January 15, 2013

10th-Ranked Matadors Host Concordia and Grand Canyon This Week

MATCH #3:

Concordia Eagles (2-1) at No. 10 Cal State Northridge Matadors (1-1, 1-1 MPSF)

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PT
The Matadome - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: none
Audio: none
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

MATCH #4:

Grand Canyon Antelopes (2-2) at No. 10 Cal State Northridge Matadors (1-1, 1-1 MPSF)

Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PT
The Matadome - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: none
Audio: none
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


FOR STARTERS

Cal State Northridge (1-1, 1-1 MPSF) continues its four-match homestand this week as the 10th-ranked Matadors host the Concordia Eagles (2-1) and the Grand Canyon Antelopes (2-2) in a pair of non-conference matches. CSUN hosts Concordia on Wednesday and Grand Canyon on Friday with both matches scheduled for a 7 p.m. first serve. The Matadors split their MPSF opening week as Northridge fell in five sets at No 5 UCLA before topping ninth-ranked UC Santa Barbara in five at home.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET

Follow Cal State Matador volleyball online at the official online home of Cal State Northridge athletics, www.GoMatadors.com. Fans can also follow the Matadors at Twitter.com/gomatadors and YouTube.com/northridgeathletics. Fans can view and print the Matadors 2013 Record Book online at GoMatadors.com. The guide features statistics and a complete men's volleyball history. Selected Cal State Northridge matches will be streamed live at GoMatadors.com.

MATADORS IMPROVE TO 25-12 IN HOME OPENERS

Cal State Northridge improved its record in home openers to 25-12 (.676) with Saturday's five-set win over UC Santa Barbara. The Matadors also improved to 23-14 (.622) in conference home openers and have now won four of their last five MPSF home openers dating back to 2008. Northridge is now 93-37, a winning percentage of .715, at home since the 2004 season.

SCOUTING REPORT

Concordia comes to Northridge on Wednesday with a record of 2-1 which includes a pair of wins over UC Santa Cruz and a season-opening five-set loss at top-ranked UC Irvine. The Eagles are led by former Matador Dillon Auxier who is averaging a team-high 3.46 kpg while hitting .388. Auxier competed at Northridge from 2010-11 compiling career totals of 89 kills (1.89 kpg), 43 digs and 21 blocks in 20 matches. The Eagles are hitting .287 as a team through three matches. The Matadors and Eagles have met just once previously with Northridge claiming a four-set win during the 2001 season ... Grand Canyon is 2-2 on the season after falling on the road at third-ranked Stanford (3-1) and George Mason (3-0) before defeating both NJIT and Sacred Heart in four. The Antelopes are led by sophomore middle Ryan Mather who is hitting nearly .400 while averaging 3.00 kills per game. Grand Canyon is hitting .194 as a team through four matches. Friday's match is the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

MATADORS MOVE UP TO 10TH IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL

Cal State Northridge continued its slow ascent up the AVCA Top-15 poll as the Matadors moved into 10th this week. The Matadors, who ranked 12th in the preseason poll before moving up to 11th last week, received a season-high 101 points this week to gain an additional spot in the rankings. Cal State Northridge has now been ranked in 174 of the last 186 weekly polls dating back to the 2002 season. The last time the Matadors were unranked was a period of 12 weeks (Feb. 7-May 2) during the 2011 season. UC Irvine (4-1) remained top-ranked team for the third straight week as the Anteaters earned eight first-place votes and 230 total points. Stanford (4-0), which earned seven first-place votes, moved up to second this week followed by BYU (3-1), Pepperdine (1-1) and UCLA (5-2). Penn State (2-1) is sixth this week followed by USC (1-1), UC Santa Barbara (3-2), Long Beach State (2-2) and the Matadors (1-1). This week's top-15 is filled out by Ohio State (2-2), Lewis (1-4), UC San Diego (2-3), Cal Baptist (2-1) and Pacific (1-1) ... CSUN also made its first appearance in the Volleyball Magazine Division I-II Top-10 Poll this week as the Matadors checked in at number nine. Northridge, which received 12 points, had not been ranked in the poll this season.

