April 28, 2008
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge women's volleyball enjoyed a Spring trip to Hawai'i in late March, traveled to Malibu (Mar. 29), hosted a eight-team tournament in early April and concluded the schedule with a beach tournament at Huntington Beach on Apr. 19.
The Matadors opened the Spring with a eight-day trip to Hawai'i where they competed against Nittaidai (a university team from Japan), the University of Hawai'i and Saint Mary's. The first match featured the Matadors and Japan and Northridge came out on top 25-23, 28-26. The Matadors then took on the host Rainbow Wahine, who finished last season ranked 18th in the nation, in front of 3,179 fans at the Stan Sheriff Center. Northridge took the first two games from Hawai'i (26-24, 25-23) and dropped the finale 17-15.
Junior Val Kepler led the Matadors with 13 kills and nine blocks in the two matches while sophomore Angela Hupp posted 14 kills and 16 digs. Junior Kayla Wright posted a team-high 17 digs in the two matches while junior Amy Hultner added 14 digs of her own. Northridge freshman Brittany Williams added 12 kills to the Matador offensive effort.
Returning from Hawai'i, the Matadors headed across the valley to take on TCU, Pepperdine, Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State in Malibu. Northridge, using a different starting lineup in each game, won three of its four matches, defeating TCU (2-0), Long Beach (2-0) and Cal State Fullerton (2-1).
On Apr. 5, Northridge hosted its second annual Spring tournament featuring eight schools from the Big Sky Conference (Northern Arizona), Big West (Cal Poly, Northridge, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara), Mountain West (UNLV), Pac-10 (USC) and WCC (Loyola Marymount). The tournament was also utilized as a referee training session for the Big West.
The Spring concluded with a tournament at Huntington Beach featuring several Big West schools. The Matadors sent two teams, Angela Hupp-Kelley Hanson and Siara Grayson-Kayla Wright. Hupp-Hanson qualified out of pool play before falling to a team from UC Irvine. The AVCA and NCAA are considering beach volleyball as an emerging sport in collegiate athletics and the first-ever tournament was a great experience for all involved.
- GO MATADORS -