Matadors Seek First Road Win of 2012 Friday at No. 11 Long Beach State

MATCH #9 (MPSF Match #5):

No. 10 Northridge Matadors (3-5, 1-3 MPSF) at No. 11 Long Beach State (3-4, 0-3 MPSF)

Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 - 7:00 p.m. PST
Walter Pyramid (4,200) - Long Beach, Calif.
Live Stats: Gametracker (GoMatadors.com)
Streaming Video: none
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP, Alex Jones - Analyst)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


FOR STARTERS

Following a brief break in the conference schedule, 10th-ranked Cal State Northridge (3-5, 1-3 MPSF) returns to MPSF play this week as the Matadors travel to No. 11 Long Beach State (3-4, 0-3 MPSF) for their only match of the week. Last week, Northridge fell in straight sets on the road at No. 3 UCLA before holding off Cal Baptist in five for their second home win in as many matches.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET

Follow Cal State Matador volleyball online at the official online home of Cal State Northridge athletics, www.GoMatadors.com. All Matador home matches and a majority of road matches will feature live stats via Gametracker. In addition, select home and road matches will be broadcast live with Mark Schuermann handling the play-by-play and Alex Jones providing analysis. Fans can also follow the Matadors at Twitter.com/gomatadors and YouTube.com/northridgeathletics. Fans can also view and print the Matadors 2012 Record Book online at GoMatadors.com. The guide features statistics and a complete men's volleyball history.

TO RECAP

Cal State Northridge suffered a straight-set loss (25-16, 25-16, 25-23) at third-ranked UCLA Wednesday night at the Wooden Center. The ninth-ranked Matadors had trouble getting on track offensively hitting just .058 in the match. The third-ranked Bruins had little trouble offensively hitting .435 as a team with four UCLA hitters hitting .500 or better. The Bruins also dominated the net defensively posting 13.5 team blocks. Julius Höefer and Jared Moore were the only Northridge hitters to find any degree of success as the two combined for 14 of the Matadors' 23 kills. Höefer had nine kills in 21 swings but committed seven errors to hit .095. Moore added five kills in eight errorless attacks to hit .625 to go with a career-high three digs. On Friday, the Matadors held off the upset bid of Cal Baptist 25-15, 25-20, 19-25, 23-25, 15-3 in a non-conference match at The Matadome. Höefer again provided the offense for Northridge as he put down a team-high 18 kills while hitting .485 in 33 swings. Höefer also added six digs and five blocks while Matt Stork chipped in 14 kills (.345), three aces and six digs. Moore was effective again in the middle adding nine kills in 16 errorless attacks (.562) while also contributing one ace and five blocks, three co-blocks coming in the fifth set. Sophomore Brandon Lebrock also hit well with seven kills in nine swings with just one error (.667).

THIS WEEK'S STORYLINES

The 10th-ranked Matadors and 11th-ranked 49ers will meet for the second time in 14 days when the two teams take the court Friday at the Walter Pyramid. Northridge came back two a 2-1 set deficit to knock off Long Beach State on Jan. 20 at The Matadome ...  The 49ers, still looking for their first conference win, host Princeton in a non-conference match on Tuesday, Jan. 31 before entertaining the Matadors on Friday ... Despite dropping a straight set decision at the Walter Pyramid in the 2011 season finale, Northridge is 4-2 in its last six matches in Long Beach dating back to the 2006.

MATADORS REMAIN IN AVCA TOP-10

After splitting two matches last week, Cal State Northridge dipped one spot to 10th in this week's AVCA Coaches Top-15 Poll released Jan. 30. The Matadors, who cranked the AVCA top-10 for the first time since the 2010 season, earned a 103 points in this week's poll, down two points from last week's poll. Northridge, which had been ranked in the AVCA Top-15 for 155 consecutive weeks prior to Feb. 7, 2011, have now been ranked in all five polls this season. Despite being idle last week, BYU earned 15 of 16 first-place votes and 269 points to remain No. 1 for the third straight week. UC Irvine remained second this week with 246 points followed by UCLA (241) which received the other two first-place vote. This week's top-five is rounded out by USC (200) and Penn State (180). Lewis (179) is sixth this week followed by Stanford (165), Pepperdine (164), Ohio State (118) and the Matadors (103). This week's top-15 is filled out by CSUN's Friday opponent Long Beach State (97), Pacific (65),  Loyola-Chicago (50), Hawai'i (44) and UC Santa Barbara (24).

