July 27, 2009

Matador Athletic Teams Enjoy Championship Season In 2008-09

July 27, 2009

By Nick Bocanegra, Media Relations Intern
Northridge, Calif. -
In the competitive world of NCAA Division I athletics, Cal State Northridge stood tall during the 2008-09 year.

Matador teams captured four league championships, seven student-athletes won Big West individual championships, five CSUN student-athletes competed at an NCAA championship and five other student-athletes gained All-American status. More importantly, seven CSUN student-athletes gained Academic All-American honors. Seventy-four student-athletes gained recognition for their outstanding work in the classroom by the Big West Conference, the Mountain Pacific Sports (MPSF) and Cal State Northridge.

"Congratulations to all our Cal State Northridge teams for their outstanding sportsmanship, their competitive determination and for their success in the classroom," said Matador Athletics Director Rick Mazzuto.

Men's basketball, men's and women's track & field, and women's water polo carried the banner of success for Cal State Northridge in 2008-09. Each team captured the Big West championship in their respective sport.

Men's Basketball
Matador Basketball embarked on a mission this season to win their second straight Big West regular season title. Mission accomplished!!!

Matador Basketball embarked on a mission this season to win their first Big West Tournament Championship in school history. Mission accomplished!!!

Matador Basketball embarked on a mission this season to earn a berth in the prestigious NCAA Tournament. Mission accomplished!!!

The Matadors learned they would not have an easy road to achieving their goals. The Matadors started the 2008-2009 campaign with a 1-6 start, but soon turned their fortune around when conference play started. The Matadors began to play with the level of consistency that was seen a year ago (20-10 in 2007-08), playing unselfishly and playing hard at both ends of the court. Through their spirited play on both ends of the court, the Matadors would build a season-high five game winning streak against Big West foes, defeating the likes of UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly (twice) and UC Riverside. Northridge worked their way atop the Big West standings and found themselves tied with Long Beach State with three games remaining.

Northridge squared off against the 49ers at the Matadome with first place on the line, and the winner claiming sole possession of first place with two games left. The Matadors used a balance scoring attack that proved to be too much for Long Beach State. In a microcosm of their season, five Matadors scored in double figures with senior Tremaine Townsend leading the way (17 points) as the Matadors routed the 49ers, 95-74, securing first place.

Cal State Northridge would clinch the best record in the conference on the final day of the regular season, finishing with an 11-5 record, insuring a second straight outright Big West title and a number #1 seed in the Big West Tournament. The Matadors, however, were not satisfied with another regular season crown; they wanted a post-season league tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The Matadors took the court at the Big West Tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center against UC Santa Barbara in the semfinals. After a tight first half, the Matadors pulled away in the second half behind Rodrigue Mels' 34 points for a 67-60 victory, bringing the Matadors one win away from a tournament title.

The Pacific Tigers were the final roadblocks between the Matadors and a conference tournament crown. The Tigers were the one team that seemed to continuously give Northridge fits in recent history. The Tigers had won 17 of the last 21 meetings against CSUN, including two victories during the season.

In a season that resembled a roller coaster, it was only fitting that the Matadors and the Tigers would play a back-and-forth game. After the Matadors stormed out to an early 21-3 lead, Pacific would fight their way back into the game, eventually tying the game at 42-42. Northridge raced back ahead 51-42 and took a 61-56 lead with 1:19 remaining only to see the Tigers come back to tie the game at 61-61, forcing a 5:00 minute overtime session.

Unaffected, the Matadors would hit clutch shots down the stretch of overtime. Rodrigue Mels' two three-pointers and Rob Haynes' jumper put the Tigers away for good for a 71-66 win insuring the Matador's first Big West Tournament Championship.

The win not only made Cal State Northridge history, but the victory secured the Matadors second ever berth into the NCAA tournament.

The Matadors drew national powerhouse Memphis in the opening round of the NCAA's, a team that was predicted by many to easily beat Northridge. Under the bright lights of national television, the Matadors showed grit and a tough defense that frustrated Memphis into mistakes. The Matadors showed no intimidation against the Tigers, who had lost only three games all season. The Matadors kept pace throughout the first half and eventually took the lead in the second half.

The Matadors stunned the Tigers and a national audience by taking a 62-56 lead with 10:11 remaining. The dream of upsetting Memphis was not meant to be however, as the Tigers would take control of the game in the final minutes, eventually pulling away for an 81-70 victory.

Although the Matador's stay in the NCAA tournament was brief, their accomplishments in the tournament and in the 2008-2009 season will be remembered for years to come. The Matadors showed the spirit of a champion time and again throughout the season, shrugging in the face of adversity, and refusing to give up.

In addition to the honor of being called a champion, numerous Matadors received individual post-season accolades. Senior Tremaine Townsend became the fourth Matador in history to be named to the Big West All-Conference First Team. Townsend led the conference in rebounds (8.5 rpg) for a second straight season. Fellow seniors Ron Haynes and Josh Jenkins each received All-Big West Honorable Mention.

Head Coach Bobby Braswell received his second straight Big West Coach of the Year award.

