MATCH #7 (MPSF #5):
No. 9 Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-2, 2-2 MPSF) at No. 14 Cal Baptist Lancers (4-3, 1-1 MPSF)
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PT
Van Dyne Gym (1,200) - Riverside, Calif.
Live Stats: cbulancers.com
Streaming Video: cbulancers.com
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors
MATCH #8 (MPSF #6):
No. 9 Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-2, 2-2 MPSF) at No. 1 BYU Cougars (5-1, 4-0 MPSF)
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. MT
Smith Fieldhouse (5,000) - Provo, Utah
Live Stats: byucougars.com
Streaming Video: none
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors
Cal State Northridge (4-2, 2-2 MPSF) continues its three-match road trip this week as the ninth-ranked Matadors travel to Riverside to take on the 14th-ranked Cal Baptist Lancers (4-3, 1-1 MPSF) and to Provo, Utah to take on the top-ranked BYU Cougars (5-1, 4-0 MPSF). Wednesday's match in Riverside is CSUN's first trip to the Inland Empire since 1999 and the first between the Matadors and Lancers as conferece foes. On Saturday, Northridge gets its first crack at a top-ranked team this season as the Cougars are ranked number one in the AVCA poll.
NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET
Follow Cal State Matador volleyball online at the official online home of Cal State Northridge athletics, www.GoMatadors.com. Select matches will feature live radio with Mark Scheurmann handling the play-by-play. 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 REMAIN NINTH IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL
After splitting its two matches last week, Cal State Northridge remained ninth in this week's AVCA Top-15 poll. The Matadors, who have been ranked 12th, 11th and 10th this season, received a season-high 107 points and are ninth for the second straight week. Cal State Northridge has now been ranked in 176 of the last 188 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. BYU (5-1), which hosts CSUN on Saturday, was number one for the second straight week as the Cougars earned 15 first-place votes and 254 total points. UC Irvine (6-3) moved into second this week followed by while Stanford (6-2), Pepperdine (3-3) and UCLA (7-4). Penn State (6-1), which earned the other first-place vote is sixth this week followed by Long Beach State (6-3), USC (2-2), the Matadors (4-2) and Ohio State (5-2). This week's top-15 is filled out by Pacific (3-3), UC Santa Barbara (3-5), UC San Diego (3-6), Cal Baptist (4-3), and Lewis (4-5) ... CSUN is also ranked in the Volleyball Magazine Division I-II Top-10 Poll this week as the Matadors remain at number nine for the third straight week. Northridge received 15 points in this week's poll.
14th-ranked Cal Baptist (4-3, 1-1 MPSF) hosts No. 7 Long Beach State on Tuesday before hosting the Matadors on Wednesday. The Lancers, in their first season as members of the MPSF, split their first two conference matches defeating top-ranked UC Irvine in five and falling at UC San Diego. Since then, CBU defeated Concordia in five and was swept by Springfield. The Lancers are led offensively by sophomore Guilherme Koepp and senior Levi Cabral who average an MPSF-leading 4.45 and 4.25 kills per game respectively. CBU is hitting .347 as a team through seven matches, a conference best mark. Wednesday's match is just the seventh meeting all-time between CSUN and Cal Baptist with the Matadors unbeaten in five matches. The two teams also met in 2000 at the UCSB Invitational with the Lancers winning in five in an exhibition match ... Top-ranked BYU (5-1, 4-0 MPSF) hosts Long Beach State on Friday before the Matadors come to Provo on Saturday. The Cougars were off last week but knocked off No. 1 UC Irvine (3-1) and UC San Diego (3-0) the previous week. BYU, which has played all six of its matches at home, also has a pair of conference wins over Hawaii. Taylor Sander leads the Cougars in kills averaging 3.86 kpg which ranks seventh in the MPSF. The Matadors trail 31-24 in the all-time series with BYU but have won six of the last 10 dating back to 2009. CSUN took three of the four matches between the two teams in 2010 including a 3-2 win in the MPSF Semifinals.
STAKER, MOORE TOP THE MPSF IN HITTING
After six matches, the Matador middles have reclaimed their dominance in the MPSF. Not since 2010 when Kevin McKniff and Jacek Ratajczak finished 2-3 in the conference in hitting percentage has a CSUN middle duo sat near the top the conference. After senior Jared Moore moved to the top of the MPSF in hitting last week, senior teammate Drew Staker overtook Moore this week after hitting .333 against UC Irvine and UC San Diego. The two have very similar stat lines this season as Staker has 39 kills and five errors in 64 swings to hit .531 while Moore has 36 kills and four errors in 61 swings to hit .525. Staker owns a .391 career hitting percentage which would rank eighth in Matador rally scoring history. Moore is right behind at .359 in his four-year CSUN career.
TO DIG OR NOT TO DIG
As a team, the Matadors have been out-dug by a slim 197-189 margin after six matches and rank in the middle of the MPSF in team digs per game. According to the coaching staff, the CSUN liberos (Charlie Condron and Nick Alegrado) have not had the opportunity to collect many digs which would account for the Matadors not being represented in the top-10 of the MPSF in digs. Condron and Alegrado have a combined season total of 40 which averages out to 0.91 digs per game. Conversely, opposite John Baker, who came into his senior season with 200 career digs, leads the team with 33 (1.43 dpg) while middles Jared Moore and Drew Staker have an equally impressive 27 digs combined. Outside hitters Brandon Lebrock and Kyle Stevenson have also shared the defensive load with 28 digs apiece.
MATADORS VS. NUMBER ONE
The Matadors will get their first opportunity this season to knock off a top-ranked team in BYU on Saturday. Northridge also traveled to Provo to take on the number one Cougars in 2008 and dropped the opener in four and the finale in five. The Matadors have lost their last six matches against top-ranked squads losing to USC twice, UC Irvine and UCLA in 2012 and USC twice again in 2011. Prior to that, CSUN had won two of its last three over number ones defeating Stanford in 2010 and Pepperdine in 2009. The Matadors are 4-26 in matches against teams ranked number one in the AVCA Top-15 poll dating back to the 2000 season. Prior to defeating Stanford in 2010, Northridge had hosted three top-ranked teams since 2005, falling three times to UC Irvine (2006, 2007, 2012), twice to UCLA (2005, 2012) and twice to USC (2011, 2012).
The Matadors' straight-set win at UC San Diego on Saturday was their first road win of the season in two tries. CSUN dropped its season-opener in five at UCLA ... Wednesday's four-set loss to UC Irvine was the Matadors' first this season when winning the opening set. Northridge was a perfect 4-0 when winning set one prior to the Irvine match ... True freshman Chance Earnest notched his first collegiate kill in a reserve role against UCI. Earnest came off the bench over the final two sets against the Anteaters and had a pair of kills in four swings to go with two digs ... Sophomore Kyle Stevenson recorded a career-high 10 digs against UCI which surpassed his previous career-high of eight set against Pacific last year ... Friday's win at UCSD improved Jeff Campbell's all-time record against the Tritons to 28-1.
236 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 236-209 (.530), 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.
Following the conclusion of the three-match road trip on Saturday, the Matadors will open their longest homestand of the season Feb. 6 against USC. The five-match home stretch will also have Pepperdine, Stanford, Pacific and Long Beach State visiting The Matadome. The USC match also opens a stretch where the Matadors will play nine of their next 12 in the comforts of The Matadome.
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