October 6, 2009

Matadors Open Three-Match Homestand Tuesday Against No. 23 UC Irvine

Oct. 6, 2009

Weekly Match Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

FOR STARTERS After playing just one match last week, Cal State Northridge (4-11, 0-2 Big West) opens up a busy week as No. 23 UC Irvine (13-3, 3-1) comes to The Matadome Tuesday at 7 p.m. The three-match homestand continues Friday and Saturday as the Matadors welcome in Cal Poly (5-12, 1-3) and UC Riverside (1-12, 0-4). Northridge dropped its third consecutive match last Wednesday as the Matadors dropped a tough 3-2 non-conference match at CSU Bakersfield. Northridge has played just two home matches this season, falling in five sets to Fresno State (Sept. 18) before defeating Portland (Sept. 19) in three sets.

TO RECAP The Matadors took a brief break in Big West play by traveling to CSU Bakersfield for a non-conference match on Wednesday. Northridge was looking to get back on track after a pair of conference losses the week before but once again the fifth set proved problematic and the Matadors dropped the five-set decision. Senior Angela Hupp posted her first triple-double of the season and 11th of her career with 12 kills, 22 assists and 14 digs. Hupp came within one block of a quadruple-double.

"Again it was a confidence issue," said Head Coach Jeff Stork. "We were up 10-6 in the fifth set and scored two more points after that. Four of those points for them were blocks against us and I think two or three of them were solo blocks. We've got to serve in and we've got to hit in but the girls are working really hard to turn this thing around. n

A RETURN TO BIG WEST PLAY OPENS THREE-MATCH HOMESTAND The Matadors open up their second longest homestand of the season on Tuesday when No. 23 UC Irvine comes to town. The busy week for Northridge continues over the weekend as the Matadors host Cal Poly and UC Riverside.

"We're hosting three teams this week which are certainly a contrast in styles," said Stork. "Irvine is playing with a lot of confidence after beating a couple of top-ranked teams as well as being ranked themselves. We're itching for a win and we're looking to upset anyone we play especially at home. It's a question of do we have the confidence to do it. I know we have the ability I see it in practice every single day, the players have to believe in it themselves.

"Cal Poly is starting a lot of new players this season," said Stork. "They had a real tough non-conference schedule but I still think they are a solid team. UC Riverside also has a strong schedule which may reflect in their win-loss record but they're certainly a team that's fighting for wins themselves."

HUPP REACHES 1,000 CAREER KILLS Senior Angela Hupp became the eighth player in Cal State Northridge women's volleyball history to reach the 1,000 career kills plateau. Hupp reached the milestone with her 12th and final kill against CSU Bakersfield on Wednesday. Hupp joins Laura Walter (1,694), Missy Clements (1,464), Kathleen Dixon (1,326), Nancy Nicholls (1,251), Alexis Cormier (1,196), Nancy Ma (1,030) and Ana Kristich (1,004) as the only players in the 1,000 kills club.

GOOD RIDDANCE SEPTEMBER The Matadors won't be too upset to see the calendar change to October. Northridge wrapped up the month of September with 10 losses in 12 matches. The lone wins in the month came in four sets over Idaho (Sept. 12) and in straight sets over Portland (Sept. 19). Four of the Matadors' last five losses in September came in five set heartbreakers. Northridge won two of three matches in August.

UC IRVINE IS FIRST RANKED TEAM ON SCHEDULE After playing schedules chocked full of teams ranked in the top-25 in recent years, the Matadors will host No. 23 UC Irvine on Tuesday, the first ranked team Northridge has seen in 2009. Washington State, who defeated the Matadors twice in September, cracked the top-25 this week while Long Beach State is the highest ranked Big West team at No. 20. UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton also received votes in this week's poll. The last ranked team to play in The Matadome was No. 23 Long Beach State in the 2008 regular season finale. The Matadors upset the 49ers in five sets on senior night as Hupp, Brittany Williams and Siara Grayson combined for 51 of Northridge's 67 kills.

NORTHRIDGE NOTES Wednesday's loss at CSU Bakersfield dropped the Matadors to 1-7 in road matches this season. Northridge has played the most road matches (8) of any team in the Big West ... Angela Hupp looks to finish the season averaging at least 3.00 kills per set. Northridge has not had a hitter average 3.00 kills/set since Darla Donaldson averaged 3.14 k/s in 2006 ... Monica McFarland, who started the first 11 matches at libero, has shifted to the defensive specialist position while Karina Woehrstein has taken over at libero. McFarland is averaging a team-high 3.36 digs/set while Woehrstein checks in at 2.12 ... Sam Orlandini led the Matadors in assists in 24 of 29 matches as a true freshman last season. This year, she was the team leader in the first 13 matches before the Matadors shifted to their current 6-2 alignment which means Orlandini is sharing setting duties with Hupp.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET All Cal State Northridge home matches will be available via Gametracker at GoMatadors.com and will also be available via live video streaming at BigWest.TV. Get exclusive coverage of Big West Conference action by logging on to BigWest.TV! Now in it's fifth year, BigWest.TV gives fans on-demand access to Big West sports as well as press conferences, features and Big West Conference Championships. If you can't make it to the gym or the field, head to www.BigWest.TV to catch up on your favorite team.

MATADORS VS. UC IRVINE No. 23 UC Irvine (13-3, 3-1) has won four of its last five, including wins over Pacific (3-1) and UC Davis (3-1) last week. The Anteaters are led by junior OH Kari Pestolesi who averages 3.74 kills and 3.78 digs while junior MB Julianne Piggott adds 2.88 kills. Northridge holds a slim 19-18 lead in the all-time series with UC Irvine

MATADORS VS.CAL POLY Cal Poly is 2-3 over its last five after falling on the road to Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State last week. Freshman OH Megan McConnell averages a team-high 2.89 kills/set. Northridge trails 22-20 with Cal Poly.

MATADORS VS.UC RIVERSIDE UCR has dropped nine straight heading into this week's matches. Senior OH Dominique Cowling averages 3.93 kps. Northridge holds a commanding 40-18 edge over UC Riverside.

- GO MATADORS -