Braswell has now coached the Matadors to postseason play 13 consecutive seasons and has coached Cal State Northridge to two NCAA Tournament appearances.

Track & Field
Sometimes it can be difficult to live up to expectations, but for the Cal State Northridge track and field men's and women's programs, the pressure to continue a winning tradition did not seem to affect either team in 2009. With a track record of recent championship success, both the men's and women's track and field teams entered this season with the goal of winning yet another pair of conference titles.

Entering the 2009 Big West Championships, the women's program looked for its fourth consecutive Big West title.

With a team filled with impressive young student-athletes, the women's team would win resoundingly at the conference championships. The Matadors not only finished in first place, but they would win in dominating fashion. The Matador women posted 198 team points, finishing nearly 84 points better than second-place Cal Poly. Their total points were the most by any Matador team since the 2006 team (207 points).

Junior Sherrina Lofton definitely had the best all-around performance at the conference championships. Lofton won multiple events including both the 100 and 200 meters. She ran on the winning 400 meter relay team that won the conference crown. She capped off her performances by capturing the Big West Heptathlon title.

Along with Lofton, other winners at the Big West Championships included junior Shelese Ruffin who captured the 400 meters and the long jump competitions, and sophomore Lilyana Morejon, who claimed the 10,000 meters. Freshmen Jackie Harrison and Jasmine Cox, and sophomores Tara Prier and Ruffin took home the 4x400 meter relay title. That team consisted of senior Dominique Calvin, Prier, Lofton, Ruffin and freshman Precious Watkins.

Watkins, who redshirted last season, made a huge impact in her freshman campaign with Cal State Northridge. At the conference championships, Watkins had an outstanding showing, finishing second in the 100 meters, fourth in the 200 meters, and she ran the opening leg on the 400 meter relay team that captured the Big West crown. For her outstanding performances this season, Watkins was honored as Big West Freshman of the Year.

Twelve women qualified for the NCAA West Regional, which included seniors Candyce Babb and Dominique Calvin, juniors Vanice Colbert, Stephanie Rolls, Lofton and Ruffin, sophomores Stella Dugall, Whitney Hooks and Prier, and freshmen Jackie Harrison, Watkins and Cox.

Six of the twelve women qualified for the NCAA Championships at the University of Arkansas. Lofton's multiple title wins at the conference championships earned her a spot in the 100 meters and in the Heptathlon competition. Ralls qualified in the javelin competition and the 400 meter relay team consisting of Lofton, Calvin, Colbert, Ruffin and Watkins also earned their way to Arkansas.

At the NCAA Championships, Lofton led the way for the Matadors, advancing to the final day of competition, eventually finishing in 22nd in the heptathlon.

While a number of Matadors had phenomenal individual performances this season on the track, a number of student-athletes were rewarded for their performances in the classroom.

Juniors Megan Hill, Lauren Michaels, Haylee Varner and Sandra Velarde, and sophomores Morejon and Nanci Velarde each received Big West All-Academic Team honors.

With the women winning yet another Big West championship, the men's team would not be outdone as they too would claim a conference crown. The men's track and field team looked at the 2009 season as a chance to return to glory. With three championships in the past five track seasons, the Matadors were set on winning another crown and determined to avenge a second place finish at the 2008 Big West Championships.

At the 2009 conference championships, the Matadors won several events and a number of athletes had terrific performances. Senior Rolando Felizola claimed the triple jump title, after finishing as a runner-up in the 2006 and 2007 events. He would also add a long jump title. In his first season as a Matador, junior De'Shawn Waters won two events, the 100 and the 200 meter competitions. Juniors Lance Gonzales and Derek Cooper won the javelin and the discus competitions, respectively. The Matadors also took home the 400 meter relay event.

Not only did a number of Matadors claim titles at the Big West Championships this season, the Cal State Northridge men's track & field program made conference history by sweeping both Athletes of the Year awards. Felizola won Men's Field Athlete of the Year award and Waters earned Men's Track Athlete of the Year.

With such a strong showing at the conference championships, 12 men earned berths to the NCAA West Regional, which included seniors Felizola, Kevin Nious and Cody Pearce, juniors Gonzales, Cooper, Waters, Robert Robinson, Ben Santos and Nic Taylor, sophomores Reindell Cole and Thomas Johnson, and freshman Michael Woodham.

At the NCAA West Regional, two Matadors qualified for spots at the NCAA Championships. Cole and Waters each earned a trip to Arkansas, with the former qualifying in the long jump and the latter in the 100 and 200 meter competitions. At the national event, Cole made history by breaking his own school record in the long jump that he set a year ago, with a leap of 26-11.25 (8.21).

Adding to the athletic awards handed out, two Matadors received recognition for their excellence in the classroom. Nious and Pearce each received All-Big West Academic Team honors.

Head coach of both the men's and women's track and field programs, Don Strametz received the honor of being named Big West Head Coach of the Year for each program. A multiple-time Coach of the Year winner, Strametz has now won back-to-back women's Head Coach of the Year awards.

