior season with 26 career aces, is a third of the way to that total already this season. Magorien's career-high four aces against USC gave him nine in 18 sets this season, an average of 0.50 per set which ranks third in the MPSF. As a team, the Matadors served up a season-high nine aces against the Trojans giving the team 15 aces in two matches last week. Magorien's younger brother Colby, one of CSUN's serving specialists, also served his first collegiate ace in Friday's win.
CONTINUING THE MIDDLE TRADITION
Cal State Northridge has had a long history of producing All-America and all-conference performers at the middle blocker spots. Senior Drew Staker earned All-MPSF honors last season but with his departure along with fellow senior Jared Moore has opened the door for junior Greg Faulkner and sophomores Vaughn Wellenreiter and Brian O'Gorman. Faulkner, who was an All-MPSF Freshman pick in 2011, has battled injuries over the last two seasons but looks to have firmly entrenched himself in the starting lineup. The 6-7 junior from Los Angeles his hitting a team-high .477 through five matches while averaging 1.39 kps and also has a team-best 18 blocks. Wellenreiter, who played in 19 matches as a redshirt freshman in 2013, has started the last four matches and has 10 kills (0.71 kps) but has a team-high 1.21 blocks per set average. At 6-10, O'Gorman is the tallest player on the CSUN roster and is hitting .333 with eight blocks in limited action this season.
CAMPBELL CLOSES IN ON CAREER WIN #250
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 17-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 245-225 (.521), reached the 150 and 200 career wins over the last five seasons and now sets his sights on his 250th career win. Currently, the second-longest tenured head coach at Cal State Northridge (men's golf coach Jim Bracken is in his 28th season) Campbell has posted double figure win totals in 14 of his previous 16 seasons on the bench and notched a career-best 24 wins in 2009.
Travis Magorien continues to climb the CSUN career assists list as he now has 1,309 assists which ranks sixth in the Matadors' rally scoring era and 11th on the all-era list. Magorien is 43 assists away from passing Jeff Conover into 10th place on the all-time list and fifth on the rally scoring era list ... CSUN's 3-0 win over No. 4 USC was the Matadors' first over a top-five team since sweeping No. 2 BYU on Mar. 18, 2011 ... As a team, CSUN is hitting .219 overall but that figure jumps to .249 in four MPSF matches ... Redshirt freshman Bradley Sakaida has started all five matches this season, four at libero and one at outside hitter. The team-leader in digs with 23 (1.28 dps), Sakaida has proven to be one of CSUN's top passers and then put down a season-high five kills while hitting .214 against USC. The redshirt freshman from Oak Park, Calif., served his first collegiate ace against Pepperdine while also digging a season-high nine attacks ... Senior Charlie Condron made his first start of the season at libero against USC ... Both Matador wins this season have come by the 3-0 sweep.
The Matadors will have a pair of two-match road trips in the coming three weeks sandwiched around a two-match homestand with Hawai'i (Feb. 7-8). Following its trip north, CSUN will play six of the next eight matches in the friendly confines of The Matadome, the only road matches will take the Matadors to UCSB and UCLA. In addition to Hawai'i, CSUN the Matadors will host UC San Diego (Feb. 19), UC Irvine (Feb. 21), Pacific (Feb. 28) and Stanford (Mar. 1) over the next five weeks.