October 23, 2007

The Week Ahead in Matador Athletics


The Week Ahead in Matador Athletics

The Week Ahead ...
Community involvement and a story of courage highlights what's happening in Cal State Northridge Athletics this week ... Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations, offers his weekly insight on the teams and student-athletes who compete for Cal State Northridge ... The weekly report includes upcoming key games, a look at the accomplishments of the student-athletes and coaches at Cal State Northridge, and a report on what other activities are happening in the Matador Athletic Department.

Basketball Bits ...
An interesting story is developing on the men's basketball team ... One member of the 18-man team is deaf ... Michael Lizzaraga is a 6-foot-7, 240-pound freshman forward who was a standout basketball player at the California School for the Deaf in northern California ... Because Lizzaraga cannot hear, he needs the help of an interpreter at all basketball practices to get instructions via sign language from his coaches and teammates ... An interpreter is allowed on the court during practice to relay sign language instructions to Lizzaraga, who is described by head coach Bobby Braswell as a big, physical player who works extremely hard, rebouinds the ball, can score on the inside, and is a solid defender ... The interpreter is given access to the team huddles and instruction sessions, and has become an integral part of daily practice ... Lizzaraga certainly is not letting his disability hinder his love for the game of basketball.

Hoops Hoopla ...
Matadors men's head basketball coach Bobby Braswell was among 12 Division I coaches from Southern California colleges and universities (UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, UC irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly, San Diego State, USD) who recently attended the annual John Wooden Tipoff Luncheon at the Los Angeles Athletic Club ... Braswell was the fifth speaker on the agenda, and delighted the large crowd with his display of basketball one-liners ... Big West Basketball Media Day is slated for this Wednesday (Oct. 24) in Irvine ... Men's and women's head coaches Bobby Braswell and Staci Schulz will have an opportunity to talk about their team's prospects in 2007-08 ... Seniors Calvin Chitwood and Katie Holloway will represent their teams at this annual event.

Community Cheer ...
Kudos to the Matador women's basketball team for their efforts in reaching out into the community ... The Matador women recently partnered with the Mason Park YMCA to hold the first of several youth clinics during the 2007-08 school year ... Nearly 50 girls, ages 7-12, participated in the two-hour clinic which taught the fundamentals of basketball in a fun environment ... There will be additional free girls youth basketball clinics scheduled in The Matadome during November and December.

Northridge Notable ...
To say that Matador freshman soccer player Salma Tarik loves sports would be an understatement ... While in high school, Tarik was a five-sport athlete in soccer, basketball, volleyball, track and cross country ... Tarik made the right choice by concentrating on soccer where she is one of CSUN's leading scorers ... Tarik says that if she had a million dollars, she would move to Italy ... Needless to say, her favorite food is pasta and roots for A.C. Milan (the world famous Italian professional football club) ... Just ask Tarik about A.C. Milan, and she could probably tell you that A.C. Milan has won 17 officially recognized international titles, more than any other club in the world, and its all-time leading scorer is the Swede, Gunnar Nordahl, who in 268 games (1949-56) managed to score 221 goals ... Tarik chose her uniform number (#21) in honor of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo ... For now, Tarik is a freshman at Cal State Northridge ... Tarik said she chose the Matador campus because of its growing women's soccer program and the educational opportunities.

Track Talk ...
When Cal State Northridge hosts a track & field meet, they do it the right way ... It has certainly caught the eye of the NCAA and the Big West Conference ... The NCAA has awarded Cal State Northridge the 2008 NCAA West Regionals (May 30-31) for the second time since 2004 ... CSUN will be one of four regional sites (the others include the University of Arkansas and the University of Nebraska) ... The two-day meet features nearly all the Division I schools in the Western United States, with more than 600 student-athletes competing for berths to the NCAA Championships which will be held this year at Drake University (June 11-14) in Des Moines, Ia ... Cal State Northridge will also host the Big West Championships (May 16-17) for a second straight year, and the fourth time since 2003 ... CSUN is the defending mens' and women's league champions.

Matador Minute ...
Kevin Guppy and Susie Mischenko are not only standout players on the Matador men's and women's soccer team, but also outstanding students in the classroom ... Last year, Guppy and Mischenko gained several academic honors ... In 2007, Guppy and Mischenko are being nominated by CSUN as Academic All-Americans ... A couple more recent additions to the Matador athletic family ... Geoff Herberg is the newest member of the media relations staff while Daniel Kohn can be found making CSUN student-athletes stronger as the new strength and conditioning coach ... Herberg worked the last two years in the sports information office at the University of Kansas where he also earned his masters degree ... Herberg earned his BA degree from the University of Arizona ... Drop by his office and say hello ... Herberg can talk at length about the accomplishments of the Arizona basketball program under legendary head coach Lute Olson, and the rise as a national power of Kansas in football ... Herberg's responsibilities at CSUN include publicizing women's soccer, tennis, women's basketball and softball ... Kohn arrives from William & Mary where he was the assistant strength and conditioning coach ... Prior to that, Kohn worked at the University of Washington ... Kohn is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton and received his master's degree from Long Beach State ... Congratulations to Idaho State's Mark Cowman who fired a hole-in-one on the par three, 170-yard seventh hole at the recent Bill Cullum Invitational at the Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley ... It marked the first hole-in-one in the history of the Bill Cullum Invitational (hosted by CSUN) at Wood Ranch.

Did You Know ...
Golf is a demanding sport and making a hole-in-one is certainly a rare feat ... Not so for Matador senior Katrina Sutton who has two aces in her young career, both accomplished at the Woodland Hills Golf Course ... That is two more than her coach, Bonnie Murphy, who says she has hit the flag stick a couple times during her golf career as both player and coach.

Go Matadors !!!

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