Northridge's Home Season Concludes Against Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton

Nov. 12, 2009

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FOR STARTERS Cal State Northridge (7-19, 3-9 Big West) wraps up the home portion of the 2009 season this weekend as the Matadors host Long Beach State (16-6, 9-3 Big West) on Friday and Cal State Fullerton (15-10, 6-6 Big West) on Saturday. Northridge will wrap up the season next week with a road trip to Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.

TO RECAP Northridge's busy week opened with a 25-18, 25-22, 25-11 loss to visiting UC Santa Barbara on Tuersday. Brittany Williams and Lynda Morales paced the Matadors with eight kills apiece while Angela Hupp posted her 13th double of the season with 13 assists and 10 digs. On Friday, Williams and Britney Graff combined for 31 kills but Cal State Northridge surrendered a two-set advantage as UC Riverside came back to win the final three sets and claim a 21-25, 20-25, 31-29, 25-23, 15-12. The week culminated with a straight set loss to UC Irvine 26-24, 26-24, 25-17 on Saturday. Morales was a bright spot for Northridge as she had a team-high 11 kills while hitting .318. Hupp added seven kills (.208), 17 assists and nine digs for the Matadors who hit just .118 as a team.

SENIOR NIGHT FOR BURNETT, GRAYSON AND HUPP Saturday's match against Cal State Northridge wraps up the home schedule for the Matadors and also gives Northridge a chance to honor three players making their final home appearance. Seniors Tela Burnett and Angela Hupp along with Siara Grayson will be honored prior to the match. Grayson, technically a junior athletically, has played for the Matadors for four seasons but was granted a medical redshirt year in 2007. Burnett, completing her second season with the Matadors, has started 23 matches at middle blocker this season and is tied for the conference lead in blocks per set (1.17).

"Tela and Siara have done some great things during their Matador careers," said Head Coach Jeff Stork. "Siara has been hampered a bit by injuries during her career and Tela has become one of the better blockers in the conference."

Hupp, who will go down as one of the top players in Matador history, ranks in the career top-10 in sets played, kills, attempts, assists, block assists and total blocks.

"Angela is a special student-athlete," said Stork. "She's been a captain for three years and she's always done things for the good of the program. We recruited her as a setter but because of the program's needs she's been a hitter most of the time she's been here. It just goes to show what kind of character she has been willing to do that for the good of the team.

"She's just a fabulous student-athlete in every regard," added Stork. "She brings so much to a team and the people she's played with here have been fortunate to have a teammate like Angela."

CAREER RECORDS UPDATE With four matches to go in the regular season, several Matadors have made inroads on the Northridge career leaders list. Senior Angela Hupp currently ranks fourth in total attempts (3,201) and block assists (332), sixth in kills (1,109), tied for seventh in sets played (417), seventh in assists (1,610) and total blocks (347). Junior Lynda Morales is currently eighth in total blocks (341) and is seventh in block assists (318). Fellow junior Brittany Williams ranks 10th in total attempts (2,384) and sophomore Sam Orlandini is already eighth in assists with 1,590.

BIG WEST STANDINGS At 3-9, the Matadors are in the bottom half of the conference standings. But with four Big West matches remaining, Northridge can improve its standing. With plenty of jockeying over the top spot in recent weeks, Long Beach State (9-3) currently has a one-half game lead over both UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis (9-4). UC Irvine (8-4), which held the top spot in the conference for much of the season is fourth followed by Cal State Fullerton (6-6) and Pacific (6-7). The Matadors are tied for seventh with UC Riverside at 3-9, followed by Cal Poly (3-10). Northridge has finished eighth three times since joining the Big West in 2001. The Matadors were 5-13 under Stork in 2002, were 2-12 in 2005 and 3-13 last season.

MATADORS MAKE "DIG PINK" A SUCCESS Northridge had a successful "Dig Pink" day with its Oct. 24 match against UC Davis. Since the match, the Matadors have raised over $2,100 for the Susan G. Koman For the Cure Foundation and breast cancer awareness. Fans interested in continuing the effort can still donate on Northridge women's volleyball's behalf by visiting the Matadors' Dig Pink website at:

https://www.side-out.org/application/teams/team_page/2101

NORTHRIDGE NOTES Middle blocker Chelsea Johnson has already set career-highs in several categories in her junior season. Johnson, who played sparingly in her first two seasons, ranks fourth on the team in total blocks (67) and is tied for second with seven solo stuffs. She has also established new career-bests in kills, total attacks, aces, digs and points ... Brittany Williams' 21 kills against CSU Bakersfield is a new season-high and equals Angela Hupp for the Northridge season-high. Williams' 21 kills approaches her career-high of 24 set during her freshman season ... The Matadors need two more wins to equal their win total from 2008 ... October turned out to be Northridge's best month in terms of wins as the Matadors went 3-5 during the month. Northridge went 2-1 in August, 2-10 in September and is 0-3 so far in November... Currently in seventh place in the Big West standings, the Matadors are in the exact position they were predicted to finish in the Big West Preseason Coaches Poll.

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.

LONG BEACH STATE The 49ers come into Friday's match with an overall record of 16-6 and are 9-3 in the Big West. Long Beach has won five of its last six matches after defeating Pacific and UC Davis last week. Senior MB Naomi Washington leads the 49ers as averaging 4.07 k/s while sophomore OH Caitlin Ledoux adds 3.34 k/s and 2.64 d/s.

CAL STATE FULLERTON The Titans come into this week's action with an overall record of 15-10 and are 6-6 in the Big West. CSF has won three straight after defeating Pacific and UC Davis last week. Junior MB Erin Saddler leads the Titans with 4.53 k/s.

SERIES HISTORY The Matadors are 5-19 all-time against Long Beach State and 22-8 against Cal State Fullerton. Northridge lost at Long Beach (3-0) and defeated the Titans (3-1) earlier this season.

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