Matadors Return to Tournament Play in San Francisco This Weekend


LaSalle Explorers (1-6) vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-2)

Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 - 4:00 p.m. PT
War Memorial Gym (5,300) - San Francisco, Calif.
Live Stats: None
Streaming Video: None
Audio: None
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors


LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds (3-3) vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-2)

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 - 12:30 p.m. PT
War Memorial Gym (5,300) - San Francisco, Calif.
Live Stats: None
Streaming Video: None
Audio: None
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors


Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-2) at San Francisco Dons (4-3)

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 - 7:00 p.m. PT
War Memorial Gym (5,300) - San Francisco, Calif.
Live Stats: None
Streaming Video: None
Audio: None
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


Following a successful home opener on Monday, Cal State Northridge (4-2, 0-0 Big West) heads back out on the road for the Asics Coca-Cola Challenge at the University of San Francisco's War Memorial Gym. The Matadors will meet LaSalle (1-6), LIU Brooklyn (3-3) and the host USF Dons (3-2) over the two-day tournament. as has been the case in recent weeks, CSUN will face unfamiliar opponents this weekend as the Matadors have never faced LaSalle or LIU Brooklyn but have faced San Francisco seven times dating back to 1990.  


All Matador home matches and conference road matches will be featured as part of the Big West live streaming package. BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West's ten member institutions.  Now in it's eighth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women's volleyball.


In front of a Labor Day crowd on a new playing surface in The Matadome, Cal State Northridge claimed a hard-fought four-set win over the visiting Idaho Vandals 28-26, 25-17, 21-25, 25-20 Monday afternoon. The Matadors won their home opener for the first time since topping Northeastern in 2003 as the trio of Mahina Haina, Natalie Allen and Britney Graff triggered the CSUN offense. With Casey Hinger sidelined for the second consecutive match, Haina overcame a slow start to pound a team-high 19 kills while hitting an impressive .412 in 34 attacks. Allen added 17 kills (.368), 11 digs and three aces while Graff chipped in 12 kills (.345) and six digs.Sydney Gedryn again spread the sets around as six different Matador hitters got at least 11 attacks. Gedryn led the CSUN offense to a season-high .327 hitting clip as Sam Kaul (.538) and Cieana Stinson (.174) each had seven kills. Gedryn also served a pair of aces and Cindy Ortiz posted a match-high 24 digs from the libero spot. The Matadors out-blocked the Vandals 8.0-7.0 as Stinson put up a match-high seven block assists.


Cal State Northridge has a total of seven matches of history against its three opponents at this weekend's Asics Coca-Cola Challenge, and its all against the host USF Dons. The Matadors have never met LaSalle or LIU Brooklyn in their 38-year history. LaSalle, out of the Atlantic-10 Conference, is 1-6 this season with its lone win coming over Niagara on Aug. 25. Last weekend, the Explorers were swept by both Villanova and Temple and lost in four to Penn at the Big 5 Tournament in Philadelphia. LIU Brooklyn, out of the Northeast Conference, is 3-3 this season with wins over Delaware State (3-0), UNC Wilmington (3-1) and Miami (Ohio) (3-0). The Blackbirds finished 21-13 last season. San Francisco is 4-3 this season winning three of its first four matches before dropping two of three at the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Invitational in Hawai'i last weekend. The Dons' win came in an upset over No. 25 California as USF head coach Gilad Doron became the school's all-time wins leader. 


Monday's four-set win over Idaho gave CSUN its first home season-opening win in nine years. The last time the Matadors notched a win in their home opener was 2003 when CSUN defeated Northeastern in straight sets in Jeff Stork's second season. Since then, the Matadors have opened the home schedule against a group of formidable opponents including UCLA (2004, 2008, 2010), Arizona State (2005), Oregon (2006), UC Irvine (2007), Fresno State (2009) and USC (2011).


