August 29, 2013

Matadors Open 2013 Season Friday at Bulldog Invitational

MATCH #1:

Santa Clara Broncos (0-0) vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors (0-0)

Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. PDT
Save Mart Center (3,333) - Fresno, CA
Live Stats: gobulldogs.com
Streaming Video: Mountain West Network
Audio: Mountain West Network
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors


MATCH #2:

Cal State Northridge Matadors (0-0) vs. Rice Owls (0-0)

Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 - 10:00 a.m. PDT
Save Mart Center (3,333) - Fresno, CA
Live Stats: gobulldogs.com
Streaming Video: none
Audio: none
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors


MATCH #3:

Cal State Northridge Matadors (0-0) at Fresno State Bulldogs (0-0)

Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. PDT
Save Mart Center (3,333) - Fresno, CA
Live Stats: gobulldogs.com
Streaming Video: none
Audio: none
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors


Weekly Match Notes  


FOR STARTERS

Cal State Northridge hits the road for the opening of the 2013 volleyball season as the Matadors travel to Fresno for the Bulldog Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Save Mart Center. CSUN will open the tournament Friday against Santa Clara at 7:30 p.m. preceded by Rice and Fresno State. Saturday's schedule has the Matadors taking on Rice at 10 a.m. and the host Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. The afternoon matches on Saturday include Fresno State-Santa Clara (12 p.m.) and Santa Clara-Rice (5 p.m.).

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET

The Matadors' opening match against Santa Clara will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network. Saturday's matches in Fresno will not be broadcast. All Matador home matches and conference road matches will be featured as part of the Big West live streaming package. BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West's ten member institutions. Now in it's ninth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women's volleyball. Fans can view and print the Matadors 2013 Record Book online at GoMatadors.com. The guide features statistics and a complete CSUN women's volleyball history.

TO RECAP

Cal State Northridge is coming off one of its finest seasons in recent memory as the Matadors chalked up 21 wins, 12 coming during Big West play. A trio of Northridge players earned All-Big West honors as junior Sydney Gedryn, sophomore Casey Hinger earned first team accolades while junior Mahina Haina was named honorable mention. The Matadors finished third in the Big West standings behind powers Hawai'i and Long Beach State. The conference finish marked the second year in a row that CSUN took third and was the highest finish by a Matador team since tying for second in 2003. CSUN returns 11 letterwinners and six of even starters from 2012. The only losses being four-year starters Monica McFarland and Cindy Ortiz to graduation. Ortiz capped her Matador career in 2012 as the schools all-time leader in digs with 1,456. McFarland ranks fifth all-time with 1,226 career scoops. 

STORY LINES

• As has been the case in each of the last seven years, the Matadors will play their season opener in a tournament on the road. This year, however, marks the first time in three years that CSUN will open in California. The Matadors tipped off the 2012 season in Arizona and in 2011, CSUN opened in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Matadors last opened a season with a tournament in California in 2010 when Northridge competed in the Aztec Invitational at San Diego State.
• The Bulldog Invitational features three teams the Matadors are very familiar with. Of the three teams, Rice is the most recent opponent as CSUN swept the Owls (25-17, 25-23, 25-22) at last season's Rice Invitational. The Matadors are 2-1 all-time against Rice. Northridge last met Santa Clara in 2010 when the Matadors won in four, but all-time the Broncos lead the series 6-4. CSUN has won 13 of the 21 matches with Fresno State including four of the last six. The two teams last met in 2011 with the Matadors winning in straight sets.
• The tournament in Fresno is the first of three on the Matadors 2013 schedule. CSUN will also travel to Flagstaff, Ariz. for the Fiesta Bowl Tournament (Sept. 6-7) and Denver, Colo. for the Denver Invitational (Sept. 13-14). The Matadors will play a modified tournament Sept. 19-20 in Seattle, Wash., playing Coppin State twice and the host Huskies once. 

HINGER COMING OFF ALL-AMERICA SEASON, BUSY OFFSEASON

Casey Hinger capped a busy 2012-13 calendar year by being one of 48 collegiate players named to the roster of the U.S. Women's Volleyball National Senior A2 Program. Hinger competed in the select program in Dallas, Texas from June 25 to July 4. She capped her 2012 season by being named honorable mention on the AVCA All-America Team. Prior to that, Hinger was named AVCA All-West Region, the first CSUN player since Jen Ryan in 2004 to earn All-America and All-Region accolades. The two-time first team All-Big West middle led the conference in blocking last season. She finished the season ranked third on the team with 277 kills (2.52 kps) and was the teams' leading blocker averaging 1.34 blocks per set.

ALLEN RETURNS TO THE COURT

The Matadors will welcome back junior Natalie Allen who was limited to nine matches last season. Allen, a first team All-Big West selection in 2011 and an honorable mention pick in 2010, missed the remainder of the 2012 season with an injury. She heads into her junior season with career averages of 2.80 kills and 2.68 digs per set to go with 58 aces. "Having Natalie back on the court is a huge plus," said head coach Jeff Stork. "She's a very composed player with great all-around abilities. Whenever she touches the ball it tends to be a positive thing for us. She sees the game very well as an attacker and uses a variety of shots in a wide variety of situations to put the ball on the floor which is a huge plus."

THE ELUSIVE 20

The Matadors picked up the 21st win of 2012 in their season-finale against Cal State Fullerton. The victory pushed CSUN over the 20-win plateau for the first time since the 1996 season. That season (1996), the Matadors finished 22-11 under coach Lian Lu. CSUN was one of three Big West teams to win 20 matches in 2012 with Hawai'i (27-3) and Pacific (20-11) also posting at least 20 wins. The 2012 Matadors also nearly matched the 2003 team for the most Big West Conference victories in a season (13). Northridge finished with 12 conference wins which equaled the 2003 team (Stork's second season) which also finished 12-6 in the Big West.

STORK ON THE 2013 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Friday's match with Santa Clara opens up a challenging 2013 tournament schedule for the Matadors. CSUN head coach Jeff Stork had this to say about the demanding schedule:"We play three strong teams right out of the gate with Santa Clara, Rice and Fresno State," said Stork. "We're hopeful as we go in, we think the girls are mentally ready and excited to play somebody else. We'll play three more solid teams in Flagstaff which will be another strong challenge for us. The Denver tournament is a very strong field with two postseason teams in UCLA and Creighton. As we go through these tournaments we'll learn more about our strengths and weaknesses but we're looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead."

MATADORS PICKED THIRD IN BIG WEST PRESEASON POLL

Cal State Northridge was picked to finish third for the second straight season by the Big West Coaches in the conference's annual preseason poll released Tuesday, Aug. 6. The Matadors received 59 points which was third behind only Hawai'i (81 points) and Long Beach State (72). The defending champion Rainbow Wahine received all nine first-place votes and were the unanimous preseason favorite for the second consecutive year. UC Davis (43) was tabbed fourth followed by UC Irvine (40), UC Santa Barbara (36), Cal State Fullerton (35), Cal Poly (28) and UC Riverside (11). If the preseason poll proves accurate, the top three teams would finish in exactly the same places as they did to close the 2012 season. Hawai'i finished first with an unblemished 18-0 conference mark, while the 49ers (13-5) were second one win ahead of CSUN (12-6). The Matadors were one of five Big West teams to stretch the Rainbow Wahine to five sets in 2012, falling in the fifth set 19-17 at home on Oct. 12.

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