Matadors Back on the Road for MPSF Matches at No. 2 Stanford, No. 15 Pacific

March 22, 2011

Matador Volleyball Weekly Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


Match #23

Northridge Matadors (6-16, 4-11 MPSF) at No. 2 Stanford Cardinal (14-5, 11-4 MPSF)

Friday, March 25, 2011 - 7 p.m. PST

Maples Pavlilion - Stanford, Calif.

Live Stats: Gametracker (

Live Audio: None

Match #24

Northridge Matadors (6-16, 4-11 MPSF) at No. 15 Pacific Tigers (9-14, 3-12 MPSF)

Saturday, March 26, 2011 - 7 p.m. PST

Spanos Center - Stockton, Calif.

Live Stats: Gametracker (

Live Audio: None

Cal State Northridge (6-16, 4-11 MPSF) opens a four-match road trip this week with matches in Northern California against second-ranked Stanford (14-5, 11-4 MPSF) and 15th-ranked Pacific (9-14, 3-12 MPSF). The Matadors split a two-match set with second-ranked BYU last weekend winning in straight sets on Friday and falling in straight sets on Saturday. CSUN's road trip continues next week with two matches in Honolulu against Hawai'i.

Jeff Campbell is in his 14th season as head coach with 219 career wins, the most in Northridge men's volleyball history. With the Matadors' 3-0 win at Long Beach State on Jan. 15, 2010, Campbell won his 195th match became the winningest coach in CSUN men's volleyball history surpassing John Price (194-158) who coached the Matador men for 12 seasons. Campbell has averaged over 23 wins per season over the last three seasons and has led the Matadors to at least 18 wins every season since 2003.

Follow Matador volleyball online at the official online home of Cal State Northridge athletics, All Matador home matches and a majority of road matches will be broadcast live via Gametracker. In addition, select home and road matches will feature live audio with Mark Schuermann handling the call. Fans can also follow the Matadors at and Fans can also view and print the Matadors 2011 media guide online at The guide features player information, photos, statistics and a complete men's volleyball history.

Despite his worst hitting night of the season on Saturday, sophomore middle Drew Staker has inched up to third in the MPSF in hitting at .427. Only UCLA's Weston Dunlap (.494) and UCSB's Scott Slaughter (.483) have a higher hitting clip this season than Staker. The sophomore middle followed up his 10 kill in 11 swing effort against Harvard with a .545 hitting clip in CSUN's upset over No. 2 BYU on Friday. Staker's .909 hitting effort against Harvard is the third best in Northridge's single match history behind Kevin McKniff's .929 against UCLA in 2010 and James Lischer's .923 at USC in 2005. Staker is now tied with Brandon Lebrock for second on the team with 140 kills and now has a team-high 51 total blocks.

Senior Tanner Nua had his best hitting effort of the season Friday against BYU with 16 kills in 35 swings to hit .371. His effort moved him closer to 1,000 points in his three-plus year career. With seven matches remaining in the regular season, the senior opposite from Palmdale, Calif., needs 66 points to reach 1,000 for his CSUN career. He would a host of Matadors, including Kevin McKniff (1,325.5 points), Mike Gaudino (1,163), Eric Vance (1,957), Isaac Kneubuhl (1,109), Dan Rhodes (1,335), Brian Waite (1,431) and Nils Nielsen (1,566) who have reached the 1,000 career points plateau in the last eight years. Nua is also within four aces of tying for ninth all-time in career aces.

True freshman Brandon Lebrock is having a solid first season at Cal State Northridge. The first true freshman to play a significant role on his team since Mike Gaudino in 2007, Lebrock's statistics after 22 matches rival those of Gaudino. Lebrock ranks first on the Matadors in aces (18) and is second in kills (140) and kills per game (2.09) and third in digs (67) and points (172.5). Gaudino had 120 kills (1.15 kpg) as a true freshman in 2007 but served 23 aces and had 83 digs for his team than finished 18-15 overall and 11-11 in the MPSF.

Friday's 3-0 upset over BYU was the Matadors second win this season over a team ranked second in the AVCA Top-15 poll. Northridge topped then No. 2 Long Beach State in a five-set comeback win on Feb. 11 and the Matadors will get another chance to pull off an upset this week as Stanford is ranked second in this week's national poll. Friday's match is CSUN's first at Maples Pavilion since the memorable run of last season. The Matadors defeated BYU in the MPSF semifinals in Stanford before losing to eventual national champion Stanford in the conference final. Northridge returned "The Farm" a week later for the NCAA Championships where the Matadors dropped a disappointing 3-0 decision to Penn State in the national semifinals.

