Cal State Northridge women's volleyball reaped the benefits of a hugely successful 2011 season as the Matadors had four players named to the All-Big West Conference Team while head coach Jeff Stork was named Coach of the Year and Casey Hinger was named Freshman of the Year.
The Matadors, who were picked to finish eighth in the Big West Coaches Preseason Poll in August, finished alone in third-place with a 9-7 conference record, the most Big West wins for a Northridge team since winning 11 in 2004. The Matadors are 15-13 overall heading into Friday's regular season finale against Air Force.
With Hinger, sophomore opposite Natalie Allen, sophomore setter Sydney Gedryn and sophomore outside hitter Mahina Haina all earning All-Big West accolades, Northridge had its most players recognized since 2006. Allen, Gedryn and Hinger all were named to the first team while Haina was received honorable mention. It marked the first time in Cal State Northridge's Division I era (1990-present) that the Matadors had three players named to their conference's First Team.
Stork becomes the first Northridge women's volleyball head coach to be honored by the Big West with its Coach of the Year award.
"This is all about the team," said Stork. "We're a team, it's not about me or individual players. This is about what happened prior to this year, Susie (Terrusa) has done a terrific job with recruiting and identifying players leading up to this season. All the players on this team were committed to having a great year. We wanted to get better on a daily basis and we were able to accomplish that.
"It's always nice to be recognized by your peers and that the conference coaches acknowledged these players is great," added Stork. "But this is a team sport and a team accomplishment."
Hinger, a freshman from Fullerton, Calif., is the second Matador player to earn Big West Freshman of the Year accolades after Angela Hupp was honored in 2006. This season, Hinger ranks second on the team with 249 kills while hitting .288 which is eighth-best among conference hitters. She is also among the top-five blockers in the Big West averaging a team-high 1.14 blocks per set.
"I'm just so grateful to my team and my coaches," said Hinger. "We've had such a successful season and I'm just so thankful to be a part of it. Congratulations to Jeff Stork for being named Coach of the Year, he definitely deserves it."
Allen, a sophomore from Murrieta, Calif., added to her conference accolades after being named honorable mention and to the All-Freshman Team in 2010. This season, she ranks third on the squad in kills (238) but is second in kills per set (2.56). Also a stalwart on the defensive end, Allen ranks second only to libero Cindy Ortiz in digs with 313. She posted a team-high 10 double-doubles this season including a 12 kill-25 dig performance at Sacramento State on Sept. 3.
"I am really excited, it was a great season for CSUN," said Allen. "Everyone on the list really deserved it and I couldn't have done it without my teammates."
Gedryn, a sophomore from San Jose, Calif., earns her first conference award after leading the Matadors with 950 assists (10.44 aps) which ranked fifth among Big West setters. After seeing spot duty as a freshman in 2010, Gedryn took over the starting setter duties at the beginning of the season and was impressive throughout. In addition to her setting duties, Gedryn also was a force at the service line as she led the Matadors with 30 aces (0.33 saps) which ranked third in the conference.
"It's really awesome to get all-conference honors but it truly was a team effort," said Gedryn. "We all worked really hard and it's great to have our efforts acknowledged."
Haina, a sophomore from Honolulu, Hawai'i, has led the Matadors in kills virtually the entire season. She eclipsed the season totals from her freshman season about halfway through her sophomore season and has a team-high 335 kills with one match remaining. Haina currently averages 3.32 kps which is good for ninth in the Big West. She has been the most decorated Matador player in 2011 having earned all-conference honors at the UNLV Invitational and Utah Classic as well as tournament MVP accolades at the Sacramento State Invitational. Haina was named conference Player of the Week on Sept, 5 following her performance in the State Capitol.
"It's very nice to be mentioned on the All-Big West Team," said Haina. "I wouldn't have been able to do as well as I did this season without my teammates. We worked hard and with great attitudes and determination and are very happy with our results."
2011 BIG WEST WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL
BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Jennifer Keddy, Cal Poly
BIG WEST FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Casey Hinger, Northridge
BIG WEST COACH OF THE YEAR
Jeff Stork, Northridge
Natalie Allen, 6-1, So., OPP, Northridge
Sydney Gedryn, 5-11, So., S, Northridge
Kristina Graven, 6-0, So., OH, Cal Poly
Haleigh Hampton, 6-6, So., MB, Long Beach State
Casey Hinger, 6-2, Fr., MB, Northridge
Jennifer Keddy, 6-4, Jr., MB, Cal Poly
Caitlin Ledoux, 6-2, Sr., OH, Long Beach State
Shelby Leduff, 5-11, Jr., OH, UC Riverside
Lily Lopez, 6-2, Sr., MB, UC Santa Barbara
Chelsey Lowe, 5-10, Sr., L, UC Santa Barbara
Samantha Misa, 5-11, Sr., OH, Pacific
Kayla Neto, 6-2, Jr., OH/MB, Cal State Fullerton
Stacey Schmidt, 6-2, Sr., OPP, UC Santa Barbara
Betsy Sedlak, 6-3, Sr., MB, UC Davis
Amanda Vialpando, 5-11, Jr., OH, UC Riverside
Allison Whitson, 6-1, Jr., OH, UC Davis
Delainey Aigner-Swesey, 6-1, So., OH, Long Beach State
Gabi Dewberry, 5-8, Jr., L/S, Cal State Fullerton
Mahina Haina, 5-11, So., OH, Northridge
Leah Maurer, 6-5, Sr., OH, Cal State Fullerton
Jennifer Saunders, 6-3, So., MB, Pacific
Aly Squires, 6-1, So., OH, UC Irvine
Leah Sully, 5-11, So., OH, UC Santa Barbara
Jenny Woolway, 5-10, So., S, UC Davis
Valerie Brain, 5-11, R-Fr., MB, UC Davis
Casey Hinger, 6-2, Fr., MB, Northridge
Erin Juley, 5-10, Fr., S, Long Beach State
Hanna Nielson, 5-11, Fr., S, UC Santa Barbara
Megan Reza, 6-0, Fr., MB, UC Riverside
Alma Serna, 6-3, Fr., MB, Long Beach State
Katy Tagart, 5-11, Fr., OH, Pacific
- GO MATADORS -