Matadors Host Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton to Wrap Up 2010 Season

Nov. 16, 2010

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Cal State Northridge (12-18, 4-10 Big West) wraps up the 2010 season at home this week as the Matadors host Long Beach State (21-6, 11-3 Big West) on Friday and Cal State Fullerton (24-5, 12-2 Big West) on Saturday. The match against the conference-leading Titans on Saturday is senior night as Northridge will honor its four departing seniors in a pre-match ceremony. The Matadors dropped their final two road matches of the season last week as CSUN was swept by Long Beach State and UC Irvine.

Both matches this week will be available as part of the Big West live streaming package. Both matches will also feature live stats via Gametracker at The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring fans exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features into your home via the Internet! Now in its sixth year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in women's volleyball. A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 delivers exclusive coverage to you. If you can't make it to the gym, you can still catch all the action on BigWest.TV!

Freshman Natalie Allen had a team-high 10 kills but Cal State Northridge saw its three-match win streak snapped with a 25-13, 25-15, 25-23 loss to Long Beach State at the Walter Pyramid on Thursday. The Matadors were looking for their season-high fourth straight win but were limited to a .186 hitting clip by the 49ers. Allen put down a team-high 10 kills hitting .233. Five of Allen's 10 kills came in the final set when CSUN battled back to nearly force a fourth set. Junior Una Siljegovic added seven kills (.190) to go with 10 digs and Puneet Pataria chipped in five kills (.455) and four blocks. Setter Sam Orlandini narrowly missed a double-double with 26 assists and nine digs while Monica McFarland had a team-high 12 digs. The 49ers posted 12 more kills than the Matadors as CSUN was limited to a .186 hitting clip (35-14-113) while Long Beach hit .310 (47-12-113) as a team. On Saturday, Northridge dropped its final road match of the season in straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 26-24) at UC Irvine. Sophomore Monica McFarland had a team-high 11 kills to lead the Matadors. McFarland paced the Matadors with 11 kills while hitting .273. For the sophomore, who also had eight digs, 11 kills marked her highest total since also putting down 11 against Cal Poly on Sept. 25. Junior Una Siljegovic added six kills (.037) while senior Lynda Morales finished with a team-high six blocks. The Matadors were limited to an .069 (30-22-116) hitting clip.

The Matadors will meet Long Beach State for the second time in eight days on Friday. The 49ers are 21-6 overall and 11-3 in the Big West heading into Friday's match. Long Beach has won 10 of its last 11 matches including home wins over CSUN and UC Riverside last week. Junior OH Caitlin Ledoux leads the 49ers in kills with 402 (3.90 kps) which ranks third in the Big West. Sophomore OH Janisa Johnson adds 3.07 kills per set for LBSU which is hitting .257 as a team. The 49ers hold a 20-6 lead in the all-time series with the Matadors including a straight set win last week in Long Beach. Northridge has won two straight over the 49ers at home. Cal State Fullerton, which travels to UC Irvine on Friday, is 24-5 (12-2 Big West) and holds a one-game lead over Long Beach heading into the final week. The Titans have won 13 of their last 14 including sweeps over San Diego State, UC Irvine and UC Riverside last week. Senior OH Erin Saddler leads Fullerton averaging 4.33 kills which ranks second in the Big West. Northridge leads 22-10 in the all-time series but the Titans have won four of the last five matches between the two schools. Cal State Fullerton won in three in the season's first meeting on Oct. 14 at Titan Gym.

Prior to Saturday's match against Cal State Fullerton, the Matadors will honor their four departing seniors, Janet Alvarado (Los Angeles, CA), Lynda Morales (Fallbrook, CA), Brittany Williams (Chino Hills, CA) and Karina Woehrstein (Lomita, CA). Morales, who will go down as one of the finest blockers in Northridge history, has been a Matador since redshirting in 2006. Williams, who had 802 kills in her first three seasons before an injury late last season curtailed her career, began her Matador career in 2007. Alvarado and Woehrstein both transferred to Northridge prior to the 2009 season.

  Freshman Natalie Allen (Murrieta, CA) will become the first Matador freshman to lead her team in kills since teammate Brittany Williams accomplished the feat with 276 kills in 2007. Allen's current total of 329 kills (2.94 kps) is the most by a Northridge freshman since Laura Walter (Szymanski) put down 404 kills as a freshman in 1998. Allen's total comes in the rally scoring era while Walter's freshman season of 1998 was during the regular sideout scoring format. Carrie Kapfenberg, in 1995, is the only other freshman to have more kills than Allen.

A trio of Matadors have firmly etched their names into the Matador career records this season. Lynda Morales, who moved into first place in block assists (444) and total blocks (477) earlier this season, also ranks fourth in career sets played (432). Fellow senior Brittany Williams has moved into the top-10 in career attacks with 2,486 in her four-year career. Junior setter Sam Orlandini has moved up to third in career assists with 2,519. Orlandini, who averages 8.81 aps in her career, moved past Kayla Wright (2,434) and trails Alison Wool by 1,089 assists for second place.

In its 36th season of women's volleyball at Cal State Northridge, the Matadors are closing in on 700 wins in program history. Northridge began the 2010 season with 684 wins and 12 this season puts the Matadors four wins away from 700. 684 wins in 35 years averages out to just over 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.

By missing the Long Beach State match due to illness, sophomore libero Cindy Ortiz had her streak of 21 straight starts snapped. After Karina Woehrstein started the first seven matches of the season at libero, Ortiz earned her first start at libero against Santa Clara on Sept. 10 and has since started 22 of the last 23 matches ... The Matadors have started five different players at outside hitter this season. Monica McFarland (Riverside, CA) has started 21 times, Una Siljegovic (Simi Valley, CA) has started nine times, Janet Alvarado and Mahina Haina (Honolulu, HI) have each started eight times and Brittany Williams started once. In all, the quintet have combined for 655 kills in 2,062 attempts, a hitting percentage of .163 while averaging 2.11 kills per set ... The Matadors will finish at or above where they were picked in the Big West Coaches Preseason Poll. Northridge (4-10) was picked to finish eighth along with UC Riverside but will finish ahead of the Highlanders (0-14). UC Irvine (3-11) is currently one game behind the Matadors and will play Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton as well this week. Northridge can finish no higher than seventh, UC Davis is currently sixth with a 7-8 conference record.


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