February 17, 2014

CSUN's Season-Long Four-Match Homestand Opens Wednesday vs. UC San Diego

MATADORS THIS WEEK:

MATCH #12 (MPSF Match #11):

UC San Diego Tritons (0-13, 0-12 MPSF) at No. 15 Cal State Northridge Matadors (3-8, 3-7 MPSF)

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 - 7:00 p.m. PST
The Matadome - Northridge, CA
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: GoMatadors.com
Audio: none
In-game Twitter updates: @CSUN_InGame 


MATCH #13 (MPSF Match #12):

No. 7 UC Irvine Anteaters (9-7, 6-6 MPSF) at No. 15 Cal State Northridge Matadors (3-8, 3-7 MPSF)

Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 - 7:00 p.m. PST
The Matadome - Northridge, CA
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: GoMatadors.com
Audio: none
In-game Twitter updates: @CSUN_InGame   


Weekly Match Notes          


FOR STARTERS

Cal State Northridge (3-8, 3-7 MPSF) heads into its season-long four-match homestand at a time when the 15th-ranked Matadors can really use it. Although just 2-3 on The Matadome floor this season, CSUN has played well in its five home matches this season and looks to get back on track against UC San Diego (0-13, 0-12 MPSF) and No. 7 UC Irvine (9-7, 6-6 MPSF) this week. The Matadors fell in straight sets at No. 7 UC Santa Barbara and No. 2 UCLA last week and have now dropped five straight matches after winning a season-high two straight with wins over No. 4 USC and Pacific (Jan. 24, 31). 


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 with Mark Schuermann and Mahina Haina. Fans can also follow the Matadors on Twitter at @GoMatadors, @CSUNMensVB and @CSUN_InGame as well as view match 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 SLIP TO 15TH IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL

After three weeks at No. 13, Cal State Northridge slipped two spots to 15th in the AVCA Coaches Top-15 poll released Monday, Feb. 17. After road losses at No. 7 UCSB and No. 2 UCLA last week, the Matadors earned a 27 points this week to rank 15th. CSUN, which has been ranked in five of the eight weekly polls this season, has now been ranked in 190 of the last 205 weekly polls dating back to the 2002 season.

Loyola-Chicago (11-1) remained No. 1 for the second straight week as the Ramblers earned 14 first-place votes and 261 total points. BYU (10-3) moved into second with 249 points, receiving three first-place votes while UCLA (11-3) received the other first-place vote and 233 points to take third. The rest of this week's top-five is Pepperdine (7-3) and UC Santa Barbara (8-3). Long Beach State (7-4) is sixth again this week followed by UC Irvine (9-7), USC (7-5), Stanford (8-5), and Lewis (9-3). This week's AVCA Top-15 is filled out by Hawai'i (9-4), Penn State (10-2), Ball State (7-3), Ohio State (5-6) and the Matadors (3-8).

Loyola is also number one in this week's Volleyball Magazine Top-10 Poll. The Matadors remain unranked in the Volleyball poll in week seven.


SCOUTING REPORTS

• UC San Diego (0-13, 0-12 MPSF) fell in straight sets to both No. 5 USC and No. 3 Pepperdine at home last week to remain winless on the season. The Tritons, 0-9 in road matches this season, also travel to Long Beach on Friday. Nick Iorfino leads UC San Diego averaging 2.33 kps while Mike Brunsting adds 2.11 kps while also serving a team,-high 11 aces. As a team the Tritons are hitting .191. Wednesday's match is the 75th meeting all-time between CSUN and UCSD with the Matadors dominating the series 67-7. The Tritons' last win in the series came at CSUN in 2012. 

