August 10, 2010

Matadors Predicted Eighth in Big West Coaches Preseason Poll

Aug. 10, 2010

Cal State Northridge earned 14 points and was predicted to finish tied for eighth in the Big West Conference Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll released Monday, August 9th.

The Matadors, who finished 8-22 overall and 4-12 in conference in 2009, return five starters and add five newcomers to their roster in 2010. Northridge will have to overcome the loss of senior Angela Hupp to graduation but return outside hitters Brittany Williams and Britney Graff as well as senior middle blocker Lynda Morales. Also returning in 2010 is junior setter Sam Orlandini and sophomore libero Monica McFarland.

"I think this is a fair representation," said Matador head coach Jeff Stork. "Obviously you have to play the games to find out where you're going to wind up. There's a lot of parity in the middle, I think we're getting better, Riverside's getting better and I'll be curious to see what some other teams do.

"Certainly this is what the challenge is for us, to come into the start of the season strong. Obviously there's a lot that goes in before the start of the season. There's a lot of room for improvement, but the players are training hard and are very focused and dedicated."

The conference coaches selected Long Beach State to capture its third consecutive conference crown. The 49ers earned seven first-place votes and 79 total points and out-pointed UC Irvine, which was picked to finish second with one first-place vote and a total of 68 points.

UC Santa Barbara nabbed one first-place vote and 65 overall points to claim the third spot in the poll while Cal State Fullerton was selected fourth after picking up 47 points. Cal Poly and UC Davis were tied for fifth with 45 points while Pacific secured seventh place with 28 points and the Matadors and UC Riverside were knotted in the eighth spot with 14 points apiece.

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