Water Polo
Yet another Matador program achieved unforgettable success in the 2009. The Cal State Northridge water polo team captured a share of the inaugural Big West Conference title and captured a national ranking. Despite only being in its eighth year of existence, the water polo program looked at this season with great promise.

With several key returnees, the Matadors consisted of one of the more potent offensive teams in not only the Big West but in the country. It was expected that several players would have solid scoring seasons, but few could predict that eight different players would score 20 goals or more this season. Senior Jessica Coy led the way for the Matadors in scoring with 55 goals. Tara McGinley was second on the team with 39, followed by Sydney Sonoda (37), Whitney Delgado (35), Kirra Kylander (34), Kristin McLaughlin (29), Allison Pierce (27) and Renee Gargiulo (22).

With an offensive attack causing nightmares for the opposition, goalkeeper Jillian Stapf anchored the Matador defense just as effectively. Entering her junior season, Stapf had already established herself as one of the best goalkeepers in Northridge history. Entering 2009, setting a new school record in saves seemed inevitable as Stapf was only 138 saves shy of the top mark in Matador history.

Stapf not only would make history this season, but she would have her best statistical season as a Matador. Stapf set a new school record by saving 387 shots, eclipsing the 348 she had as a freshman (2007 season) and setting a new Northridge record of 1,013 career saves. She also tied a career-high game total with 20 saves in a game against UC Davis.

Looking for their first Big West Championship, the Matadors staged an impressive run to the top of the conference standings during the regular season. Northridge racked up several memorable victories over ranked opponents. At the UC Irvine Invitational, the Matadors defeated then #11 ranked Michigan 9-6. Cal State Northridge also staged victories against nationally-ranked teams including UC Santa Barbara (10-6) and Long Beach State (8-6).

With victories over the Gauchos, the 49ers and a 12-3 win over Pacific during conference play, the Matadors were one win away from finishing with the best record in the Big West. The only hurdle left to jump was against ninth-ranked UC Irvine, who owned a perfect 4-0 record against in-conference competition. With a regular season crown on the line, the Matadors traveled to Irvine with upset on their collective minds.

From the start, the Matadors knew they would have a battle on their hands. Two minutes into the first quarter, the Anteaters took a 1-0 lead, but Alison Pierce would respond by scoring three unanswered goals giving Northridge a 3-1 lead. UC Irvine battled back, however, tying the score at 4-4 and again at 5-5 after the Matadors took a slim lead.

With 3:11 remaining in the game, CSUN would go ahead for good. Gargiulo and Kylander each scored pivotal goals in the final minutes ensuring a 7-5 Matador victory.

The Matador's win in UC Irvine put the team's league record at 4-1, earning CSUN a share of the Big West regular season title along with UC Davis and UC Irvine. The Matadors also achieved national recognition. The team attained a #12 national ranking heading into the post-season.

In their first season in the Big West Conference, the Matadors had already won a regular season championship and looked to cap off their remarkable season with a tournament victory.

On the final day of the regular season a coin flip in favor of Cal State Northridge gave the Matadors the number #1 seed in the Big West Conference Championship Tournament.

Although Northridge came up short in the Big West Tournament, the water polo program still reached many milestones in 2009. With 20 wins, a #12 national ranking by season's end, and a share of the regular season Big West title, the Matador women proved they were one of the best water polo teams in Cal State Northridge history.

Following their remarkable 2009 season, several Matadors received post-season awards for their play in the pool and their excellence in the classroom. Four Matadors received All-Big West honors including Stapf, who was named to All-Conference First Team. Coy and Sonoda both received Second Team honors and Pierce earned honorable mention accolades.

In addition to earning All-League honors, Stapf, Coy and Sonoda each were named 2009 All-Americans by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches. Stapf grabbed Third Team honors and Coy and Sonoda received Honorable Mention status.

Seven student-athletes were rewarded with Academic All-American awards, which included Stapf, Pierce, McGinley, Gargiulo, Kylander, McLaughlin and freshman Alyssa Goldie.

Lastly, Stapf, McGinley, Kylander, McLaughlin, and Gargiulo added to their Academic All-American award by being named to the Big West All-Academic Team.

Baseball
Season Record: 24-32
Big West Record 7-17 (Eighth Place)

* Cal State Northridge defeated Cal State Fullerton, an NCAA College World Series participant, in a 15-inning marathon 5-4.
* The Matadors won two of three games against UC Santa Barbara, securing their first season series victory over the Gauchos since 2002.
* Sophomore relief pitcher Brian Slover was named to the Big West All-Conference Second Team. Slover posted a 1.39 era, compiled a team-leading nine saves (fourth-best in the Big West) and struck out 48 batters, which was second-best on the team.
* Seniors Richard Cates and P.J. Rousey were both selected to the All-Big West Honorable Mention team. Cates led the team in batting average (.374), hits (83), runs scored (44), walks (28), and on-base percentage (.456). Rousey had a 1.93 era and only allowed 15 hits in 18.2 innings of work.
* Richard Cates was fourth in the Big West Conference in hits (83) and on-base percentage (.456), and sixth in batting (.374).Jeff Pruitt was second in the league in stolen bases (23) and fourth in triples (4).
* Ryan Pineda, who was honored as Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was fourth in the Big West Conference in home runs (10).
* Ryan McCarney set a school record with nine runners picked-off.
* Sophomore TS Reed and juniors Billy Swanson and Billy Ott each received Big West All-Academic team honors.
* After the 2009 season, four players signed professional contracts with major league clubs; Richard Cates (Los Angeles Angels), Ryan McCarney (Tampa Bay Rays), Jeff Pruitt (Chicago Cubs) and Brian Slover (Toronto Blue Jays).

