June 11, 2010
Cal State Northridge head coach Jeff Stork has finalized the 2010 Matador women's volleyball schedule which will include four tournaments, home non-conference matches against UCLA and Loyola Marymount and a grueling Big West campaign.
The 2010 season gets underway on Friday, Aug. 27 as Northridge heads to San Diego to take part in the San Diego State Tournament over two days. The Matadors open with the host Aztecs on Aug. 27 before taking on Cnicinnati and Northern Colorado on Saturday, Aug. 28.
"The San Diego State tournament is really strong," said Stork. "San Diego State has made a strong move, Cincinnati has always been very strong and I think Northern Colorado has made playoffs the last couple of years. So certainly it's a tough weekend to start with but we're up for the challenge."
The state capitol is the second stop of the season for Northridge as the Matadors take on Elon University, Texas-San Antonio and Sacramento State in the Sacramento State Invitational (Sept. 3-4). Northridge opens with Elon on Friday, Sept. 3 before facing UTSA and the host Hornets on Saturday. Friday's match with Elon is the first-ever meeting between the two schools while Saturday's tilt with UTSA is the first match between the teams since 1997.
"Sacramento is a familiar place for us, we've played there several times over the last five years," said Stork. "We hope to get out of that tournament with a winning percentage."
Next, the Matadors will travel to the Bay Area for a tournament at San Jose State and Santa Clara. Northridge will take on Seattle University in San Jose and Santa Clara in Santa Clara on Fri., Sept. 10. The Matadors then return to San Jose for a match with Portland State on Saturday, Sept. 11.
"San Jose is a combined tournament with Santa Clara," said Stork. "That will be another tough tournament as Santa Clara is traditionally a strong team, Portland State is among the top-100 teams and Seattle has a solid foundation to build on."
Three weeks on the road sets up the home opener against nationally-ranked UCLA on Sept. 14. The Matadors have never beaten the Bruins in 12 tries and last met in Northridge in 2008.
"The UCLA match is a big match for us," said Stork. "Obviously we'd like to do really well, draw a big crowd and just showcase Northridge volleyball. They've got a new staff and a lot of new players which I think gives us a good opportunity to surprise a good team."
Following the UCLA match, the Matadors head to Las Vegas, Nev. for their final tournament of the season. Northridge opens with the host Rebels on Friday, Sept. 17 before tangling with Xavier and San Jose State on Saturday, Sept. 18.
"This is a good tournament as well," said Stork. "UNLV and Xavier have been solid over the years and San Jose State has been down a little bit but has come back lately."
A non-conference match against Loyola Marymount on Sept. 21 opens up a season-long, three-match homestand for the Matadors and also christens Big West play in 2010. Northridge meets UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 24 and Cal Poly on Sept. 25.
"LMU has a new style of play this season which I think will help that team, so that will be a tough match" said Stork. "Then we get into conference play which is always difficult. The Big West is among the top six conferences in volleyball in the nation and it's always a challenge to play within our conference."
October opens with road matches at UC Davis (Oct. 1) and Pacific (Oct. 2) before a non-conference home match against CSU Baklersfield on Oct. 6. A road match at Cal State Fullerton )Oct. 14) precedes a home match with UC Irvine (Oct. 16). The second half of the Big West season gets underway Oct. 22 at Cal Poly followed by a match at UCSB on Oct. 23. The month closes with home matches against Pacific (Oct. 29) and UC Davis (Oct. 30).
November begins with a non-conference match at CSU Bakersfield (Nov. 2) which begins a four-match road stretch which includes matches at UC Riverside (Nov. 5), Long Beach State (Nov. 11) and UC Irvine (Nov. 13). The regular season concludes with hme matches against Long Beach State (Nov. 19) and Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 20).
"I think one of the things that has happened in the Big West is that the bottom keeps coming up," said Stork. "There's a couple of new coaches that have done a terrific job with their programs and they're given more and more resources to solidify what they're trying to do.
"We lost three players this past year, two of them seniors," said Stork. "Replacing the two seniors is going to be a challenge but I think the six players we have coming in so far are going to do a terrific job. We'll just have to find a different way to get it done."
- GO MATADORS -