FIVES ARE WILD FOR MATADORS

The Matadors played into a fifth set just six times in all of 2012 but have already gone the distance twice in two matches in 2013. In fact, 15 matches already this season involving MPSF teams have gone to five sets, including all seven matches involving UCLA. CSUN finished the 2012 season with a solid 5-1 record in five-setters with the Matadors' only loss coming at fifth-ranked Stanford on Apr. 7. 

LEBROCK, STAKER QUICK OUT OF THE GATE

Junior outside Brandon Lebrock and senior Drew Staker both had solid matches in CSUN's opening week. Lebrock, who is the Matadors top returning offensive threat, had a combined 36 kills (3.60 kpg) against UCLA and UC Santa Barbara while Staker did not commit a single hitting error in 21 swings over the two matches to hit .714. Lebrock, who has a career kills per game average of 2.36, is hitting .236 in a team-high 89 attacks this season while also tying for second on the squad with three aces. He had 19 kills and 10 digs against the Gauchos for his first collegiate double-double. Senior John Baker also doubled up against UCLA with 15 kills while matching his career-high 12 digs.

SEVERAL MAKE NORTHRIDGE DEBUT IN OPENING WEEK

A host of players made their debut wearing the red, black and white last week including first-year players Nick Alegrado and Hayk Sargsyan. Alegrado shared libero duties with Charlie Condron and had nine digs and one assists over the first two matches. Sargsyan came on as a server at UCLA then took his first swings against UC Santa Barbara where he had an ace in the CSUN win. A pair of redshirt freshman also saw their inaugural playing time as Brian O'Gorman and Vaughn Wellenreiter both came off the bench to shore up the Matador blocking at various times during the opening week.

MATADORS COMING UP ACES

Northridge has been effective from the service line so far in 2013 as the Matadors have out-aced their first two opponents 15-8. A large part of that total came when CSUN served up a season-high 11 aces against UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. The 11-ace effort was the most by a Matador team since they posted 12 aces against Cal Baptist early in the 2010 season. The school record for most team aces in a single match came during the 2009 when Northridge had 17 aces in sweeping Pacific in three sets on Feb. 19. The Matadors rank third in the MPSF in aces per game, averging 1.50 through two matches.

NORTHRIDGE NOTES

In making his first start since Feb. 22, 2011 at UC Irvine, junior Cory Wagner put together a solid defensive effort in the season-opener at UCLA. Although he registered four kills in 17 swings, Wagner was a stalwart defensively picking up a career-high 16 digs as the Matadors nearly pulled off the five-game upset. Wagner's previous career-high in digs (10) also came at UCLA during the 2011 season ... This week marks the earliest Northridge will host a non-conference team in several seasons. In past years, the Matadors typically scheduled their non-conference matches for mid-March when the team was looking to stay sharp during the week-long spring break. But due to the MPSF adding a 13th team in Cal Baptist this season, the conference schedule jumped from 22 to 24 matches thus erasing the off week in March ... Saturday's 3-2 conference win over UC Santa Barbara gave Cal State Northridge 250 wins in 28 seasons as a member of the MPSF. The Matadors' all-time winning percentage as a member of the conference is now .454 (250-301) ... Northridge wraps up its four-match homestand next Wednesday against top-ranked UC Irvine before heading out on the road for three. The Matadors then return home Feb. 6 to open a five-match homestand, their longest of the season. Northridge will take on USC, Pepperdine, Stanford, Pacific and Long Beach State on the homestand.

233 WINS AND COUNTING FOR CAMPBELL

Having become Cal State Northridge men's volleyball's all-time winningest coach during the 2010 season, Jeff Campbell picked up the latest milestone win of his 16-year Matador career in Northridge's 3-0 win at UC San Diego on Feb. 24, 2012. The victory gave the Matador boss his 225th career victory. Campbell, who now has a career record of 233-208 (.528), reached the 150 and 200 career wins over the last four seasons and now sets his sights on his 250th career win. Currently, the third-longest tenured head coach at Cal State Northridge (men's golf coach Jim Bracken is in his 27th season & men's basketball head coach Bobby Braswell is in his 17th season) Campbell has posted double figure win totals in 14 of his 16 seasons on the bench and notched a career-best 24 wins in 2009.

- GO MATADORS -

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