Men's Basketball
Season Record: 17-14
Big West Record: 11-5 (First Place)

* Cal State Northridge won the 2009 Big West Conference Tournament championship, the first time in school history, with an overtime victory (71-66) over Pacific in the tournament finals at the Anaheim Convention Center.
* The Matadors won the regular season Big West Conference title for the second consecutive season.
* CSUN earned a selection into the NCAA Basketball Tournament for the second time in school history. The Matadors fought hard to the end before falling to nationally-ranked Memphis in the opening round at Kansas City.
* Senior center Tremaine Townsend became the fourth Matador in school history to earn All-League First Team honors, as he led the conference in rebounds (8.5 rpg) for the second straight season. Townsend also was named to the Big West Conference's All-Tournament team.
* Senior guards Rob Haynes and Josh Jenkins were named to the All-Big West Honorable Mention team. Haynes shot .414 from three-point range and Jenkins dished out six assists per game.
* Senior guard Rodrigue Mels gained Big West All-Tournament Most Valuable Player honors by scoring 51 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in two tournament game victories.
* Head Coach Bobby Braswell was named Big West Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

Women's Basketball
Season Record: 8-23
Big West Record: 4-12 (Eighth Place)

* Cal State Northridge defeated UC Davis in the opening round of the Big West Tournament.
* Senior Tonicia Tademy was named to the All-Big West Honorable Mention team. Tademy led the conference in assists with 6.6 assists per game (eighth in the nation). Her 204 total assists set a school record. She also earned a spot on the Big West All-Tournament Team. She tied a school record with 12 assists against Cal Poly (1/31/09). Tademy played a school record 1,123 minutes in 2008-09, and her 314 career assists was fourth-best in school history.
* Freshman Jasmine Erving earned Big West honors by being named to the All-Big West Freshman team.
* Senior Whitney Ligon and sophomore Bianca Davies were honored for their academic excellence by their inclusion onto the All-Big West Academic Team.
* Senior Ashley Blake finished third in school history with 57 three-pointers in 2008-09, and fifth all-time with 100 career three-pointers.

Men's Cross Country
Big West Record: Ninth Place

* Finished seventh at the Pepperdine Cross Country Invitational, 12th at Asics/UCI Invitational and 18th at the UC Riverside Cross Country Invitational.
* Senior Diego Fernandez had a ninth place finish at the Pepperdine Cross Country Invitational and a 47th place finish at the Big West Championships.
* Sophomore Juan Olea finished 16th at the Pepperdine Invitational and 60th at the Big West Championships.

Women's Cross Country
Big West Record: Eighth Place

* Cal State Northridge finished fifth at the Pepperdine Cross Country Invitational, 12th at the Asics/UCI Invitational and 13th at the UC Riverside Cross Country Invitational.
* Sophomore Lilyana Morejon finished a Northridge-best 15th at the Big West Championships, 50th at the NCAA West Regional, tenth at the UC Riverside Cross Country Invitational and 11th at the Asics/UCI Invitational. Morejon ran a 17.26.5 at the UC Riverside Invitational, which is the second fastest finish in school history.
* Lilyana Morejon, along with senior Sharon Wilkinson, juniors Marissa Crook and Sandra Velarde, and sophomores Julie Brandin and Nanci Velarde each received All-Big West Academic team honors.

Men's Golf
Big West Record: Sixth Place

* Cal State Northridge finished sixth at the Big West Championships at San Luis Obispo and won its first-ever Bill Cullum Invitational title in Simi Valley.
* The Matadors produced three Top-5 finishes, and six Top-10 finishes.
* Sophomore Nick Delio was named to the Big West All-Conference First Team. The NCAA Division I Men's Golf Committee selected Delio to participate at the 2009 Division I Men's Golf Championships. Delio finished 16th at the Big West Championships and 43rd at the NCAA West Regional.
* Eric Jarvey received All-Conference Second Team honors. Jarvey was also named Big West Co-Golfer of the Month for February. Jarvey won the Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational.

Women's Golf
Big West Record: Sixth Place

* Cal State Northridge finished in sixth place at the Big West Championships in San Luis Obispo. Sophomore Ashley Nagamine finished a Matadors-best 12th at the event. * The Matadors produced three Top-5 finishes, and two Top-10 finishes.
* CSUN finished in fourth place at the Mountain Shootout in Arizona. Senior Krystina Gillenwater finished in eighth place.
* The Matadors placed fourth at the Braveheart Classic in Beaumont. Seniors Katrina Sutton and Stephanie Aston and freshman Lady Samson finished in the Top 20, with Sutton coming in a Matador-best 14th place.

