21st-Ranked Matadors Host Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara in Home Finale


MATCH #26 (Big West Match #13):

Cal Poly Mustangs (10-13, 4-6 Big West) at No. 21 Cal State Northridge Matadors (21-4, 11-1 Big West)

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PST
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, CA
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: ESPN3
Audio: GoMatadors.com
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors 

MATCH #27 (Big West Match #14):

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (13-9, 8-2 Big West) at No. 21 Cal State Northridge Matadors (21-4, 11-1 Big West)

Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PST
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, CA
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: ESPN3
Audio: GoMatadors.com
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors 

Weekly Match Notes    


Cal State Northridge (21-4, 11-1 Big West) returns to the friendly confines of The Matadome this week as the 21st-ranked Matadors host Cal Poly (10-13, 4-6 Big West) and UC Santa Barbara (13-9, 8-2 Big West). CSUN, undefeated in seven home matches, and Cal Poly meet Thursday at 7 p.m. while the Matadors host the second-place Gauchos Saturday which is also CSUN's senior night. The Matadors extended their current win streak to a season-long six straight with road wins at UC Irvine (3-1) and Long Beach State (3-2) last week and will look to clinch at least a share of the Big West regular season championship this week. 


Both matches will be streamed live on ESPN3 with Trent Schlom handling the play-by-play and Whitney Pavlik providing analysis. Both matches will also have an audio broadcast at GoMatadors.com (Casey Moran, Alex Jones). 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 ninth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women's volleyball.


Junior Casey Hinger posted the second double-double of her career with 13 kills and 13 digs as 23rd-ranked Cal State Northridge won its 20th match of the season, 32-30, 17-25, 25-20, 25-17 at UC Irvine on Friday night. Hinger, who notched her first career double-double with 16 kills and 11 digs against Hawai'i on Oct. 24, had 13 kills (.250) and a career-high 13 digs in Friday's win. The junior also had three blocks, one ace and two assists. Mahina Haina (.111), Cieana Stinson (.231) and setter Sydney Gedryn (.500) each added eight kills as Gedryn also registered 37 assists, two aces, five digs and six blocks. On Saturday, CSUN put a bit more distance between itself and second-place UC Santa Barbara after the 23rd-ranked Matadors came back to claim a five-set road win at Long Beach State. Hinger doubled up again against Long Beach with a career-high 22 kills to go with 12 digs. Hinger hit .347 in matching her career-high with 49 swings while also adding five blocks. Stinson added 16 kills while hitting .225 on 40 swings. Junior Natalie Allen also had 10 kills while committing just two errors in 25 attacks to hit .320 to go with 14 digs.


• With important road wins at UC Irvine and Long Beach State last week, Cal State Northridge moved up two spots to No. 21 in the AVCA Coaches Top-25. The Matadors received 309 points this week, the highest total for a CSUN squad in school history. Two weeks ago, CSUN moved into the AVCA Top-25 for the first time since 1992 after ranking 24th with 135 points. Last week, the Matadors ranked 23rd with 196 points. Northridge has now been ranked or has received votes in 11 straight AVCA Top-25 polls for the first time in school history.

• With just four matches remaining in the regular season, the Matadors can clinch at least a share of the Big West regular season title with wins over Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara this week. CSUN (11-1) is one up in the loss column over game second-place UC Santa Barbara (8-2) and has a full two-game lead over third-place Hawai'i (9-3). The Gauchos have six matches remaining in the regular season while both the Matadors and Rainbow Wahine each have four.

• Thursday's match will be the 52nd meeting all-time between the Matadors and Cal Poly with the Mustangs holding a slight 27-24 edge in the series. Cal Poly dominated the series from 2005-2011 winning 12 straight but CSUN has now won four straight including a 3-2 win in San Luis Obispo on Oct. 19. Saturday's match against UCSB is the 39th meeting between the two schools with the Gauchos leading 32-6 in the series. UCSB handed the Matadors their one and only conference loss on Oct. 18, sweeping CSUN 25-22, 25-19, 25-15.


Junior Natalie Allen is on track to become the second Matador in 2013 and 10th player all-time to reach 1,000 career kills in CSUN history. Allen heads into this week's matches with 976 career kills after putting down 17 kills in two matches last week. Senior Mahina Haina became the ninth member of the exclusive group of CSUN hitters earlier this season and this week has moved into sixth-place on the all-time Cal State Northridge kills list with 1,127. Haina also moved into fifth in school history with 3,183 total attacks and is just 62 attacks away from passing Angela Hupp into fourth place on the all-time list.


For the second time in 2013, Cal State Northridge had one its players named Big West Conference Player of the Week as junior Casey Hinger followed up Natalie Allen who won the award on Sept. 9. In defeating UC Irvine in four sets on Friday, Hinger had 13 kills and a career-high 13 digs to go with a service ace and three blocks in the 32-30, 17-25, 25-20, 25-17 victory. She then came back with a career-high 22 kills and 12 digs in the Matadors' five-set comeback win over Long Beach State at the Walter Pyramid. Hinger's 49 attacks against the 49ers is career-high as she hit .347 as the Matadors won the final two sets to pull out the win 25-23, 15-25, 22-25, 26-24, 15-12. Hinger had consecutive double-doubles for the first time in her career, giving her three for the season. Hinger has now won conference Player of the Week accolades twice in her career as she also won the award during her freshman season (Nov. 7, 2011). Since joining the Big West Conference in 2001, the Matadors have had 10 players honored as player of the week.


Prior to Saturday's regular season home finale against UC Santa Barbara, CSUN will honor its three seniors Sydney Gedryn, Britney Graff and Mahina Haina. Each senior is a four-year letterwinner for the Matadors with Graff playing in 424 career sets and Haina in 393 and Gedryn in 360. Graff was named to the Big West All-Freshman Team in 2009 before sitting out the 2010 season due to injury. She currently ranks eighth in CSUN history in sets played. Haina, as documented above, will go down as one of the Matadors all-time leaders in kills while Gedryn will also etch her name in the record books as one of the great setters in CSUN history. She comes into the homestretch of the regular season with 3,292 career assists and 345 career blocks, both of which ranks in the top-10 in Matador history.


Not to be overlooked among the impressive individual performances of late is that of Kelcie Randazzo and Sam Kaul. Randazzo, a junior libero, had 50 digs in two CSUN wins last week including a career-high 28 at UC Irvine. Randazzo has now posted double figures in digs in 21 of the Matadors' 25 matches. Kaul, who is hitting a career-high .311 this season (second only to Hinger's .339), is closing in her career-high for kills as the junior has 132 through 25 matches. Kaul's season career-high in kills came last season as she put down 146. Kaul is also the team's second leading blocker with 79 total stuffs ... Saturday's win at Long Beach State not only gave the Matadors four straight wins over the 49ers but achieved their second six-match win streak of the season. CSUN also won six straight to open the season (Aug. 30-Sept. 7). In addition, the Matadors also have a five-match win streak to their credit. Northridge had never beaten Long Beach twice in succession before the 2012 season but have now swept the season series in consecutive seasons.


Cal State Northridge is on the road for its final two regular season matches. The Matadors travel to No. 12 Hawai'i next week (Nov. 23) before closing the regular season at UC Davis (Nov. 30). Both matches could have implications on the Big West regular season championship.