January 27, 2009

Matadors Take Unbeaten Record to No. 12 Hawai'i For Two-Match Series

Jan. 27, 2009

Weekly Match Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

NORTHRIDGE TAKES SIX-MATCH UNBEATEN STREAK TO NO. 12 HAWAI'I"I FOR A PAIR OF MATCHES Second-ranked Cal State Northridge (6-0, 3-0 MPSF) heads back out in the road this week as the Matadors travel to No. 12 Hawai'i (1-6, 0-4 MPSF) for a pair of matches beginning Friday, Jan. 30. The two matches in Hawai'i wrap up a season-opening stretch where the Matadors play seven of its first eight matches on the road. Northridge puts is six-match winning streak on the line against the Warriors who are 1-4 at the Stan Sheriff Center this season. Following the two-match series in Hawai'i, the Matadors return to Northridge to open up a five-match homestand on Friday, Feb. 6 against Long Beach State.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET Both matches at Hawai'i will be available via live video streaming and audio webcast.

The live video streaming is available at: Live Video

The audio webcast is available at: Live Broadcast

Hawai'i will also provide live stats for the series at: Live Stats

MATADORS IMPROVE TO 6-0 (3-0) WITH STRAIGHT SET WIN OVER No. 10 UC SANTA BARBARA Senior Eric Vance and sophomore Tanner Nua combined for 25 kills as No. 2 Cal State Northridge won its sixth-straight match to open the 2009 season, 30-21, 30-25, 30-27 over No. 10 UC Santa Barbara Friday at The Matadome. Nua had his best hitting night of the young season as the sophomore right side from Palmdale pounded a match-high 13 kills while hitting an impressive .526. Nua committed just three hitting errors in an efficient 19 swings and also added four digs and three blocks. Vance added 12 kills (.292), two aces and matched his career-high with six blocks (two solo). Matt Stork had 45 assists and steered the Matador offense to a season-best .416 team hitting clip. Kevin McKniff chipped in nine kills (.571) and had two of Northridge's six aces.

NORTHRIDGE REMAINS SECOND IN BOTH NATIONAL POLLS, EARNS FIRST-PLACE VOTE After claiming their home opener with a 3-0 sweep over No. 10 UC Santa Barbara to improve their season record to 6-0, the Matadors remained second for the third consecutive week in the Bison/AVCA Top 15 poll (Jan. 26). Northridge, which earned one first-place vote, matched its season-high with 223 points this week after earning the same 223 points last week. Prior to this season, the last time the Matadors earned the number two national ranking was Mar. 31, 2008. Penn State, the preseason number one team, picked up 15 of 16 first-place votes this week and holds the top spot for the fourth straight week with 239 total points. Pepperdine (5-0) is third this week while USC (5-1) and UC Irvine (6-2) share fourth to round out this week's top five teams. Spots 6-10 are occupied by Stanford (5-3), Long Beach State (3-3), UCLA (3-4), BYU (4-3) and UC Santa Barbara (2-4). Northridge was also second in the second Molten/Volleyball Magazine poll of 2009 after earning 62 points.

MATADORS 6-0 FOR FIRST TIME IN HISTORY Never in the previous 32 seasons of Northridge men's volleyball has a Matador team won its first six matches to open a season. Walt Ker's 1985 Northridge team opened with six consecutive wins but one match was counted as an exhibition. John Price's 1993 team had the best-ever start with seven wins in its first eight matches while Jeff Campbell's best start prior to this season was 2003 when the Matadors opened 6-1.

NORTHRIDGE UP TO 22-11 IN HOME OPENERS Northridge's 3-0 win over UCSB in Friday's home opener improved the Matadors to 22-11 (.667) in home openers dating back to 1977. The Matadors also improved to 20-13 (.606) in conference home openers.

MATADORS IN HAWAI'I Cal State Northridge has played a total of 24 matches in Hawai'i since men's volleyball began at Northridge in 1977. The Matadors have struggled to a 3-21 (.125) record on the Big Island. Since the MPSF began the two-match series format against Hawai'i and BYU in 2001, the Matadors have dropped both matches in a season three times (2001, 2005, 2007) and split once (2003). In all, Northridge has lost five straight at the Stan Sheriff Center but won both against the Warriors in The Matadome last season.

NUA ENJOYS THE COMFORTS OF HOME Tanner Nua has had a solid start to his sophomore season. The 6-8 right side hitter had double figures in kills in four of the Matadors' first five matches. But Nua hit just .137 in those five matches which all came on the road. Those numbers changed dramatically on Friday as he pounded a match-high 13 kills while hitting a career-high .526. Nua had just three hitting errors in an efficient 19 swings and also added four digs and matched his season-high with three blocks.

CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK Freshman setter Matt Stork appears to have many of the same traits as his father, Pepperdine All-American and U.S. Olympian Jeff Stork. Jeff was a three-time All-America setter as well a two-time Olympic medalist while Matt was an All-American as well as Mission League MVP as a senior at Crespi High School. Stork has led the Matadors to a .305 team hitting clip while posting 297 assists in helping Northridge to its 6-0 start.

VANCE CAREER RECORDS UPDATE With 12 kills against UC Santa Barbara on Friday, senior Eric Vance moved within six kills of entering the Northridge top-10 in career kills. Dan Rhodes currently holds the the 10th spot with 1,163 kills from 2004-07. Already second in career aces, Vance has added 12 to his ledger this season and now trails career-leader Eckhard Walter by 47 aces. He also figures to crack the top 10 in career digs as he trails Matt Unger for 10th place by 45 digs.

NORTHRIDGE NOTES The Matadors are hitting .305 as a team overall but raise that number to .324 in three MPSF matches ... Northridge hit .416 against the Gauchos, the previous season-best was .357 in a three-set win at UCLA on Jan. 14 ... Junior Mike Gaudino is on pace to establish career-highs in kills, aces, digs and blocks. He is currently averaging a career-best 2.45 kpg, 0.50 apg and 2.05 dpg and 1.00 blocks per game.

SCOUTING HAWAI'I The No. 12 Warriors (1-6, 0-4 MPSF) are currently in the midst of a six-match losing streak, including dropping both matches at No. 10 Brigham Young last week. The six-match skid is tied for the second longest in school history. The Warriors are looking to snap a slide of nine losses in their last 10 league matches dating back to last season. Hawai'i is led by freshman OH Steven Hunt who is averaging a team-best 4.04 kills per game. Head Coach Mike Wilton is in his 17th season at Hawai'i and sports a record of 308-155. Wilton is 629-305 in 32 seasons as a head coach. Northridge trails 42-13 in the all-time series with the Warriors but has won two straight matches between the two teams including two wins in The Matadome last March.

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