MATADORS KEEP HOME RECORD INTACT, SEEK ROAD "W"

Friday's five-set win over Cal Baptist kept the Matadors perfect in two home matches this season. Northridge has gone the distance in both home matches this season  defeating Long Beach State on Jan. 20 and Cal Baptist on Jan. 27. The Matadors will look for their first true road win Friday in Long Beach. Northridge is currently winless in four tries on opposing courts but are 1-5 this season when including neutral site matches where the Matadors have a 3-0 win over Loyola-Chicago (Jan. 7 in Santa Barbara). 

MOORE CONTINUES HIS TORRID HITTING

Junior Jared Moore has continued to make a name for himself as one of the top hitting middles in the MPSF. Moore, who ranks second in the conference with a .559 hitting percentage, has committed just three errors in 59 swings this season. The junior from Corona, Calif., is hitting .614 over his last five matches and has just one hitting error in his last 44 attacks. Typically a strong team in the middle, the quartet of Matador middles (Moore, Greg Faulkner, Marty Lorenz, Drew Staker) are now hitting a combined .357 in 182 swings this season.

A TALE OF TWO MATCHES

Northridge's two matches last week could not have been more different. The Matadors were completely out-played by an experienced UCLA team on Wednesday falling quickly in straight sets. As a team, Northridge hit just .058 with 23 kills and 19 errors in 69 swings and were held without a single team block or ace in the match that lasted just over one hour. By failing to record a single block, the Matadors became the fourth team in school history to not post a block in a match. Then in over two hours and 10 minutes of volleyball against Cal Baptist, the Matadors put together one of the finest hitting performances in school history to win in five. Northridge hit .500 with 59 kills and just eight errors in 102 attacks against the Lancers while using some inspired serving and blocking to win a phenomenal fifth set 15-3. The only points Cal Baptist scored in the final set came on a block at 13-1 with the other two points coming on Matador service errors.    

NORTHRIDGE NOTES

Friday's match at Long Beach State will be the 100th match as a Matador for senior Matt Stork. Stork is currently second on the Matadors in kills (2.57 kpg) in his first full season as an outside hitter. The senior from Topanga, Calif., hit a season-high .345 in 29 attacks Friday against Cal Baptist. Stork still ranks fourth on the all-time rally scoring era assists list with 3,775 career helpers ... Friday's win over Cal Baptist also gave sophomore setter Filip Tomicic a win over his former team. Tomicic spent the 2011 season at the Riverside school where he helped the Lancers to a 26-5 record and the NAIA National Championship. He finished second on the team with 229 assists (7.39 apg) and also recorded 12 kills, 17 digs and 10 blocks while appearing in 14 matches and 31 sets ... Julius Höefer had a team-high 18 kills against Cal Baptist on Friday, the fifth consecutive match that the freshman from Steingaden, Germany has led the Matadors in kills. Höefer, who averages a team-high 3.83 kpg, has led Northridge in kills in six of the first eight matches this season ... Northridge has used eight different starting lineups in eight matches this season. No Matador player has appeared in all eight matches as Höefer and Stork have each started a team-high seven matches 

CAMPBELL APPROACHES 225 CAREER WINS

Having become Cal State Northridge men's volleyball's all-time winningest coach in 2010, Jeff Campbell is fast approaching his next milestone win which would be the 225th of his 15-year Matador career. Campbell reached the 150 and 200 career wins over the last four seasons and after defeating Cal Baptist now has 223 career victories. The second-longest tenured head coach at Cal State Northridge (men's basketball head coach Bobby Braswell is in his 16th season) has posted double figure win totals in 12 of his 14 previous seasons on the bench and notched a career-best 24 wins in 2009.

UP NEXT

Following this week's match at Long Beach State, the Matadors will open up a stretch where they will play 11 of their next 14 matches at home beginning Feb. 10 against Pacific. The only road matches over the next two months will be at UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 15), UC Irvine (Feb. 22) and UC San Diego (Feb. 24). Northridge will have played 10 of its first 13 matches on the road before opening up a season-long, nine-match homestand against UC Santa Barbara Feb. 29.

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