October 8, 2013

CSUN Puts Unbeaten Conference Mark on the Line This Week vs. Long Beach State, UC Irvine

MATADORS THIS WEEK:

MATCH #17 (Big West Match #4):

Long Beach State (8-8, 1-2 Big West) at Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-3, 3-0 Big West)

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PDT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, CA
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Casey Moran - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors 


MATCH #18 (Big West Match #5):

UC Irvine Anteaters (9-8, 0-3 Big West) at Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-3, 3-0 Big West)

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PDT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, CA
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Casey Moran - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors 


Weekly Match Notes  


FOR STARTERS

Cal State Northridge (13-3, 3-0 Big West) returns to The Matadome this week as the Matadors put their unblemished conference record on the line against Long Beach State (8-8, 1-2 Big West) Thursday and UC Irvine (9-8, 0-3 Big West) on Saturday. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. CSUN is currently second in the Big West at 3-0, trailing Hawai'i (4-0) by one-half game. 


NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET

Both matches this week will feature live audio (Casey Moran - Play-by-Play), live stats and will be broadcast live on BigWest.TV. 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.


TO RECAP

Natalie Allen had a match-high 13 kills while both Allen and Casey Hinger each hit over .400 as Cal State Northridge swept UC Riverside 25-12, 25-15, 25-19 Friday night in a Big West Conference match at SRC Arena. The Matadors hit .284 as a team committing just 10 hitting errors in the match. CSUN limited the host Highlanders (1-13, 0-2 Big West) to -.010 hitting as UCR had 26 kills but committed 27 hitting errors, the Matadors posted 12.0 total blocks (2 solo, 20 assisted). Allen, Hinger and Mahina Haina each committed just one hitting error apiece as Allen hit a match-high .444 on 27 swings, Hinger (.429) and Haina (.300) each chipped in seven kills. Allen rounded out a solid all-around match with nine digs, six blocks and three assists. On Saturday at Fullerton, Haina, Hinger and Cieana Stinson each had a team-high 10 kills as Cal State Northridge remained unbeaten in Big West play after sweeping the Titans 25-23, 25-12, 26-24.  The Matadors were led by the trio of Haina, Hinger and Stinson who combined for 30 kills while hitting .310 on 73 swings. As a team, CSUN hit .225, their lowest percentage since hitting .191 against Washington on Sept. 20 but the Matadors limited the Titans to an .088 hitting clip after holding UC Riverside to a negative hitting number on Friday. Allen, the Matadors' leader in kills, was limited to seven kills (.000) but did have 13 digs and four assists.


STORY LINES

• This week the Matadors are looking to win their fourth consecutive match to open a conference season for the first time since 1996. CSUN has never won four straight to open a Big West campaign after seeing their conference-opening three-match win streaks snapped in both 2004 and 2006. 

• Thursday's match will be the 32nd match all-time between the Matadors and Long Beach State with the 49ers winning 22 of the previous 31 meetings. The Matadors won both matches last season (3-1 in Northridge, 3-2 in Long Beach) for the first time since the series began in 1978. Saturday's match will be the 46th match all-time between CSUN and UC Irvine with the Anteaters holding a slim 23-22 edge in the series. UC Irvine won both matches in 2012 and have given the Matadors trouble in recent years having won nine of the last 12 dating back to the 2007 season.

• The Matadors are receiving votes in the AVCA Top-25 poll for the sixth consecutive week. After sweeping road matches at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton last week, Cal State Northridge received 12 points (ranked 37th) in the week six poll of the 2013 season. On Sept. 9 the Matadors earned a season-high 14 points which is their highest point total since 1992. CSUN has now received votes in six straight AVCA Top-25 polls for the first time in school history.


ALLEN INCHES CLOSER TO CSUN 1,000 KILLS CLUB

Junior Natalie Allen is on track to become the second Matador in 2013 and 10th player all-time to reach 1,000 career kills. Allen heads into this week's matches with 893 career kills  after putting down 20 in two matches last week. Two weeks ago, senior Mahina Haina became the ninth member of the exclusive group of CSUN hitters and she is now within four kills of moving into seventh place on the all-time Cal State Northridge kills list.


FIRST RPI OF 2013 HAS MATADORS 53RD

The first NCAA women's volleyball RPI of the 2013 was released Monday and Cal State Northridge is 53rd among 332 Division I teams. Hawai'i is the highest rated Big West team at No. 3 while UC Irvine is also in the top-100 at No. 63. UC Santa Barbara is just outside the top-100 at No. 102. It is believed to be CSUN's highest RPI since the 2003 season. 


CSUN PROVING TOUGH ON THE ROAD

The Matadors have proved to be road warriors so far in 2013. With road wins at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton last week, CSUN has now won five of its six "true" road matches this season. Add in neutral site matches and the Matadors are an even more impressive 11-3 (.786) away from The Matadome. The only true road loss came at No. 3 Washington on Sept. 20. CSUN's two wins last week came via straight-set sweeps and the Matadors have now swept six opponents (Santa Clara, Seattle, Coppin State - twice, UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton) and been swept just once (No. 24 Creighton). 


GEDRYN COMES UP ACES

Senior Sydney Gedryn, who has ranked near the top of the Big West in aces throughout her Matador career, found herself back in the conference's top-10 this week. With four of her team-leading 15 aces coming over the last three matches, Gedryn now ranks 10th in the Big West averaging 0.27 aces per set. Gedryn, who ranked third in the conference as a sophomore with a career-high 30 aces, now has 68 aces in her Matador career which ranks 10th in CSUN's rally scoring era (2001-present).


MATADORS IMPRESSIVE IN THREE BIG WEST MATCHES

As its 3-0 record would indicate, CSUN has been impressive in its opening conference matches. In three wins, the Matadors are out-blocking its opponents by over a 2-1 margin with 37 team blocks to 15. CSUN also has sizable advantage in aces (12-3) and kills (152-122). As a team, the Matadors are averaging 14.06 kills per set through 16 matches while their opponents are averaging 11.94. CSUN is hitting .268 in Big West matches and .279 overall.


NORTHRIDGE NOTES

Junior middle Casey Hinger has upped her season hitting percentage to .344 which ranks sixth in the Big West and 106th in the nation. Hinger hit a combined .467 on 30 swings at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton last week, including a near season-high .500 against Fullerton. She hit a season-high .526 against Coppin State on Sept. 19 ... Head coach Jeff Stork mixed up his lineup against UC Riverside on Friday, similar to the two matches against Coppin State. Senior Mahina Haina was in the starting lineup for both matches last week while freshmen Julie Haake and Stephanie Serna played as did Marissa Boyd who matched her season-high with three digs ... CSUN is one of three remaining Big West teams that have yet to drop a home match. The Matadors, Cal Poly and UC Riverside have played the fewest home matches this season with just two apiece. Conversely, Hawai'i has played a league-high 11 matches at home this season with Long Beach State close behind with 10.

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