MATADORS THIS WEEK:
MATCH #19 (Big West Match #6):
Cal State Northridge Matadors (15-3, 5-0 Big West) at UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (8-8, 3-1 Big West)
Friday, Oct. 18, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PDT
The Thunderdome (6,000) - Santa Barbara, CA
Live Stats: UCSBGauchos.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors
MATCH #20 (Big West Match #7):
Cal State Northridge Matadors (15-3, 5-0 Big West) at Cal Poly Mustangs (8-9, 2-2 Big West)
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PDT
Mott Gym (3,032) - San Luis Obispo, CA
Live Stats: GoPoly.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors
Cal State Northridge (15-3, 5-0 Big West), winners of five straight and nine of its last 10 matches, takes its unblemished conference mark to The Thunderdome and Mott Gym this week. The Matadors tangle with UC Santa Barbara (8-8, 3-1 Big West) Friday and Cal Poly (8-9, 2-2 Big West) Saturday. Both matches are scheduled for a 7 p.m. first serve. CSUN improved to 5-0 in conference play with a pair of 3-1 wins over Long Beach State and UC Irvine at home last week.
NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET
Both matches this week will feature 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.
The Matadors opened their two-match homestand defeating Long Beach State 25-23, 15-25, 25-16, 25-19 on Thursday. Senior Mahina Haina paced the Matador offense with a match-high 16 kills while hitting .351 on 37 swings. Haina also added six digs, two aces and one block. Natalie Allen (.233) added 11 kills in 30 attacks to go with seven digs while Casey Hinger chipped in 10 kills (.333) and matched Sydney Gedryn with a match-high seven blocks. Gedryn, who had 41 assists while the Matadors hit .223 as a team, also added five kills and a match-high three aces. Kelcie Randazzo posted a team-high 12 digs from the libero spot while also adding two aces CSUN had nine aces to two for the 49ers. On Saturday, the Matadors extended their win streak to five straight as Cieana Stinson paced the Matadors with a match-high 13 kills in a 19-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-16 win over UC Irvine. Stinson got back on track against the Anteaters coming up with 13 kills while hitting .400 on 25 attacks. Haina and Allen each added 11 kills with Allen adding 12 digs for her eighth double-double this season. Hinger chipped in eight kills and a match-high six blocks while Gedryn had 30 assists, 11 digs, six kills and one of the Matadors' two aces in the win.
• The Matadors moved to the top of the Big West standings after defeating both Long Beach State and UC Irvine in four. Nearing the halfway point of the conference season, CSUN (5-0) has a half-game lead over Hawai'i (5-1) with road matches at UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly and a home date with the No. 9 Rainbow Wahine remaining before the second half of Big West play begins Halloween night against Cal State Fullerton.
• Friday's match will be the 38th match all-time between the Matadors and UC Santa Barbara with the Gauchos holding a 31-6 lead in the series. The teams split two matches last season with each team winning on its home floor. Saturday's match will be the 51st match all-time between CSUN and Cal Poly with the Mustangs holding a slight 27-23 edge in the series. The Matadors won both matches in 2012 and have now beaten the Mustangs three consecutive times. CSUN's current three-match win streak snapped a string of 12 straight Cal Poly wins dating back to 2005.
• The Matadors are receiving votes in the AVCA Top-25 poll for the seventh consecutive week. After winning in four against both Long Beach State and UC Irvine last week, Cal State Northridge received a season-high 43 points (ranked 31st) in the week seven poll of the 2013 season. 43 points is the Matadors' highest point total since 1992 when CSUN capped the season ranked 25th. Northridge has now received votes in seven straight AVCA Top-25 polls for the first time in school history.
ALLEN INCHES CLOSER TO CSUN 1,000 KILLS CLUB, HAINA CONTINUES TO CLIMB THE LADDER
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 915 career kills after putting down 22 kills in two matches last week. Three weeks ago, senior Mahina Haina became the ninth member of the exclusive group of CSUN hitters and last week moved into seventh place on the all-time Cal State Northridge kills list with 1,054. Haina also ranks seventh in school history with 2,954 total attacks. Sydney Gedryn, Casey Hinger and Britney Graff are also making inroads on the CSUN career lists as well. Gedryn has moved into third place on the all-time assists list with 3,023 while Hinger's career hitting percentage (.282) currently ranks eighth while the junior already ranks 10th in career blocks (336) and block assists (308). Graff is now 21 sets away from the career top-10 in sets played.
18-MATCH START AMONG BEST IN CSUN HISTORY
With 15 wins in their first 18 matches, the 2013 Matadors are off to one of the finest starts in school history. CSUN's previous best record after 18 matches under Jeff Stork came in 2004 when the Matadors were 13-5. You would have to travel back in time 27 years to find a better 18-match start as Walt Ker's 1986 team opened the season one win better at 16-2. CSUN has won 12 of its first 18 matches three times in Stork's tenure, most recently last season.
MATADORS NEED TO REMAIN ROAD TOUGH
To remain atop the Big West standings, the Matadors will have to continue their stellar road play this week in locations they have struggled in recent years. CSUN, which has won once on the Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo trip since the 2009 season, has been tough to beat on the road so far in 2013. With wins at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton in their last road outings, the Matadors have 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).
MATADORS: WEEK 8 THIS & THAT
Junior Natalie Allen snapped a seven-match ace-less streak with one against Long Beach State on Friday. Allen, who has 64 aces in her Matador career, had her last ace at Denver on Sept. 14. Prior to that, she had aces in four of her first eight matches. With 11 kills and 12 digs in the win over UC Irvine, Allen notched her team-leading eighth double-double this season and 33rd of her CSUN career ... Junior Casey Hinger moved up to fifth in the Big West in hitting percentage at .334 and also moved back into the top-seven in blocking at 1.01 blocks per set. Hinger ranks 117th nationally in hitting while Sydney Gedryn ranks 55th (third in the Big West) in assists per set at 10.57 ... As a team, the Matadors rank 16th among 328 NCAA Division I schools in hitting percentage at .274. Hawai'i ranks ninth at .297 while Missouri is the nation's top hitting team at .378. CSUN is also tied for 16th in win-loss percentage at .833 ... As a team, hitting .250 or better has been the magic number for the Matadors. CSUN is a perfect 11-0 when hitting at least .250 and is 4-3 when hitting .249 or below. The Matadors were held to season-low hitting clips of .191 vs. Washington and .193 vs. Creighton which proved to be two of CSUN's losses this season ... Thursday's 3-1 win over Long Beach State gave the Matadors three straight wins over the 49ers for the first time in history.
Following their two-match road swing through the Central Coast, the Matadors return home for a single match next week. In what could possibly be its biggest home match in recent memory, CSUN hosts No. 9 Hawai'i on Thursday, Oct. 24.
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