After getting a brief respite against James Madison, junior Natalie Allen got back to lighting up opponents with a .368 hitting clip against Idaho. Allen is now hitting .344 this season in 160 swings, by far the highest among Matador hitters. A career .212 hitter, Allen has committed just 12 hitting errors in her 160 attacks. She hit a season-high .457 with 16 kills in 35 errorless swings against Arizona on Aug. 24


With her fourth of 10 digs against Wisconsin, senior defensive specialist Monica McFarland reached 1,000 digs in her Matador career. With 51 digs this season, McFarland now has 1,032 career digs which puts her eighth in Matador history and seventh in the CSUN rally scoring record book .... In Casey Hinger's absence, freshman Cieana Stinson earned the first two starts of her Matador career against James Madison and Idaho. Stinson, who has appeared in all six matches for CSUN, responded with eight kills (.467) and nine blocks against JMU before connecting for seven kills in a season-high 26 attempts to go with seven blocks against Idaho ... With four wins in their first six matches, the Matadors have equaled last year's team that finished 16-13. The 2008 CSUN team also opened 5-2 while Stork's first Matador team in 2002 also opened 5-2. 


Cal State Northridge read its name in the Aug. 27 AVCA Division I Coaches Top-25 Poll for the first time since 2003. Following the 2-1 weekend and the Wildcat Classic crown, the Matadors were listed among the "Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots" section. The last time a Northridge team earned recognition in the national poll was 2003 when the Matadors earned four votes in the Oct. 27 poll and five votes in the Nov. 17 poll. The last time a Northridge women's volleyball cracked the top-25 was the final poll of the 1992 season when the 27-8 Matadors finished ranked 25th.


Matador head coach Jeff Stork shares his thoughts each week on the team, this week's matches and other topics.

On Monday's home-opening win over Idaho:

"I thought we did a terrific job, Idaho is a good team who had gone five with both Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara and Washington State. We know we're in a pretty good place in terms of what we expect from each other and the systems that we're using and it was nice to see those things coming to fruition. The team sided-out close to 65% and we hit nearly 32% and there were some things we thought we could do better so that's an encouraging sign."

On the play of junior setter Sydney Gedryn:

"Syd is coming into her own and it's really nice to see. She is a quadruple threat for us. We always knew she could block extremely well and that she's leading the team doesn't really surprise us. It's nice to know we have a right side blocker that can shut down an outside hitter and that's kind of what she's done so far. Setting-wise, her timing with the hitters is getting more refined and defensive-wise I'm kind of amazed at what she's done. If she wants to be a great volleyball player she's going to have to do more things like digging the ball and I think she's doing it quite well. She's always been one of our best servers with her flat float serve so she has the ability to play at a high level, the sky is the limit for her."

On the USF Asics Coca-Cola Challenge this weekend:

"Every match is critical for us in improving our RPI and this weekend is no different. There is some danger here and there is also some upside. LaSalle and LIU Brooklyn create a little bit of danger and I think USF is a very good team having beaten Cal last week. We are not a team that can take any team lightly so we're preparing the team the best we can." 


Now in the 38th season of women's volleyball at Cal State Northridge, the Matadors reached the 700-win plateau with their 3-0 win over Fresno State on Sept. 3, 2011. Now with 717 wins in 37+ years averages out to roughly 19 wins per season which was largely achieved during the programs heyday as a Division II school (1975-1989). Under the direction of Walt Ker, the Matadors posted 401 wins from 1979-1992, an average of nearly 29 wins per season. Since moving up to the Division I level in 1990, Northridge has 325 wins, including 29 in Ker's first Division I season (1990). With the win over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 1, 2011, the Matadors reached 250 conference wins in 30 seasons as a conference member. CSUN now has 73 Big West wins and combined with 47 Big Sky wins, 100 CCAA wins and 37 SCAA wins, CSUN stands at 257 all-time conference victories. 


The Cal State Northridge women's volleyball was picked to finish third in the 2012 Big West Preseason Coaches Poll as announced by the conference office on Aug. 7. The Matadors received a total of 72 points from the conference's head coaches, the most for a CSUN team in 12 years as a member of the Big West. The previous best preseason ranking for a Matador squad came in 2007 when Northridge was picked to finish fifth before finishing in a tie for fifth at the conclusion of the season. Hawai'i, ranked eighth in the AVCA national preseason poll, was picked to win the Big West after earning nine of 10 first place votes and 99 total points. Defending conference champions Long Beach State was second with 88 total points followed by the Matadors with 72. UC Santa Barbara (60) and Pacific (60) tied for fourth with Cal State Fullerton (46) sixth, Cal Poly (43) seventh, UC Davis (37) eighth, UC Irvine (31) ninth and UC Riverside (14) 10th. Cal Poly earned the lone remaining first place vote.


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