September 21, 2009

Northridge Announces 2010 Men's Volleyball Schedule

Sept. 21, 2009

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NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge Head Coach Jeff Campbell has announced the 2010 Matador men's volleyball schedule which gets underway Jan. 7 at the UCSB/Elephant Bar Invitational in Santa Barbara.

The preseason portion of the schedule gets underway Nov. 6 as the Matadors play at the USC Tournament for the first time. The tournament at USC (Nov. 6-7) will be followed by another Fall tournament at UCLA on Nov. 20-21.

"We're playing in the USC Tournament for the very first time," said Campbell. "It should be competitive and it will be an opportunity for a lot of guys to get a lot of playing time.

"The UCLA Tournament will be the same, in the fact that it's in the Fall," said Campbell. "It will also be a good tournament but it will be more of a first-team situation but everyone should get playing time in that as well."

The regular season begins for Northridge in the same place it has for the past five years, Santa Barbara. But for the first time, the Matadors head into the UCSB/Elepant Bar Invitational as defending champions. Northridge defeated No. 2 UCLA, No. 14 UC Santa Barbara and No. 8 Stanford to capture its first UCSB/E-Bar Invitational crown last January.

"We're looking forward to going back and defending our crown," said Campbell. "We don't know which teams we'll be playing as of yet but it's always a strong tournament field."

Northridge opens MPSF play at home against UC San Diego on Jan. 13 followed by a trip to Long Beach State on Jan. 15. The Matadors complete the first two weeks of conference play by hosting UC Irvine (Jan. 20) and UCLA (Jan. 22) before closing the month of January at Stanford (Jan. 29) and Pacific (Jan. 30).

"We get UC San Diego right out of the gate," said Campbell. "Normally we play a lot more on the road to open the MPSF season so hopefully we'll be ready to go. Having those three matches at home will be important and will be good for us but every team we play is good and if we're not 100% ready to go we could easily lose those matches."

February opens with three matches at home, USC (Feb. 3), Pepperdine (Feb. 5) and Long Beach State (Feb. 11) before the Matadors open their longest road swing of the season Feb. 12 at UC San Diego. The brutal five-match trip also includes matches at UC Irvine (Feb. 17), UCLA (Feb. 19), USC (Feb. 24) and wraps up at Pepperdine (Feb. 26).

"We'll have to win on the road, that's what you have to do in this conference," said Campbell.

The Matadors host Hawai'i for a pair of matches on Mar. 5-6 with the Saturday, Mar. 6 match a 2 p.m. matinee. Northridge then heads to UC Santa Barbara on Mar. 10 before a trio of non-conference matches provide a break in MPSF play. The Matadors host Loyola Chicago on Mar. 13 before traveling to Muncie, Ind. to renew their series with Ball State (Mar. 26-27).

April opens with a four-match homestand which includes Stanford (Apr. 2), Pacific (Apr. 3), UC Santa Barbara (Apr. 7) and a non-conference meeting with 2008 National Champions Penn State.

"It's been about 15 years since we played Penn State," said Campbell. "They are certainly one of the best teams in the country, they were number one for a couple of weeks last year and it's great to get the East Coast teams to come play at our place."

The regular season concludes with a trip to Provo, Utah and a pair of matches with BYU. The 2010 MPSF Tournament gets underway Apr. 24 with Quarterfinal matches on the four higher seeded teams' home court. The Semifinals take place Apr. 29 and the final is set for May 1. The NCAA Final Four is at Stanford's Maples Pavilion May 6-8.

"Most of the teams in the MPSF are going to be better than last year," said Campbell. "The teams that didn't make the MPSF Tournament last season, Hawai'i, UC Santa Barbara, Pacific and UC San Diego will all be better this season. A majority of the teams in the conference only lost one or two guys so it's going to be super-competitive."

- GO MATADORS -