Men's Soccer
Season Record: 8-7-4
Big West Record: 4-3-3 (Fifth Place)

* The Matadors won the Cal State Fullerton Tournament with a 2-0 victory over UNLV.
* Senior Kevin Guppy was named 2008 Big West Co-Goalkeeper of the Year and was one of two Matadors to be named to the All-League First Team. Guppy had a 1.12 goals against average and a .783 save percentage. He also received All-Big West Academic team honors.
* Midfielder Sunghyun Kim, in his junior season, earned All-Big West First Team honors. Kim had a team-leading seven assists and 17 total points.
* Junior defender Robert Pate and sophomore forward Camilo Rojas received Big West Second Team honors. Pate had the second most assists on the team with five and Rojas had a team-leading seven goals.
* Junior defender Chad Borak received All-Big West Honorable Mention status.
* Daniel Yoon and Kevin Guppy were named to the All-Big West Academic Team.
* Head coach Terry Davila earned his 100th career victory with a 3-2 win over Cal State Fullerton.

Women's Soccer Season Record: 8-9-2
Big West Record: 3-4-1 (Fifth Place)
* Cal State Northridge women's soccer team won its 100th all-time game as they defeated UC Davis, 2-0 (10/17/08).
* Senior midfielder Tryna Tafoya received All-Big West Second Team honors. Tafoya finished the season with two goals and three assists. Tryna finished with 12 career assists, second-best in school history.
* Senior defender Nalena Betancourt was named to the All-Big West Honorable Mention team. Betancourt's 74 career appearances, all starts, are the second the most in school history.
* Senior Kristal Phillips finished second all-time at CSUN with 12 career assists, sixth all-time with 30 career points, and eighth all-time with nine career goals.
* Sophomore Katie Fox and Michelle Moore each received All-Big West Academic Team honors.

Softball
Season Record: 29-21
Big West Record: 9-12 (Fourth Place)

* Highlights of the season included wins over NCAA Tournament teams Texas, Oklahoma State, Miami (OH) and San Diego State. The Matadors also compiled an eleven game winning streak.
* Senior infielder Micah Putnam was named to the All-Big West Second Team. Putnam ranked among Big West Conference Top 10 in slugging percentage (.471), RBIs (31) and stolen bases (11).
* Junior pitcher Debbie Duran received All-Big West Honorable Mention team honors. Duran was named Big West Co-Pitcher of the Week in March. She ranked among the Big West Top 10 in wins (18), ERA (2.43), innings pitched (176), complete games (15) and shutouts (3).
* Junior first baseman Jaclyn Rymer was named Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Rymer also received Big West Player of the Week honors in March and was named to the All-Big West Academic team. Rymer set two single game and team records with five hits at Cal State Bakersfield (3/22/09) and three stolen bases against UC Riverside (4/26/09).
* Jaclyn Rymer joined senior Sarah Kahn-Shamout, juniors Alexandria Alvarado and Christian Saenz, and sophomores Karla Chaparro and Krystal Raphael on the All-Big West Academic team.
* Head coach Barbara Jordan won her 200th career game with a 5-2 victory over UC Riverside (4/26/09).

Men's Swimming
Big West Record: Sixth Place

* CSUN finished second at the Mustang Invitational at San Luis Obispo.
* Hank Weinberger, Clark Henson, Chris Grafton and Chris Ardoin set a new Matador record in the 200 Medley Relay at the Big West Championships. Four Matadors finished with nine total Top 10 all-time finishes at the Big West Championships.
* Sophomore Hank Weinberger had two all-time Top 5 finishes with a 50.59 finish in the 100 backstroke and a 1:50.36 time in the 200 backstroke. Those times were second and third-best in school history, respectively.
* Clark Henson posted two all-time CSUN Top 10 finishes with a 2:03.74 time in the 200 breaststroke and a 56.27 time in the 100 breaststroke, both of which are the second-fastest times in Northridge history.
* Sophomore Chris Grafton recorded three all-time Top 10 finishes including a 21.00 finish in the 50 freestyle (tenth all-time), a 44.77 time (#3 all-time at CSUN), and a 1:39.06 finish that is fourth-best in school history.
* Junior Jeff Raimondi finished with the eighth-best time in school history with a time of 1:53.97 in the 200 butterfly and the ninth-best time with a 4:09.23 finish in the 400 individual medley.

Women's Swimming
Big West Record: Sixth Place

* CSUN finished in sixth place in the Big West Conference Championships in Long Beach.
* The Matadors earned a second place finish at the Mustang Invitational in San Luis Obispo.
* Two Matadors finished with seven all-time Top 10 finishes at the Big West Championships, including setting three new records.
* Junior Olesya Senicheva set new school records in the 100 butterfly, the 200 butterfly, and the 200 individual medley with times of 55.34, 2:03.43, and 2:02.72 respectively. Senicheva also recorded the third-best time in school history in the 200 freestyle with a 1:52.04 finish.
* Senior Simone Luker finished with three all-time Top 5 finishes in school history. Luker holds the third-best time in the 400 individual medley with a 4:30.39 time. She also holds the fourth-best recorded finishes in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 breaststroke with times of 1:05.63 and 2:21.86, respectively.
* Olesya Senicheva and Simone Luker joined seniors Deborah Hefter, Kathryn Kerr, Katlin Phillips and Emily Rogers, junior June Enich and sophomore Bethany Scamara as members of the All-Big West Academic team.

