Matadors Open Season-Long, Five-Match Homestand Wednesday vs. USC

MATCH #9 (MPSF #7):

No. 8 USC Trojans (2-3, 2-3 MPSF) at No. 10 Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-4, 2-4 MPSF) 

Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: none
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

MATCH #10 (MPSF #8):

No. 5 Pepperdine Waves (4-3, 4-3 MPSF) at No. 10 Cal State Northridge Matadors (4-4, 2-4 MPSF)

Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: none
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes  


FOR STARTERS

Cal State Northridge (4-4, 2-4 MPSF) looks to snap a two-match skid this week as the 10th-ranked Matadors open up a season-long, five-match homestand Wednesday against the eighth-ranked USC Trojans (2-3, 2-3 MPSF). The fourth-ranked Pepperdine Waves (4-3, 4-3 MPSF) also visit Northridge on Friday as the Matadors will see both teams for the first time this season. CSUN is looking to bounce back after finishing 1-2 on its recent three-match road trip to UC San Diego (3-0), Cal Baptist (1-3) and BYU (1-3).

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, including both matches this week, 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 SLIP TO 10TH IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL

After dropping road matches at Cal Baptist and top-ranked BYU last week, Cal State Northridge slipped one spot to 10th in this week's AVCA Top-15 poll. The Matadors, who have been ranked as high as ninth this season, received 79 points this week after receiving a season-high 107 last week. Cal State Northridge has now been ranked in 177 of the last 189 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 (6-2) and UC Irvine (8-3) share the top-ranked spot this week as each team earned 239 points. The Cougars picked up eight first-place votes while the Anteaters received seven. Long Beach State (8-3) moved up to third followed by Stanford (7-3) and Pepperdine (4-3). UCLA (8-5) is sixth this week followed by Penn State (8-1), USC (2-3), Ohio State (7-2) and the Matadors (4-4). This week's top-15 is filled out by Pacific (4-3), Cal Baptist (5-4), Hawaii (4-7), Lewis (6-5) and UC Santa Barbara (4-7) ... CSUN dropped out of the Volleyball Magazine Division I-II Top-10 Poll this week as the Matadors were not ranked after holding down the number nine for the past three weeks. Northridge was listed among five teams receiving votes this week.

SCOUTING REPORT

The eighth-ranked USC Trojans (2-3, 2-3 MPSF) suffered their second straight loss  (3-1) Friday at No. 4 Pepperdine. After winning two of its first three matches, USC also lost in four at home to No. 15 Pacific in four. The Trojans, last season's MPSF champions and National Runners-up, are led offensively by junior opposite Tanner Jansen who averages a team-high 3.06 kills per game. Sophomore middle Robert Feathers  adds 2.53 kpg while hitting a team-best .446. The Trojans are hitting .232 as a team through five matches. Wednesday's match is the 69th meeting all-time between CSUN and USC with the Trojans holding a 41-27 lead in the series. The two teams have split the last 10 matches but USC has won five straight. The Matadors did not lose to the Trojans from 2004-2010, a span of 17 matches ... Fourth-ranked Pepperdine (4-3, 4-3 MPSF) travels to No. 3 Long Beach State on Wednesday before venturing across town to The Matadome on Friday. The Waves snapped a two-match skid with a 3-1 win vs. No. 8 USC last Friday. Sophomore outside hitter Josh Taylor, who put down a match-high 16 kills in the win over USC, averages 2.96 kpg while senior Maurice Torres leads the team at 3.88 kpg. The Matadors trail 52-20 in the all-time series with Pepperdine but have split the last four meetings between the two teams. CSUN defeated the Waves in four sets in their most recent meeting in 2012.

HOLT MAKES AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT

The Matadors got their first look at redshirt freshman Sam Holt over the final three sets at Cal Baptist. Holt then became the focal point of the Matador offense at BYU as he made his first collegiate start against the top-ranked Cougars. The redshirt from Cincinnati, Ohio responded with a match-high 18 kills while hitting .286 in a team-high 35 swings. Holt comes from a volleyball family as his brother Max was an All-American at Penn State and has played for the US National Team. In his two appearances for the Matadors, Sam is averaging 3.43 kpg while hitting .269.

STAKER CLOSES IN ON CAREER HITTING TOP-10

Middle blocker Drew Staker has opened his senior season in remarkable fashion as he is hitting a team-high .534 through the first eight matches. His hitting clip this season, which ranks second in the MPSF (first in conference matches) has upped his career hitting percentage to .397 which is just outside the Northridge career top-10. Staker has now played in 272 career sets and has 360 kills in 689 attacks with just 87 errors. The middle from Las Vegas, Nev., hit .405 as a sophomore before hitting .347 as he battled through injuries as a junior in 2012. With 223 career blocks, Staker ranks 10th in the CSUN rally scoring years (2001-present). Fellow senior middle Jared Moore is hitting .457 this season which has upped his career hitting percentage to .357.

NORTHRIDGE NOTES

After falling in four sets at No. 1 BYU, the Matadors have now lost their last seven matches against top-ranked squads. In 2012, CSUN fell to No. 1 USC twice, No. 1 UC Irvine and No. 1 UCLA. The Matadors also lost to No. 1 USC twice in 2011. Prior to that, CSUN had won two of its last three over number ones defeating Stanford in 2010 and Pepperdine in 2009 ... Brandon Lebrock was hitting .250 after the season-opening match at UCLA but has yet to replicate that hitting success. The junior outside, who has led the team in kills per game the entire season, had his worst outing of the season at Cal Baptist where he hit -.250 in 20 attempts. Lebrock, who hit .237 as a sophomore in 2012, is now hitting .154 this season which has dropped his career hitting percentage to .196 ... Sophomore Kyle Stevenson matched his career-high with 10 kills at Cal Baptist before making his first career start on the right side at BYU ... As a team, the Matadors rank as high as fourth in the MPSF in aces (1.26 per game) but rank last in the conference in both assists (10.52 per game) and kills (11.06 per game) ... After using eight different starting lineups over the first eight matches last season, the Matadors have used just four this season with the combination of Staker, Moore, Travis Magorien, Lebrock, Stevenson, John Baker and Charlie Condron the most commonly used. That group has started five matches with CSUN winning three of the five.

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.

UP NEXT

Following matches against USC and Pepperdine this week, the Matadors will welcome in Stanford, Pacific and Long Beach State over the next two weeks to compete the five-match homestand. Following the Long Beach State match on Feb. 22, CSUN will play nine of its final 13 regular season matches on the road.

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