CSUN Seeks Big West Wins at UC Irvine and Long Beach State

MATCH #23 (Big West Match #11):

Cal State Northridge Matadors (15-7, 6-4 BWC) at UC Irvine Anteaters (9-14, 4-5 BWC)

Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 - 7 p.m. PDT
Crawford Court (800) - Irvine, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

MATCH #24 (Big West Match #12):

Cal State Northridge Matadors at Long Beach State 49ers (11-9, 6-3 BWC)

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 - 7 p.m. PDT
Walter Pyramid (5,000) - Long Beach, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


Road matches at UC Irvine (9-14, 4-5 BWC) and Long Beach State (11-9, 6-3 BWC) await a Cal State Northridge (15-7, 6-4 BWC) squad that is looking to build a four-match win streak for the second time this season after earning victories at home last week against Pacific and UC Davis. CSUN has had just two such streaks in the last five seasons. A win Friday night against the Anteaters will earn the Matadors a split of their season series, a victory the following day will give CSUN its first-ever season sweep over the 49ers. Streaming video, live stats and internet radio broadcast will be available for both matches at GoMatadors.com.


Mark Schuermann will call the action for Northridge women's volleyball this season on GoMatadors.com, including both of this week's matches at UC Irvine and Long Beach State. 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.


Northridge began last week tied for sixth place, and ended its weekend alone in third after earning victories against the Pacific Tigers and UC Davis Aggies. Nearly two hours and 30 minutes after Thursday's match began, CSUN earned a hard-fought five set victory over  Pacific, improving its record in five-set matches this season to 4-1. Led by outside hitter Britney Graff with 13, four Matadors finished the night with double-digit kills. Outside hitter Mahina Haina and middle blocker Casey Hinger each recorded 12 kills, with middle blocker Cieana Stinson completing the Matador quartet with her 10-kill effort.

Two days later against the Aggies, Northridge set a new four-set season high by finishing with a .331 hitting percentage. Out of its 133 swings, CSUN collected 59 kills against only 15 errors. Led by middle blocker Sam Kaul, who tallied both of her team's solo blocks and finished with a match-high seven, the Matadors won the net battle once again en route to another Big West victory. Northridge has now outblocked its opponents in five of its six conference wins. Libero Cindy Ortiz and outside hitter Britney Graff recorded double-digit digs, finishing with a team-high 15 and 12 respectively.


With a victory Friday night at UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge will avenge its loss suffered earlier this season, earn its third straight win over the Anteaters inside the Bren Events Center and regain the all-time series lead as these two teams have split the 44 matches played against one another. UCI enters the match in tied for sixth with Pacific and UC Davis with 4-5 conference records, and a 10-12 overall mark. Ranked third in the Big West with 3.94 kills/set, junior outside hitter Aly Squires leads an Anteater attack that responsible for a .203 attack percentage, the fifth-highest amongst all Big West teams. Last week, senior libero Kristin Winkler reached the 2,000 dig mark after picking up 52 digs in two matches last week. Winkler has posted at least 20 digs five of the last six matches and is ranked 21st in the nation in dig average.

Coming off a three-set sweep over UC Irvine in its only match played last week, Long Beach State will compete in one of its toughest weeks of the season against Northridge and Hawai'i. Earlier this season, the Matadors defeated the 49ers at home for the third time in the last four seasons and can earn its first-ever season sweep with another victory Saturday evening. A CSUN road win will also snap a seven season slide for the Matadors inside the Walter Pyramid, the Matadors last left Long Beach with a win on Oct. 22, 2004. 


Cal State Northridge head women's volleyball coach and former U.S. National Team setter Jeff Stork was among six volleyball legends who were inducted last 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 joined 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. 


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

Last week's home victories:

"I thought we did have a very good weekend; the Pacific match, needing all five sets, was exciting. We are 4-1 in five-set matches this season, that shows our ability to perform well in the latter parts of a set. This is a versatile team, we are going to win in a number of ways. We earned a tough win against Pacific and hit .331 as a team against UC Davis, I am extremely proud of the way everyone played this last weekend."

Upcoming road trip:

"UC Irvine is a well-coached team that we will be prepared to face this Friday. Even though Long Beach State is dealing with a few injuries, we are ready to embrace the challenge of competing inside the Walter Pyramid."

Junior setter Sydney Gedryn:

"What we do with the first point of contact during the play allows Sydney to set up our hitters to accomplish what we want. If you look at what happened against UC Davis, we hit .331 for the match which is extremely high. We are not going to lose matches hitting 33 percent."

"The setter dictates every play; her leadership skills have helped her successfully handle the pressures of that position. Sydney is accomplishing what we (coaching staff) are asking from her, and has done a tremendous job distributing the ball to a group of eager hitters."

His induction to the Volleyball Hall of Fame:

"This was an extremely special weekend for me and are honored to be inducted 15 years after my playing career ended. I am proud of what I was able to accomplish as a player, to receive recognition as a member of the Hall of Fame is special."


The Matadors' junior setter averaged 10.1 assists per game, posted a .361 hitting percentage, matched one of her career-highs and earned another double-double to help her team win both matches played last week versus Pacific and UC Davis. Against the Tigers, Gedryn tied her career-high with nine kills, earned two of CSUN's three solo blocks, five block assists and was responsible for 13.5 of her team's points, a new season-high. Gedryn also tallied 42 assists, and finished with 10 digs to record her team-high eighth double-double of the season. The following match, she recorded eight kills in 15 swings, and committed zero attack errors to post a .417 clip against the Aggies. She earned 49 assists against UC Davis, assisted on another five blocks and fell one kill short of recording consecutive double-doubles.


Northridge enters this week's action alongside some of nation's most elite women's volleyball programs in a number of statistical categories. Leading the conference with its 2.94 blocks per set average, CSUN is 15th in the nation and trails top-ranked Washington and its 3.35 mark. Casey Hinger is 46th in the nation with her 1.29 b/s, with teammate Sydney Gedryn ranked 85th at 1.15 b/s. Also ranked 63rd nationally is libero Cindy Ortiz with 4.93 digs per set.


Of the five, five-set matches that CSUN has competed in this season, the Matadors emerged with the victory on four occasions. In addition to defeating Pacific in five last Thursday (Oct. 18), Northridge also went the distance and defeated Arizona (Aug. 24), LIU (Sept. 8) and UC Riverside (Sept. 22). The Matadors' triumph over the Tigers was the first five-set occasion to take place this season inside the Matadome, the others were earned at the Arizona Wildcat Classic, USF Asics Powerade Challenge and in Riverside respectively. Pacific leads the Big West with five wins out of its eight five-set matches played.


Five of CSUN's seven contests scheduled throughout the month of October will take place on the road. However, the Matadors will experience a reversal of fortune in November when the team will host five of its final seven matches of the season inside the Matadome. A season-long three-match homestand against Cal Poly (Nov. 1), UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 3) and Loyola Marymount (Nov. 10) awaits the Matadors once the team completes its upcoming road swing through Irvine and Long Beach. CSUN will end its 2012 schedule at home against UC Riverside (Nov. 21) and Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 24).


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. 


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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