Matadors Conclude Home Schedule vs. Cal Baptist, BYU This Week

MATCH #19 (MPSF #17):

No. 11 Cal Baptist Lancers (11-11, 7-9 MPSF) at No. 9 Cal State Northridge Matadors (10-8, 8-8 MPSF)

Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PDT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, CA
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: GoMatadors.com
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors


MATCH #20 (MPSF #18):

No. 1 BYU Cougars (15-3, 14-2 MPSF) at No. 9 Cal State Northridge Matadors (10-8, 8-8 MPSF)

Friday, Mar. 22, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PDT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: GoMatadors.com
Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes  


FOR STARTERS

Cal State Northridge (10-8, 8-8 MPSF) bids an early farewell to The Matadome this week as the ninth-ranked Matadors host No. 11 Cal Baptist (11-11, 7-9 MPSF) and top-ranked BYU (15-3, 14-2 MPSF) to conclude the 2013 regular season home schedule. CSUN hosts Cal Baptist in a crucial conference match on Wednesday before taking on their second number one team on Friday. Both matches are scheduled for a 7 p.m. first serve. The Matadors have dropped a season-high two straight after falling on the road at UCSB and at home to UCLA last week.

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 an audio broadcast with Mark Scheurmann handling the play-by-play. Both matches will also be streamed live at 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.

MATADORS SLIP TO NINTH IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL

After dropping a road match at No. 11 UCSB and a home match to No. 5 UCLA, Cal State Northridge slipped from eight into a tie for ninth in this week's AVCA Coaches Top-15 poll. The Matadors earned 106 points this week, down 44 points from the season-high 150 points CSUN received two weeks ago. Cal State Northridge has now been ranked in all 12 polls this season and 183 of the last 195 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 (15-3) remained in the top spot for the third straight week as the Cougars received 15 of 16 first-place votes and 239 total points. UC Irvine (17-5) remained second this week while Pepperdine (12-6) collected the other first-place vote to move into third. Long Beach State (16-6) is fourth and UCLA (15-9) rounds out this week's top-five. Stanford (12-8) is sixth this week followed by Lewis (15-6), Ohio State (15-3), the Matadors (10-8) and UC Santa Barbara (11-12). This week's top-15 is filled out by Cal Baptist (10-11), Hawaii (7-14), Penn State (14-6), Loyola-Chiacgo (12-8) and USC (4-11) ... CSUN also dropped to ninth in the Volleyball Magazine Top-10 Poll after receiving 15 points. CSUN, which was a season-high sixth last week, has now been ranked in nine of the 11 Volleyball Magazine polls this season.

SCOUTING REPORT

Cal Baptist (11-11, 7-9 MPSF) comes into Wednesday's match having won three straight and five of its last seven matches. The Lancers, ranked 11th this week by the AVCA, swept Harvard in a non-conference match on Monday and won twice at home over No. 10 Hawai'i last weekend. Senior outside hitter Levi Cabral leads the CBU offense averaging 4.19 kpg which is second in the MPSF. Fellow outside Guilherme Koepp adds 4.01 kpg which also ranks among the top-five in the conference. The Lancers are hitting .301 as a team through 22 matches. Wednesday's match is just the eighth meeting all-time between CSUN and Cal Baptist with the Matadors holding a 5-1 lead. Cal Baptist won its first in the series 3-1 in Riverside on Jan. 30. The two teams also met in 2000 at the UCSB Invitational with the Lancers winning in five in an exhibition match ... BYU (15-3, 14-2 MPSF), which plays at No. 4 Long Beach State on Saturday, comes in as the top-ranked team in the country. The Cougars took a pair of home matches over Cal Baptist on Mar. 8-9 and and are currently on a seven-match winning streak, the longest current streak in the MPSF. Taylor Sander leads the Cougars in kills averaging 3.86 kpg which ranks eighth in the MPSF. The Matadors trail 32-24 in the all-time series and the two teams have split the last 10 meetings after BYU won in four in Provo on Feb. 2. CSUN is 3-1 in its last four home matches against the Cougars. 