Should the Matadors have any hope of keeping their streak of 10 straight postseason appearances intact, they will need to win a majority of their final seven MPSF matches. UCLA (6-8) currently holds the eighth and final MPSF Tournament spot with Pepperdine (4-11), the Matadors (4-11), UC San Diego (4-12) and Pacific (3-12) on the outside looking in. Not since 2001 has a Northridge team failed to advance to the postseason and the last time the Matadors failed to win as many as eight conference matches was also 2001, when CSUN finished 4-13.

Sophomore Drew Staker and senior Kaleo Baxter are the only two Matador players to rank among the top-10 in the MPSF this week. Staker ranks third in hitting (.427) with 140 kills in 248 attacks with just 34 errors. Baxter ranks sixth in digs per game (2.07) after recording a career-best 124 digs in 60 games. Baxter is the highest ranked CSUN player in the NCAA stats as he ranks 18th in digs per game.

The last time the Matadors dropped as many as eight home matches was in 2002 when CSUN finished 7-8 on the Matadome floor. The Matadors' worst home record in the 35 seasons of men's volleyball was 1999 when CSUN finished 2-11 ... Northridge will most certainly post totals this season that they would rather not. Nua's 142 kills leads the team with seven matches yet to play. Since 1988, the lowest number of kills to lead a Matador team was Nils Nielsen's 308 in 2004. With Matt Stork no longer setting, the Matadors will have trouble reaching the 803 assists by Travis Bluemling in 2007. Staker, with 51 total blocks, has the best chance to reach Ryan Denihan's 2001 total of 64 ... The Matadors head into the home stretch of the 2011 season hitting .231 as a team, but just .222 in MPSF play. CSUN is averaging 11.39 kills per game overall and the figure bumps slightly to 11.65 in conference matches. The Matadors are being out-blocked 2.81-2.06 overall and the disparity grows to 3.07-2.03 in MPSF.

NORTHRIDGE (6-16, 4-11 MPSF) @ #2 STANFORD (14-5, 11-4 MPSF)
The Matadors and second-ranked Cardinal will meet for the 60th time on Friday with Stanford holding a 34-25 edge in the all-time series. Northridge, which took two of three matches from the defending national champions in 2010, have won seven of the last 10 matches between the two teams dating back to 2008. The Cardinal, who won this season's first match (3-0 on Jan. 28), dropped a non-conference match to Cal Baptist last week which snapped a five-match winning streak. Junior OH Brad Lawson leads Stanford in kills with 299 (4.33 kpg) which ranks third in the MPSF. Senior OH Spencer McLachlin adds 266 kills (3.75 kpg) while the Cardinal are hitting .316 as a team.

NORTHRIDGE (6-16, 4-11 MPSF) @ #15 PACIFIC (9-14, 3-12 MPSF)
The 13th-ranked Matadors and Tigers will meet for the 31st time on Saturday with Northridge holding a 21-9 lead in the all-time series. The Matadors had defeated Pacific seven consecutive times dating before the Tigers defeated CSUN 3-0 on Jan. 29. The Matadors have still won 10 of the last 13 overall between the two teams dating back to the 2005 season. Sophomore MB Taylor Hughes leads the Tigers with 267 kills (3.76 kpg) while junior OH Florian Gornik adds 207 kills (3.23 kpg). Pacific, which defeated New York University and UC Santa Cruz in a pair of non-conference matches last week, is hitting .231 as a team.

Senior Tanner Nua knocked down a season-high 16 kills and junior Matt Stork added 15 as Cal State Northridge upset second-ranked BYU in straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 29-27) on Friday. Nua, pounded a team-high 16 while hitting a solid .371 in 35 swings. He also added five digs and a pair of blocks. Stork, who put down a career-high 18 kills against Loyola last week, added 15 kills (.286), five digs and two aces against the Cougars. The Matador middles held their own and more against BYU as freshman Greg Faulkner had eight kills while hitting .583 and sophomore Drew Staker added seven kills while hitting .545.

This week's matches at Stanford and Pacific open up a four-match rod trip that will also take the Matadors to Hawai'i for two matches against the Warriors (Apr. 1-2). Northridge returns home to take on UC San Diego (Apr. 7) and UC Irvine (Apr. 9) in its final two regular season home matches before concluding the regular season at Long Beach State (Apr. 16).


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