Matadors Host Cal State Fullerton Tuesday, Travel to Long Beach State on Saturday

Matadors Host Cal State Fullerton Tuesday, Travel to Long Beach State on Saturday

This Week's Matador Women's Volleyball Release


Match #17: Cal State Fullerton at Cal State Northridge * Tuesday, Oct. 3 * The Matadome * 7:00 p.m.
Match #18: Cal State Northridge at Long Beach State * Saturday, Oct. 6 * Walter Pyramid * 7:00 p.m.

Cal State Northridge (5-11, 2-2 Big West) wraps up its three-match homestand on Tuesday against Cal State Fullerton (7-6, 2-0) before opening up a three-match road trip on Saturday at Long Beach State (9-5, 3-1). The Matadors, who lead the all-time series with the Titans 19-6 and have never lost to Fullerton in The Matadome in 12 matches, meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Matadors trail 15-4 in the all-time series with Long Beach State and the 49ers have won the last four matches between the two teams. Northridge is 2-8 all-time at the Walter Pyramid.

All Matador home matches will webcast live on the official website of Northridge Athletics, with Sam Farber handling the play-by-play. Farber will be joined occasionally by former Winthrop assistant coach Paul Duchesne. And for the second straight season, the Big West Conference and CSTV are partnering to bring LIVE Big West Conference volleyball home to you. A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 gets you exclusive coverage of Big West women's volleyball delivered right to your computer. If you can't make it to the gym, you can still watch all the action on BigWest.TV!

Freshman Brittany Williams tallied a career-high 16 kills to go with five blocks and junior Val Kepler added nine kills but Cal State Northridge dropped its home opener to visiting UC Irvine 20-30, 26-30, 30-26, 27-30 Friday in The Matadome. Williams matched her career-high in kills for the second straight match and the Matadors dispatched UC Riverside for their first home win, 30-20, 30-15 30-26 Saturday in The Matadome.

The Matadors had one of their finest matches of the season in the 30-20, 30-15, 30-26 win over UC Riverside on Saturday. Northridge posted season-highs (for a three-game match) in kills (57), hitting percentage (.400), assists (52) and aces (7). The Matadors committed just 13 hitting errors in 110 swings and had six players hit .300 or better. In addition to claiming its first home win of the season, Northridge improved to 2-7 in three-game matches.

Freshman Brittany Williams (Chino Hills, CA/Ayala HS) was impressive for the Matadors in the season-opening homestand against UC Irvine and UC Riverside. The outside hitter was named Athlete of the Week for her performance in leading Northridge to a 1-1 week. Williams knocked down a career-high 16 kills while hitting .333 to go with five blocks (two solo) in the Matadors' four-game loss to UC Irvine on Friday. On Saturday against UC Riverside, she matched her career-high by posting another 16-kill performance while hitting .394 in Northridge's three-set sweep over the Highlanders.

Northridge wrapped up the month of September with a 3-8 (.273) record following Saturday's 3-0 win over UC Riverside. After dropping six of seven matches to open September, the Matadors won two of their last four to wrap the month. Tuesday's match against Cal State Fullerton is one of just three home matches for Northridge during the month of October. If Northridge is to turn its fortunes around in October, the Matadors will have to do it largely on the road.

Setter Kayla Wright (Murrieta, CA/Murrieta Valley HS) posted her first double-double of the season with 44 assists and a team-high 10 digs in the Matadors' 3-0 win over UC Riverside on Saturday. Wright also added a season-high six kills in a bid for her first career triple-double. The double-double was Wright's 22nd of her Matador career which is the most among current Northridge players. Fellow junior Harmony Burdine ranks second in career double-doubles with 20 and sophomore Angela Hupp has 13 career double-doubles. Hupp is the Matador leader in triple-doubles with seven, including two this season.

Head coach Jeff Stork had this to say about the home opening weekend against UC Irvine and UC Riverside:

"In general, I thought we played very well," said Stork. "Even though we lost to UC Irvine, I thought we played well and then rebounded very well against UC Rirverside."

"Against UC Irvine, Brittany (Williams) had the most swings with a high hitting percentage which is very encouraging," said Stork. "Val (Kepler) also continues to play extremely well."

On playing Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State this week:

"Fullerton is always a real competitive team," said Stork. "They're giving Brittany Moore a greater responsibility on offense to utilize her strengths." Stork added: "Long Beach State is a tough team when they stay in their system. We'll have to serve tough against them on Saturday."

Eight Teams on the 2007 Matador schedule are named in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll this week. USC (13-1), which defeated the Matadors on Aug. 20, is the highest ranked Northridge opponent this week at No. 4. UCLA (13-2), which defeated the Matadors on Sept. 14, is ranked fifth this week followed by eighth-ranked Washington (14-0) which beat Northridge 3-0 on Aug. 25. Duke (10-3), which defeated the Matadors on Sept. 1 is ranked 13th this week followed by 14th-ranked San Diego (11-4), a 3-0 winner over CSUN on Sept. 15. Cal Poly (8-6), which beat the Matadors on Sept. 22, ranks 24th this week while another Big West rival Long Beach State (9-5) and the Big Sky's Sacramento State (14-3) received votes in this week's top 25 poll.

After setting in eighth or ninth in a majority of Big West team statistical categories, Northridge moved up to seventh this week in hitting percentage while Val Kepler and Lynda Morales moved into the top 10 in hitting percentage and blocks respectively. Kepler ranks 10th in hitting at .298 while Morales ranks ninth in blocks at 1.02. Amy Hultner continues to be the highest Matador player in the Big West stats as she ranks seventh in digs at 4.42 per game ... The Matadors, picked to finish fifth in the Big West preseason poll, are currently sixth in the conference with a 2-2 mark. Six teams in the conference are at .500 or better in BiG West matches.

The Titans bring an 7-6 overall record (2-0 Big West) into Tuesday's match in Northridge. Cal State Fullerton had won four of its last five matches before falling in three games at home to Loyola Marymount last Tuesday. The Titans opened the conference season with wins over UC Davis (3-0) and Pacific (3-1). Junior Brittany Moore leads Fullerton in hitting averaging 4.34 kills per game which ranks fourth in the conference. Sophomore Cari Bailey ranks second in the Big West in aces averaging 0.45 per game. The Titans are hitting .223 as a team while averaging 15.32 kills per game. Head coach Carolyn Zimmerman (Pepperdine, 1992) is in her sixth season with the Titans and sports a 65-95 career and school record.

The 49ers, who host the Matadors on Saturday for their only match of the week, are 9-5 overall (3-1 Big West) heading into this week's action. Long Beach State has won three straight and seven of its last eight matches including a 3-0 win over UC Riverside and a 3-1 decision over UC Irvine last week. Senior Alexis Crimes leads the 49ers averaging 4.73 kills per game which is tops in the Big West. Crimes is also the conference's top blocker averaging 1.44 per game. Senior libero Talaya Whitfield ranks first in the Big West in digs per game (5.36). Long Beach State is hitting .263 as a team. Head coach Brian Gimmillaro (Long Beach State, 1970) is in his 23rd season with the 49ers and sports a 613-146 career and school record.


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