IRVINE, Calif. - For the second straight season, Cal State Northridge had multiple players named to the All-Big West first team while a total of three Matadors earned postseason accolades as announced by the conference Tuesday.
Junior setter Sydney Gedryn and sophomore middle blocker Casey Hinger followed up their first team selections from 2011 and were two of just four conference players to repeat as first team honoreees. Junior outside hitter Mahina Haina was named to honorable mention for the second straight season.
This season, the Matadors overcame the loss of 2011 first team All-Big West opposite Natalie Allen to post an overall record of 21-10 and finish third in the Big West at 12-6.
Gedryn was an integral part of the Matadors success this season as she was a true quadruple threat for opposing teams to contend with. The junior setter from San Jose, Calif., led the Matadors with 1,160 assists while also finishing second on the squad in blocks with 140, third in digs with 247 and fifth in kills with 161. Gedryn led CSUN in hitting percentage connecting on 161 kills in 406 attacks from the setter spot to hit .281. She also added 19 aces from the service line which was good for fourth on the team. Gedryn wound up ranked fourth in the Big West in blocking average.
"We utilized a new offense this season and Syd did a great job of implementing it," said head coach Jeff Stork. "She continued to do great things with her blocking and is a true point-scoring setter. For a non-middle blocker to rank as high as she did in the conference in blocking is unusual but she has taken her blocking to a new level. She also handled the leadership side better this year and we expect her to have a great senior season next year."
Hinger was equally important in Allen's absence as she overcame an injury that sidelined her for two matches early in the season. Hinger, who took 661 swings this season after attacking 605 times last season, was third on the Matadors with 277 kills (2.52 kps). After emerging as one of the top blockers in the conference as a freshman in 2011, The sophomore from Fullerton, Calif., finished as the Big West's top blocker this season averaging 1.34 stuffs per set. Hinger's season total of 147 is the eighth-best for a single season in CSUN history and ranks second in the Matadors' rally scoring era.
"Casey is one of those special volleyball players with the ability to play a lot of different positions," said Stork. "She is extremely difficult to stop offensively because of the variety of sets she has the ability to hit. She led the team in blocks and in a lot of ways we couldn't find enough opportunities for her to contact the ball because she's that good. Casey is very deserving of being a first team player."
Haina led the Matadors in kills for the second straight season finishing with double figures in kills 14 times in 2012. The junior from Honolulu, Hawai'i, also set personal season-highs in service aces with 16 and digs with 146 while also posting 40 total blocks. She was named to the Arizona Wildcat Classic All-Tournament Team in August after hitting .300 with 28 kills in three Matador wins.
"It was a tale of two seasons for Mahina," said Stork. "She started off the year hitting around .150 but really picked it up in the second half. Volleyball needs terminating hitters and Mahina is a terminating hitter. She is able to blow up defenders and is also able to hit the ball off the block out of play and I think that's why the coaches in this conference selected her to the all-conference team.
2012 Big West Women's Volleyball All-Conference Team
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Emily Hartong, Hawai'i
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
CO-COACH OF THE YEAR