October 16, 2012

Matadors Return Home to Face Pacific, UC Davis

MATCH #21 (Big West Match #9):

Pacific Tigers (16-4, 4-3 BWC) at Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-7, 4-4 BWC)

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 - 7 p.m. PDT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors


MATCH #22 (Big West Match #10):

UC Davis Aggies (10-10, 4-3 BWC) at Cal State Northridge Matadors 

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 - 7 p.m. PDT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


FOR STARTERS

Cal State Northridge will return to the Matadome for its next two Big West matches against the Pacific Tigers and UC Davis Aggies. With two of the four teams currently tied for third place in the Big West scheduled to visit the Valley this week, the Matadors can quickly climb the conference standings with a successful week. In addition to UC Davis and Pacific, UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton all possess identical conference records and have competed in one fewer Big West match compared to the Matadors.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET
 
Mark Schuermann will call the action for Northridge women's volleyball this season on GoMatadors.com, including Thursday's home match against Pacific All Matador home matches, and conference road matches will be featured as part of the Big West's live streaming package. BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West's 10 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 this season.

TO RECAP

Northridge ended its conference-high three-match road trip last weekend in Honolulu against the eighth-ranked Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine. Having dropped its first Big West match of the season against the Wahine in heartbreaking fashion - Hawai'i survived two CSUN match points before defeating the host Matadors in five sets - Northridge traveled to the islands last wee seeking a season split. CSUN began the match hitting .281 compared to the Rainbow Wahine's .135 to capture the first set 25-22, but was unable to secure another as Hawai'i rebounded to win the next three sets by scores of 25-18, 25-21, 25-20.

Led by middle blocker Sam Kaul with eight, Northridge recorded a new four-set season high with 18 blocks. Middle blocker Casey Hinger earned a team-high eight kills followed by outside hitters Britney Graff, Mahina Haina and middle blocker Cieana Stinson who earned seven kills apiece. Setter Sydney Gedryn tallied 33 of her team's 40 assists, responsible for a team-high 31 digs out of the 56 earned by the Matadors was libero Cindy Ortiz.

SCOUTING THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS

This week's schedule features two important Big West home matchups against the Pacific Tigers and UC Davis Aggies. CSUN currently sits in seventh place alongside UC Irvine with identical 4-4 Big West records; wins against the Tigers and Aggies will help the Matadors climb the conference standings since both Northridge opponents are involved in a four-way tie for third place.

Thursday's match will feature a Tigers squad that began its season with eight straight victories, and enters the Matadome victorious in five of its last seven matches. Outside hitter Megan Birch (3.71 kills/set) and middle blocker Jennifer Sanders (2.71 k/s) lead the way for a team that possesses a conference-high .144 opponent hitting percentage and a .229 attack percentage that is second only to Hawai'i.

Before facing the Matadors, UC Davis will compete against first-place Hawai'i in the first of four straight road contests that await the Aggies. Saturday night's match will feature two of the conference's top blocking units; as of Oct. 16, the Matadors possess a conference-high 2.92 blocks/set average, followed by Hawai'i (2.66 b/s) and UC Davis' 2.34 b/s mark. UC Davis middle blocker Victoria Lee leads all Big West players with her 1.28 b/s figure, just three one-hundredths ahead of CSUN's Casey Hinger who is ranked No. 2 with her 1.25 b/s average.

VOLLEYBALL'S ELITE WELCOMES STORK

Cal State Northridge head women's volleyball coach and former U.S. National Team setter Jeff Stork is among six volleyball legends who will be inducted this Friday in Holyoke, Mass., as part of the Volleyball Hall of Fame's Class of 2012. Notified of his selection by USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal, Stork will join fellow inductees Peter Blange of Netherlands, Mauricio Lima of Brazil, Georgiy Mondzolevski of Russia, women's volleyball player Lyudmila Buldakova of Russia and men's beach volleyball player Mike Dodd of the United States.

Stork was the starting setter for the United States during its gold-medal performance at the 1988 Olympic Games. He followed that up with the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympic Games and competed in the 1996 Olympics. Stork helped the U.S. dominate the international scene in the 1980s with gold medals at the 1985 NORCECA Championship, the 1985 FIVB World Cup, the 1986 FIVB World Championship, the 1987 Savvin Cup and the 1987 Pan American Games. He played a number of years in Italy and was named the Italian Serie A most valuable player in 1993 while setting for Mediolanum. Stork was also selected to USA Volleyball's All-Era Team for the 1978-2002 time period. 

HAINA HEADS HOME IN CSUN'S RETURN TO HAWAI'I

Last Saturday's match at Hawai'i was a special occasion for one Matador as Mahina Haina returned to her hometown to face the Rainbow Wahine. In CSUN's first visit to the islands since 2005, the Honolulu native finished with seven kills in 22 swings, six digs and three blocked shots.

WELCOME BACK

Including the Matadors' recent road swing, five of their seven contests scheduled throughout the month of October will take place on the road. However, seven of CSUN's final 11 contests will take place inside the Matadome. Returning to their home floor for this week's Big West matches against Pacific and UC Davis, a season-long three-match homestand against Cal Poly (Nov. 1), UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 3) and Loyola Marymount (Nov. 10) awaits the Matadors in early November. CSUN will also end its 2012 schedule at home against UC Riverside (Nov. 21) and Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 24).

MATADORS NOTCH 700TH PROGRAM VICTORY, 250TH CONFERENCE WIN

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. With 722 wins in 37+ years, the program is averaging roughly 19 wins per season, a figure that was largely influenced throughout the program's 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 328 wins, including 29 in Ker's first Division I season (1990). 

With a win over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 1, 2011, the Matadors reached 250 conference wins in 30 seasons as a conference member. CSUN has 77 Big West wins; combined with 47 Big Sky wins, 100 CCAA wins and 37 SCAA wins, CSUN stands at 261 all-time conference victories. 

MATADORS PICKED THIRD IN BIG WEST PRESEASON POLL

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.