• The seventh-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters (9-7, 6-6 MPSF), who travel to No. 6 Long Beach State on Wednesday before CSUN on Friday, upset No. 5 USC (3-2) and No. 3 Pepperdine (3-0) last week. UCI, an even 5-5 on the road this season, has now won four of its last six matches. Zack La Cavera leads the Anteaters averaging 3.58 kps which ranks ninth in the MPSF. Jeremy Dejno adds 2.98 kps for UCI which is hitting an even .300 as a team through 16 matches. Friday's match is the 59th meeting all-time between CSUN and UCI with the Matadors holding a 33-25 edge in the all-time series. The Anteaters have won eight straight over CSUN dating back to the Matadors' 3-1 win in 2010.


FAULKNER CONTINUES TO PROVE HE'S BACK

After a pair of largely forgettable seasons on the court, junior middle blocker Greg Faulkner continues to re-establish himself as one of the more formidable middles in the MPSF. CSUN's hitting struggles as a team have not affected the junior who is hitting .424 on 132 swings this season which is sixth-best in the nation. Faulkner, a 2011 MPSF All-Freshman Team selection, has taken the third-most swings on the team with only Damani Lenore (263) and Sam Holt (192) taking more. Most recently he matched his season-high with 10 kills while hitting .412 at No. 2 UCLA. Faulkner also had 10 kills against Hawai'i on Feb. 7 where he hit at least .600 in a match for the fourth time this season. Faulkner's career-high in kills (11) came against UC San Diego during his freshman season of 2011.


HOME VERSUS ROAD

The Matadors have played the exact same amount of home vs. road matches this season, playing 17 home sets against 17 road sets. Matches in The Matadome have proven beneficial offensively while road matches have shown a defensive prowess. In five home matches, CSUN is averaging 12.12 kills per set compared to 10.59 kps in five road matches. The Matadors are hitting over 100 points higher at home than road (.241 to .137) and are also averaging 11.41 assists per set at home compared to 10.12 on the road. CSUN has statistically stepped up its defense on the road as the team has 43 more digs (156-113) and has a slight 46-44 edge in blocks in road contests.


ROTATING LINEUPS

CSUN head coach Jeff Campbell has utilized many different combinations this season in search of a winning lineup. The mainstays have been Travis Magorien at setter and middles Faulkner and Vaughn Wellenreiter while Campbell has experimented as coaches typically do with a young team. Lenore has started the last seven matches at opposite after Jakub Ciesla started the first four. Campbell has rotated five different players in at the two outside hitter spots with Sam Holt and Bradley Sakaida receiving a lions share of the starts. Sakaida has been the starting libero in matches he hasn't started at outside hitter with true freshman Andrew Freiha also starting three of the past four matches. Of the 16 players Campbell has utilized this season, Leni Ma'ia'i connected for his first collegiate kill at UC Santa Barbara and John Peachey recorded his first three assists at UCLA last week.


NORTHRIDGE NOTES

Although he had just two attempts in two matches last week, Travis Magorien's streak of errorless attacks continued. The junior setter now has 18 kills in 26 attempts without an error for an attack percentage of .692. Magorien also posted his second career double-double with 21 assists and 10 digs at UCSB ... UC San Diego will be fourth un-ranked team CSUN has played this season and the Matadors are 2-1 against such teams with wins over Cal Baptist (3-0) and Pacific (3-2) and a loss against Pacific (3-1) in the season opening UCSB Asics Invitational ... With 38 attacks at UCLA, Lenore took the most swings since attempting 59 at Pacific (Jan. 31). Lenore, and CSUN's, season-high in attacks is 61 against No. 1 Pepperdine on Jan. 22 ... The Matadors have been swept in each of their last five matches, the longest such streak for a CSUN team since 2011. That season, the Matadors were blanked in successive matches against No. 5 UCSB, No. 2 Stanford, Pacific, No. 9 Ohio State and No. 8 Penn State from Jan. 28 to Feb. 5.     


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 his most recent 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 246-230 (.517), 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.


UP NEXT

Following matches against UC San Diego and No. 7 UC Irvine this week, the Matadors conclude their season-long, four-match homestand next week against Pacific (Feb. 28) and Stanford (Mar. 1). CSUN will then open up a grueling stretch that will see the Matadors play seven of eight on the road from Mar. 6 through Mar. 29.

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