CSUN's Three-Match Homestand Concludes Saturday Against Loyola Marymount

MATCH #27:

Loyola Marymount Lions (15-11) at Cal State Northridge Matadors (18-8) 

Saturday, Nov. 10, 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

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


Cal State Northridge (18-8, 9-5 Big West) wraps up a three-match homestand Saturday as the Matadors host Loyola Marymount (15-11, 6-7 WCC) in a non-conference match at 7 p.m. The Matadors, 2-0 on the current homestand, will take a brief break in the Big West schedule this week before traveling to Pacific and UC Davis in their final conference road swing next week. CSUN improved to 6-2 on The Matadome floor this season after taking care of Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara last week.   


Saturday's match against Loyola Marymount will be broadcast live with Mark Schuermann calling all the action at GoMatadors.com. 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.


Led by Mahina Haina with 11, three Matadors ended Thursday's match with 10 or more kills as Cal State Northridge quickly erased an early 10-point deficit in the third set to sweep the Cal Poly Mustangs 25-22, 25-17, 25-22. In addition to Britney Graff (.267), Casey Hinger also ended the evening with 10 kills  (.333). Haina led all players with a match-high 11 kills (.375).  On Saturday, bed by a Cal State Northridge blocking corps that was more than three times as effective at the net compared to its opponent, the Matadors extended their current win streak to three matches with an 18-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-14 victory over the visiting UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Saturday night. Northridge out-blocked Santa Barbara by a 13-4 margin; Sydney Gedryn posted two of her team's five solo blocks, Casey Hinger led all Matadors with seven block assists.


Loyola Marymount makes its first trip to Northridge since the 2010 season when the Lions handed the Matadors a four-set loss (25-21, 25-27, 25-21, 25-23). LMU has won the last four matches between the two teams dating back to the 2005 season. In 2003, the Lions swept the Matadors in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at USC's Lyon Center. LMU, which hosts No. 24 Pepperdine on Thursday, is 15-11 overall this season and 6-7 in the very competitive West Coast Conference. The Lions are paced by junior OH Kathleen Luft who averages 4.01 kills per set while hitting at a .254 clip. LMU, which is 1-1 against Big West schools this season, is hitting just under that at .239 as a team.


Heading into the homestretch of the conference season, Cal State Northridge sits alone in second place, one-half game ahead of Long Beach State and one full game ahead of fourth place Cal State Fullerton. The Matadors (9-5) have played 14 conference matches while the 49ers (8-5) have played 13 and the Titans 12. Three other Big West squads have played just 12 matches within the conference but will make that up this week while CSUN goes out of conference to play LMU. The Matadors have four conference matches remaining (at UC Davis and Pacific, home against UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton) as they look to better the program-best third place Big West finish from a year ago.


The defensive portion of the Matador rally scoring era (2001-) career record book is certainly being re-written this season. With 1,380 career digs, senior Cindy Ortiz has moved to the top of the rally scoring era digs chart ahead of Kelley Hanson who had 1,305 digs from 200-5-08. The sideout scoring era digs record is held by Alexis Cormier who had 1,194 digs from 1998-01. Fellow senior Monica McFarland has moved into fifth place on the rally scoring list with 1,187 scoops which would place her second behind Cormier in Matador history. McFarland has appeared in 423 sets since the 2009 season and is now just 18 sets away from surpassing Lynda Morales (440) on the all-time sets played list in rally scoring. The all-time CSUN record is held by Ana Khristich who appeared in 450 sets from 1991-94.


Sophomore Casey Hinger continues to lead the Big West Conference in blocking at 1.25 blocks per set. Hinger, who added 11 blocks (one solo) to her season total in two matches last week against Cal Poly and UCSB, currently has a slim 1.25-1.24 edge over Pacific's Gillian Howard. Teammates Sydney Gedryn (1.16 bps) and Sam Kaul (1.04 bps) also join Hinger in the top-10 in blocking this week. As a team, CSUN (2.92) leads the conference by a wide margin over UC Irvine (2.74) ... Junior Mahina Haina leads the Matadors in kills per set averaging 2.72 followed by Britney Graff at 2.62. With Natalie Allen sidelined, the Matadors will most likely not have a hitter average over 3.00 kills per set for the fourth time in the last six years. Darla Donaldson averaged 3.14 kps in 2006 before CSUN went three seasons (2007-09) without a hitter reaching the figure. Allen averaged 3.03 kps in 2010 while Haina averaged a career-high 3.31 in 2011, the best average for a CSUN hitter since 2004 when Jen Ryan notched a 5.15 kill average.


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

On wins over Cal Poly and UCSB last week:

"We had two very good matches last week. In both matches, I think we were in control with the exception of the start of the third set against Santa Barbara. But Ultimately at the end of each match we were successful in every category. We sided-out at 65% against Santa Barbara and had 13 blocks so we were very happy with how the weekend went for us."

On the play of setter Sydney Gedryn

"We have a lot of good all-around volleyball players and Syd is one of those players. She's fourth in the conference in blocks and we want her to be a threat at the net offensively as well which opens things up for the other attackers. With the offense we're running, the praise needs to go to everyone on the team because Syd cannot succeed alone. We need that first contact in the right spot and we have to have our hitters identify the pass and call the correct approach pattern in order for this team to be successful."

On taking a one-match break in the conference schedule to host LMU on Saturday:

"It seems a bit strange right now to be taking a break but due to scheduling the Hawaii match earlier in the season we had an opening this week. It was either schedule a non-conference match or have two weeks off between matches. I think it's a good idea also because it gives our student-athletes a chance to catch-up on some of their classes. It is a home match so we're not traveling so it allows them time to catch up in being a student. We'll work on a few things but it will be a nice week for the girls to catch-up on their schooling."


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 on Oct. 20 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.


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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