September 6, 2011

Matadors Host Ninth-Ranked USC Before Heading to Las Vegas

NORTHRIDGE HOSTS NO. 9 USC RIDING FOUR-MATCH WIN STREAK; HEADS TO UNLV
Cal State Northridge (4-2, 0-0 Big West) looks to extend its season-long four-match win streak on Tuesday as the Matadors host ninth-ranked USC (4-2) in their 2011 home opener. Northridge then continues its four-match week on Friday and Saturday as the Matadors travel to Las Vegas to take part in the UNLV Classic at Cox Pavilion. CSUN opens the tournament Friday against former Big Sky Conference rival Eastern Washington (4:30 p.m.) before taking on Southern Utah (10 a.m.) and the host UNLV Rebels (7 p.m.) on Saturday.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET
Beginning with Tuesday's match against USC, all Matador home matches will be part of the Big West live streaming package and will also feature live stats via Gametracker at GoMatadors.com. The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring fans exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features into your home via the Internet. Now in its seventh year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in women's volleyball. Fans can follow all three of the Matadors' matches of the UNLV Classic via live stats at unlvrebels.com.

LAST TIME OUT
Led by tournament MVP Mahina Haina, Cal State Northridge extended its win streak to four as the Matadors defeated Sacramento State 25-14, 25-19, 17-25, 25-17 to win the Sacramento State Invitational on Saturday. The Matadors (4-2) dropped just one set in three matches this weekend and with their fourth consecutive win, have their longest win streak since winning six straight during the 2006 season. Haina, who also earned All-Tournament honors at the Utah Classic last weekend, was named Tournament MVP after putting down 17 kills while hitting .395 against the Hornets. In the three matches in Sacramento, Haina had 41 kills in 80 swings with just seven errors, a hitting percentage of .425. She is now hitting .441 over her last four matches, all Matador wins. Setter Sydney Gedryn and libero Cindy Ortiz also picked up All-Tournament honors as Gedryn posted her first double-double of the season against Sac State with 38 assists and 12 digs. Ortiz had 15 digs Saturday night giving her 46 digs in three matches, an average of 4.60 digs per set.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE OPPONENTS
USC comes to Northridge with an overall record of 4-2 after finishing 3-1 over four matches in Florida. The Trojans opened the FGCU Homewood Suites Invitational with a straight set loss to UCF before sweeping Florida Gulf Coast and Furman. USC capped the weekend with a non-conference win over Clemson (3-0). Senior Alex Jupiter leads the Trojans averaging 4.71 kps ... Eastern Washington is 3-4 after dropping two of three matches at the Wildcat Classic in Arizona last weekend. The Eagles lost to Cal State Fullerton (3-0) and Arizona (3-0) and defeated Presbyterian (3-1). Junior Cora Kellerman leads EWU averaging 3.17 kps ... Southern Utah is 1-6 after dropping all three matches at the UND Classic in Grand Forks, ND last weekend. The Thunderbirds fell in straight sets to UW-Green Bay, Montana and North Dakota. Junior Analaine Mailoto leads SUU averaging 3.42 kps ... UNLV is 3-3 this season after winning the Texas Tech Invitational last weekend. The Rebels swept Central Arkansas before defeating Morehead State and Northwestern State in five. Junior Elisa Brochado leads UNLV averaging 2.55 kps.

HAINA NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore outside hitter Mahina Haina (Honolulu, Hawai'i) was selected Big West Player of the Week after leading Cal State Northridge to three straight wins and the Sacramento State Invitational title last weekend. Haina, a 5-11 outside hitter from Honolulu, Hawai'i, pounded 41 kills in 80 swings to hit an impressive .425 in three Matador wins in Sacramento. She averaged 4.10 kills per set also added seven digs and six total blocks on the defensive end. Over her last four matches, Haina is now hitting .441 with 69 kills in 127 attacks. Haina, the first Matador player to earn Big West Player of the Week honors since Brittany Williams on Nov. 24, 2008, opened the weekend with 12 kills in 18 swings (.556) and five blocks as CSUN swept Marist 25-20, 25-10, 25-17. She then came back with 12 kills in 24 attacks (.375) to go with three digs and one block against Fresno State and capped the weekend with 17 kills in 38 attacks (.395) against Sacramento State. Haina was named the MVP of the Sacramento State Invitational for her efforts one week after being named to the Utah Classic All-Tournament team.