EARLY SENIOR NIGHT FOR MATADOR TRIO

It's still March but due to the schedule, Cal State Northridge will hold its annual senior night Friday against top-ranked BYU. The Matadors, who will play their final six matches of the regular season on the road, will honor John Baker, Jared Moore and Drew Staker in a pre-match ceremony prior to Friday's first serve. Baker and Moore have been in the program since redshirting in 2009 while Staker joined the Matadors as a true freshman in 2010. All three players are the final links to the 2010 Northridge team that played in the NCAA Final Four.

MATADORS IN MPSF TOURNAMENT PICTURE

Despite two losses last week, CSUN firmly remains in the thick of the MPSF Tournament picture. The Matadors, who have climbed as high as fifth this season, are currently seventh at 8-8. Northridge dropped a key match Wednesday in Santa Barbara as the Gauchos (8-10) crept within one game of the Matadors. Wednesday's opponent, Cal Baptist (7-9), is also one game behind Northridge while Hawai'i (6-12) is three full games behind the Matadors. Only the top-eight teams qualify for the postseason. CSUN is currently one-half game behind Stanford (9-8) but are now two games behind fifth-place UCLA and 2.5 games behind Pepperdine which holds down fourth place. The top-four teams in the final MPSF standings earn the right to host a postseason MPSF Quarterfinal match.

STAKER TAKES OVER AS MPSF'S TOP HITTER

Senior middle Drew Staker has taken over as the conference's top hitter in terms of hitting percentage. After hitting .522 in two matches last week, Staker is now hitting .508 for the season which is .08 percentage points higher than UC Irvine's Collin Mehring (.500). A career .407 hitter, Staker is on his way to shattering his previous season-best season's hitting percentage. The senior from Las Vegas, hit a previous best .405 as a sophomore in 2011. Fellow senior and middle Jared Moore is also among the MPSF's top hitters as he is checks in at eighth this week (.418). As a team, the Matadors rank eighth amomg 13 MPSF teams in hitting at .269.

DOUBLE FIGURE WINS ACHIEVED

By picking up their 10th win of the season against UC San Diego on Mar. 8, the Matadors have now earned double figure wins in 13 of the last 14 seasons and 35th time in the 37 years of Matador men's volleyball. Jeff Campbell has now posted double figure win totals in 14 of his 16 seasons at the helm.

NORTHRIDGE NOTES

Senior John Baker continue to post career-highs during his senior season. Baker has moved up to 11th in the MPSF, averaging 3.41 kills per game. He has already established season career-highs in kills (235), attempts (541), aces (15) and blocks (40) and is now just five scoops away from setting a career-high in digs ... With Friday's 3-2 loss to UCLA, CSUN saw its record in five-set matches leveled at 2-2. Both five-set losses this season have come at the hands of the Bruins. The Matadors own five-set wins over UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine.

242 WINS AND COUNTING FOR CAMPBELL

Having become Cal State Northridge men's volleyball's all-time winningest coach during the 2010 season, Jeff Campbell is closing in on the latest milestone win of his 16-year Matador career. Having earned his 225th career win in Northridge's 3-0 win at UC San Diego on Feb. 24, 2012 Campbell now has a career record of 242-215 (.530). He reached the 150 and 200 career wins over the last four seasons and now sets his sights on his 250th career win. Currently, the second-longest tenured head coach at Cal State Northridge (men's golf coach Jim Bracken is in his 27th season), Campbell has now posted double figure win totals in 14 of his 16 seasons on the bench, notching a career-best 24 wins in 2009.

UP NEXT

Following Friday's match against No. 1 BYU, the Matadors will open up a grueling six-match road trip to close the regular season Mar. 29 at Stanford. CSUN will also visit Pacific, Pepperdine, USC, UC Irvine and Long Beach State to wrap up the 2013 regular season.

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