Women's Tennis
Season Record: 11-13
Big West Record: 5-5 (Fourth Place)

* Defeated Pacific 4-1 in the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament.
* Freshman Evgeniya Vertesheva and sophomore Brooke Doane earned All-Big West Doubles First Team honors, as the tandem went 19-2 this season, including a 10-0 mark against conference opponents.
* Evgeniya Vertesheva also claimed a spot on the All-Big West Singles First Team. Vertesheya won eleven matches this season, all at the No. 1 position.
* Sophomore Nina Jaworowski was named to the All-Big West Singles Second Team.
Jaworowski finished with a 14-8 record in singles competition.
* Graduate student Sandra Kukla and sophomore Whitney Paluch each received All-Big West Academic Team honors.

Men's Track & Field
Big West Record: First Place

* Cal State Northridge won its third Big West Conference Championship in the past five years. The Matadors won six events at the Big West Conference Championships including the triple jump, the 100 meters, the discus, the 400 meter relay and the javelin.
* Junior De'Shawn Waters earned the Conference Men's Track Athlete of the Year Award. Waters won the 100 meters and the 200 meters at the Big West Championships. Waters ran the second leg on the Matador's 4x100 meter relay team that captured the conference crown. Waters competed in the NCAA Championships.
* Senior Rolando Felizola won the Conference Men's Field Athlete of the Year award. Felizola won the long jump and triple jump at the Big West Championships.
* Cal State Northridge became the first school in Big West Conference history to sweep both Athletes of the Year awards in track and field.
* Sophomore Reindell Cole broke his own personal school record in the long jump at the NCAA Championships, as he advanced to the long jump finals. He also competed in the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
* Seniors Kevin Nious and Cody Pierce each received All-Big West Academic Team honors.
* Head Coach Don Strametz won the Men's Coach of the Year award.

Women's Track & Field
Big West Record: First Place

* Cal State Northridge won its fourth consecutive Big West Conference title. The Matadors won five events at the Big West Championships including the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, the 4x100 meter relay, and the 4x400 meter relay.
* Precious Watkins won the Conference Freshman of the Year award. Watkins ran the opening leg on the Matador's 4x100 relay team that won the Big West title. She competed at the NCAA Championships.
* Junior Sherrina Lofton won the Big West Conference Heptathlon title. Lofton later competed in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 100 and 200 meters and as a member of the 400 meter relay team.
* The Cal State Northridge women's 400 meter relay team competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the first time in school history.
* Senior Dominique Calvin, juniors Shelese Ruffin and Stephanie Ralls, and sophomore Tara Prier all represented Cal State Northridge at the NCAA Championships.
* Juniors Megan Hill, Lauren Michaels, Haylee Varner and Sandra Velarde, and sophomores Lilyana Morejon and Nanci Velarde were each named to the Big West All-Academic Team.
* Don Strametz won the Women's Big West Coach of the Year award.

Men's Volleyball
Season Record: 24-7
MPSF Record: 16-6 (Third Place)

* The Matadors established new school records in wins (24) and home wins (14).
* For the second consecutive season, the Matadors reached the MPSF Tournament semi-finals. The Matadors defeated nationally-ranked BYU in the opening round of the MPSF Tournament.
* Senior Eric Vance became the first Matador player to be named to the All-MPSF First Team in consecutive seasons. Vance was also one of two Matadors named to the AVCA and Volleyball Magazine All-American First Team. Vance had 573 kills, served a new school-record 56 aces and received three MPSF Player of the Week honors.
* Junior middle blocker Jacek Ratajczak received All-League Second Team honors, while finishing with the most blocks on the team (110) and fourth in both kills (247) and kills per game (2.4). Ratajczak was also named to the AVCA All-American Second Team.
* Freshman Matt Stork and junior Kevin McKniff each were named to the All-Big West Third Team. Stork led the nation in assists per game with 14.12 and McKniff led the Matadors in hitting at .474.
* Junior Ali'i Keohohou led the Matadors with 293 digs which was the third-best mark in the MPSF. For his efforts, Keohohou received All-League Honorable Mention team honors.

Women's Volleyball
Season Record: 9-21
Big West Record: 3-13 (Eighth Place)

* Cal State Northridge defeated #23 Long Beach State on Senior Night, giving the Matadors their first win over a ranked opponent since 2005.
* Junior Angela Hupp earned first team All-Big West honors. Hupp led the team in kills (323), kills per set (2.86) and total attacks (897).
* Sam Orlandini was named to the Big West All-Freshman Team. Orlandini started all but one of the 25 matches she appeared in and led Northridge with 857 assists (9.74 apg) which ranked sixth in the conference.
* Sophomore Siara Grayson and seniors Kelley Hanson, Amy Hultner and Val Kepler were each named to the All-Big West Academic Team.