ALLEN BOUNCES BACK
After a, by her standards, sub-par season opening weekend in Utah, sophomore Natalie Allen (Murrieta, Calif.) bounced back with an impressive weekend in Sacramento. After being limited to five kills in 35 swings (10 errors) in three matches in Utah, Allen had identical stat lines against both Marist and Fresno State, eight kills (.278) and then had her first double-double of the season (12 kills-25 digs) against Sacramento State. It was Allen's 11th double-double of her career and her 25 digs shattered her previous high of 16. 

MATADORS AGAINST RANKED FOES
Tuesday's match against ninth-ranked USC is Northridge's first opportunity to knock off a ranked opponent in 2011. The Matadors' season-opening opponent, Northwestern, received votes in the AVCA Top-25 poll and defeated CSUN in straight sets. The Trojans are the first top-10 team to visit The Matadome since UCLA in 2008. The fourth-ranked Bruins defeated CSUN in straight sets. USC also came to Northridge as the top-ranked team in the country in 2003 and held off the Matadors in four sets.

MATADORS NOTCH 700TH PROGRAM WIN
In the 37th season of women's volleyball at Cal State Northridge, the Matadors reached the 700-win plateau with Saturday's 3-0 win over Fresno State. Now with 701 wins in 36+ years averages out to roughly 19 wins per season which was largely achieved during the programs heyday as a Division II school (1975-1989). Under the direction of Walt Ker, the Matadors posted 401 wins from 1979-1992, an average of nearly 29 wins per season. Since moving up to the Division I level in 1990, Northridge has 297 wins, including 29 in Ker's first Division I season (1990).

NORTHRIDGE NOTES
In addition to Haina's performance in Sacramento, junior Cindy Ortiz (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Sydney Gedryn (San Jose, Calif.) each were named to the Sacramento State Invitational All-Tournament team. Ortiz had 46 digs in three matches (4.60 dps) and continued her solid passing. Gedryn notched her first double-double of the season (third career) with 38 assists and 12 digs against Sac State ... CSUN's tournament win in Sacramento was its first since winning the UNLV Classic in 2010 ... The Matadors' four-match win streak is their longest since winning six straight matches from Sept. 15-30, 2006 ... After hitting no higher than .174 in three matches in Utah, Northridge hit at least .245 in all three matches in Sacramento ... Sophomore Nicole Jarvis (Oxnard, Calif.) posted a career-high eight blocks (one solo) against Marist.

COACHES CORNER
Matador head coach Jeff Stork shares his thoughts each week on the team, this week's opponents and other topics.

On the upcoming busy week:
"We're coming off a successful week at Sacramento. We've got a quick turnaround this week, playing a very good USC team on Tuesday. Normally we get our scouting done Monday or Tuesday for the upcoming weekend but we'll have to push that back as we head to UNLV on Thursday."

On the home opener against USC:
"It's always better to play in front of your home crowd, the one that supports you. My hope is that being the home opener and against USC it will be a double draw for our fans. We hope to push USC to the point where they have to start doing things that are out of the ordinary for them. They are a very good team but it doesn't mean we can't push them."

On the teams' play in Sacramento:
"The team is playing well, Natalie (Allen) played extremely well up there. We're getting a lot of consistency out of Cindy (Ortiz) who is passing extremely well, serving well and is digging a lot of balls. Sydney (Gedryn) is steadying out and is doing much better in matches of late. She's gaining in confidence and the players are gaining more and more confidence in her. This is the best three match stretch I've seen this team play in a long time."

On the upcoming tournament in Las Vegas:
"I see this as a slightly better tournament than last weekend. I think UNLV is improving and Eastern Washington has traditionally been a playoff team. I don't know much about Southern Utah but we'll be prepared for this weekend."

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