Water Polo
Season Record: 20-16
Big West Record: 4-1 (First Place)

*Finished atop the Big West Conference standings and ended the year ranked 13th in the country.
* Junior goalkeeper Jillian Stapf received All-American Third Team honors. She also was named to the Big West Conference First Team, Player of the Week in April and received All-American Academic honors by the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC). Stapf racked up a school record 387 saves and chalked up a conference-leading 11.61 saves per game.
* Senior Jessica Coy was named to the water polo All-American Honorable Mention team. Coy, who led the team in goals with 55, also received Big West Conference Second Team honors.
* Sophomore Sydney Sonoda received Honorable Mention All-American and Big West Conference Second Team honors. Sonoda finished third on the team with 37 goals.
* Junior Allison Pierce was named to the All-Big West Honorable Mention team. Pierce had the seventh-most goals on the team with 27. She also received All-American Academic honors by the ACWPC.
* Along with Jillian Stapf and Alison Pierce, other Academic All-Americans named by the ACWPC included senior Tara McGinley, juniors Renee Gargiulo, Kirra Kylander and Kristin McLaughlin, and freshman Alyssa Goldie.
* Big West All-Academic Team honorees included Jillian Stapf, Tara McGinley, Kirra Kylander, Kristin McLaughlin and Renee Gargiulo.

Matador Honors

Big West Team Champions
Men's Basketball
Men's Track & Field
Women's Track & Field
Women's Water Polo

Big West Individual Champions
Derek Cooper - Men's Track & Field (Discus)
Rolando Felizola - Men's Track & Field (Long Jump, Triple Jump)
Lance Gonzales - Men's Track & Field (Javelin)
Sherrina Lofton - Women's Track & Field (100 Meters, 200 Meters, Heptathlon)
Lilyanna Morejon - Women's Track & Field (10,000 Meters)
Shelese Ruffin - Women's Track & Field (400 Meters, Long Jump)
De'Shawn Waters - Men's Track & Field (100 Meters, 200 Meters)

NCAA Championship Competitors
Reindell Cole - Men's Track & Field (Long Jump)
Sherrina Lofton - Women's Track & Field (Heptathlon)
Stephanie Ralls - Women's Track & Field (Javelin)
De'Shawn Waters - Men's Track & Field (100 meters, 200 Meters)
The women's 400 meter relay team (Sherrina Lofton, Precious Watkins, Shelese Ruffin, Dominique Calvin)

All-Americans
Jessica Coy - Women's Water Polo (Honorable Mention, ACWPC)
Jacek Ratajczak - Men's Volleyball (Second Team, AVCA)
Sydney Sonoda - Women's Water Polo (Honorable Mention, ACWPC)
Jillian Stapf - Women's Water Polo (Third Team, ACWPC)
Eric Vance - Men's Volleyball (First Team, AVCA, Volleyball Magazine)

All-Region
Sunghyun Kim - Men's Soccer (Second Team, NSCAA/adidas)

Big West Selections
Nalena Betancourt - Women's Soccer (Honorable Mention)
Chad Borak - Men's Soccer (Honorable Mention)
Bobby Braswell - Men's Basketball Head Coach (Coach of the Year)
Richard Cates - Baseball (Honorable Mention)
Jessica Coy - Women's Water Polo (Second Team)
Nick Delio - Men's Golf (First Team)
Brooke Doane - Women's Team (First Team - Doubles)
Debbie Duran - Softball (Honorable Mention)
Rolando Felizola - Men's Track & Field (Field Athlete of the Year)
Kevin Guppy - Men's Soccer (Co-Goalkeeper of the Year, First Team)
Rob Haynes - Men's Basketball (Honorable Mention)
Angela Hupp - Women's Volleyball (First Team)
Erik Jarvey - Men's Golf (Second Team)
Nina Jaworowski - Women's Tennis (First Team-Doubles, Second Team-Singles)
Josh Jenkins - Men's Basketball (Honorable Mention)
Sunghyun Kim - Men's Soccer (First Team)
Rodrigue Mels - Men's Basketball (Tournament MVP, All-Tournament)
Sam Orlandini - Women's Volleyball (Honorable Mention)
Robert Pate - Men's Soccer (Second Team)
Alison Pierce - Women's Water Polo (Honorable Mention)
Micah Putnam - Softball (Second Team)
Camilo Rojas - Men's Soccer (Second Team)
P.J. Rousey - Baseball (Honorable Mention)
Brian Slover - Baseball (Second Team)
Sydney Sonoda - Women's Water Polo (Second Team)
Jillian Stapf - Women's Water Polo (First Team)
Don Strametz - M/W Women's Track & Field (Coach of the Year)
Tonicia Tademy - Women's Basketball (Honorable Mention)
Tryna Tafoya - Women's Soccer (Second Team)
Tremaine Townsend - Men's Basketball (First Team, All-Tournament Team)
Evgeniya Vertesheva - Women's Tennis (First Team-Singles, First Team-Doubles)
De'Shawn Waters - Men's Track & Field (Track Athlete of the Year)
Precious Watkins - Women's Track & Field (Freshman of the Year)

Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Selections
Ali'i Keohohou (Honorable Mention)
Kevin McNiff - Men's Volleyball (Third Team)
Jacek Ratajczak - Men's Volleyball (Second Team)
Matt Stork - Men's Volleyball (Third Team, All-Freshman)
Eric Vance - Men's Volleyball (First Team)

Academic All-Americans
Renee Gargiulo - Women's Water Polo (ACWPC)
Alyssa Goldie - Women's Water Polo (ACWPC)
Kirra Kylander - Women's Water Polo (ACWPC)
Tara McGinley - Women's Water Polo (ACWPC)
Kristin McLaughlin - Women's Water Polo (ACWPC)
Alison Pierce - Women's Water Polo (ACWPC)
Jillian Stapf - Women's Water Polo (ACWPC)

Regional Academic Honors
Sarah Kahn-Shamout - Softball (CoSIDA Second Team)

Academic Honors (Big West, MPSF, Cal State Northridge)
Alexandria Alvarado - Softball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Jeff Baxter - Men's Volleyball (MPSF, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Julie Brandin - Women's Cross Country (Big West)
Karla Chaparro - Softball (Big West. Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Marissa Crook - Women's Cross Country/Track & Field (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Bianca Davies - Women's Basketball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Nick Delio - Men's Golf (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Justin DeMarco - Baseball (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Kellie Drenner - Women's Soccer (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Stella Dugall - Women's Track & Field (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Theo Edwards - Men's Volleyball (MPSF, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
June Enich - Women's Swimming (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Heidi Farran - Women's Soccer (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Katie Fox - Women's Soccer (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Jeff Freund - Men's Golf (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Renee Gargiulo - Women's Water Polo (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Mike Gaudino - Men's Volleyball (MPSF, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Jessica Goforth - Women's Water Polo (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Moy Gomez - Men's Soccer (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Siara Grayson - Women's Volleyball (Big West)
Kevin Guppy - Men's Soccer (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Mark Haderlein - Baseball (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Kelley Hanson - Women's Volleyball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Deborah Hefter - Women's Swimming (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Clark Henson - Men's Swimming (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Megan Hill - Women's Track & Field (Big West)
Aaron Hobbs - Men's Golf (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Amy Hultner - Women's Volleyball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Bradley Ike - Men's Track & Field (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Sarah Kahn-Shamout - Softball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Ali'i Keohohou - Men's Volleyball (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Val Kepler - Women's Volleyball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Kathryn Kerr - Women's Swimming (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Gassia Krikorian - Women's Swimming (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Sandra Kukla - Women's Tennis (Big West, Varsity `N Varsity Honor Roll)
Kirra Kylander - Women's Water Polo (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Christopher Leiva - Men's Soccer (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Whitney Ligon - Women's Basketball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Simone Luker - Women's Swimming (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Tawei Ma - Men's Cross Country/Track & Field (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Tara McGinley - Women's Water Polo (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Kristin McLaughlin - Women's Water Polo (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Kevin McKniff - Men's Volleyball (MPSF)
Peter Mendez - Baseball (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Lauren Michaels - Women's Track & Field (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Michelle Moore - Women's Soccer (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Lilyana Morejon - Women's Cross Country/Track & Field (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Kevin Nious - Men's Track & Field (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Billy Ott - Baseball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Whitney Paluch - Women's Tennis (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Cody Pearce - Men's Track & Field (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Katlin Phillips - Women's Swimming (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Krystal Raphael - Softball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
TS Reed - Baseball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Matt Rice - Men's Volleyball (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Emily Rogers - Women's Swimming (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Kelley Ross - Women's Soccer (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Jaclyn Rymer - Softball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Christina Saenz - Softball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Bethany Scamara - Women's Swimming (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Bryce Schoening - Baseball (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Olesya Senicheva - Women's Swimming (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Jillian Stapf - Women's Water Polo (Big West)
Billy Swanson - Baseball (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Tryna Tafoya - Women's Soccer (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Eric Vance - Men's Volleyball (MPSF, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Haylee Varner - Women's Track & Field (Big West)
Nanci Velarde - Women's Cross Country/Track & Field (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Sandra Velarde - Women's Cross Country/Track & Field (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Analee Viena-Lota - Women's Basketball (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Sharon Wilkinson - Women's Cross Country (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Kayla Wright - Women's Volleyball (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Barak Yahud - Men's Track & Field (Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)
Daniel Yoon - Men's Soccer (Big West, Varsity `N Academic Honor Roll)

Statistics and notes compiled by the Cal State Northridge Media Relations Office
Bob Vazquez - Assistant Athletic Director (Media Relations)
Matt Monroe - Associate Media Relations Director
Geoff Herberg - Assistant Media Relations Director
Eric Bankston - Media Relations Assistant
Nick Bocanegra - Media Relations Intern

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