MATADORS THIS WEEK:
MATCH #16 (MPSF Match #15):
Cal State Northridge Matadors (5-10, 5-9 MPSF) at Cal Baptist Lancers (3-12, 2-11 MPSF)
Thursday, Mar. 6, 2014 - 7:00 p.m. PST
Van Dyne Gym - Riverside, CA
Live Stats: CBULancerss.com
Streaming Video: CBULancers.com
In-game Twitter updates: @CSUN_InGame
MATCH #17 (MPSF Match #16):
No. 2 BYU Cougars (12-3, 12-1 MPSF) at Cal State Northridge Matadors (5-10, 5-9 MPSF)
Saturday, Mar. 8, 2014 - 7:00 p.m. PST
The Matadome - Northridge, CA
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: GoMatadors.com
In-game Twitter updates: @CSUN_InGame
Cal State Northridge (5-10, 5-9 MPSF) begins a difficult stretch of seven road contests in eight matches this Thursday as the Matadors travel to Riverside to take on Cal Baptist (3-12, 2-11 MPSF). The lone home match during the stretch comes up Saturday as CSUN entertains second-ranked BYU in The Matadome at 7 p.m. The Matadors split the last two matches of their season-long, four-match homestand last week, sweeping Pacific before falling in three to No. 8 Stanford to close the homestand at 2-2.
NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET
Follow Cal State Matador volleyball online at the official online home of Cal State Northridge athletics, www.GoMatadors.com. Home matches will be streamed live through Big West TV while select home and road matches will feature a live audio broadcast with Ryan Musick and/or Mark Schuermann and Mahina Haina. Fans can also follow the Matadors on Twitter at @GoMatadors, @CSUNMensVB and @CSUN_InGame as well as view match highlights at YouTube.com/northridgeathletics. Fans can view and print the Matadors 2014 Record Book online at GoMatadors.com. The guide features statistics and a complete CSUN men's volleyball history.
MATADORS REMAIN UNRANKED IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL
For the second consecutive week, Cal State Northridge remained unranked in the AVCA Coaches Top-15 poll released Monday, Mar. 3. After sweeping unranked Pacific and falling in three to No. 8 Stanford at home last week, the Matadors earned a season-low eight points in this week's poll. CSUN, which has been ranked in five of the 10 weekly polls this season, has been ranked in 190 of the last 207 weekly polls dating back to the 2002 season.
Loyola-Chicago (13-1) remained No. 1 for the fourth straight week as the Ramblers earned 11 first-place votes and 258 total points. BYU (12-3) remained second with 256 points, receiving seven first-place votes while Long Beach State (11-4) moved up to third. Pepperdine (9-4) and UCLA (13-5) round out this week's top-five. USC (10-6) is sixth this week followed by UC Santa Barbara (10-5), Hawai'i (11-6) and UC Irvine (11-8). This week's AVCA Top-15 is filled out by Stanford (10-6), Lewis (12-4), Penn State (13-3), Ball State (10-5), Ohio State (7-7) and IPFW (10-3).
Loyola is also number one in this week's Volleyball Magazine Top-10 Poll. The Matadors remain unranked in the Volleyball poll in the ninth week of the season.
• Cal Baptist, which hosts St. Francis in a non-conference match Tuesday, enters this week with an overall record of 3-12 while the Lancers are 11th in the MPSF at 2-11. Cal Baptist, 3-5 at home this season, also travels to No. 3 Long Beach on Saturday. Johannes Brink leads the Lancers averaging 3.88 kps which ranks fifth in the MPSF. As a team Cal Baptist is hitting .267 which is ninth among the 13 MPSF squads. Thursday's match is just the ninth meeting all-time between the Matadors and Lancers with CSUN holding a 6-2 edge in the series. The Matadors won in three in Northridge on Jan. 8 which snapped a two-match Cal Baptist win streak.
• The second-ranked BYU Cougars (12-3, 12-1 MPSF) travel to No. 3 Long Beach State for a Friday showdown before heading to Northridge on Saturday. The Cougars, 6-3 on the road this season, have won six straight matches after sweeping both No. 7 USC and No. 4 Pepperdine at home last week. Taylor Sander ranks second in the MPSF averaging 4.57 kps while hitting .317. BYU is hitting .288 as a team through 15 matches. Saturday's match is the 59th meeting all-time between CSUN and BYU with the Cougars holding a 34-24 edge in the series. BYU defeated the Matadors in straight sets in Provo on Jan. 10 and have now won six straight over CSUN dating back to the 2011 season.
SAKAIDA DIGS PACIFIC
Redshirt freshman libero Bradley Sakaida has been steady in an up-and-down season for the Matadors. Playing mostly libero in addition to outside hitter in his first season, Sakaida has a team-high 101 digs which averages out to 1.98 digs per set (14th in the MPSF). Sakaida had a memorable night against Pacific when he scooped up a career-high 20 digs, the most by a CSUN player since Charlie Condron also had 20 digs against UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 29, 2012. Only one other Matador libero has reached the 20-digs plateau in the last five years, Ali'i Keohohou with 21 digs against Stanford on Feb. 20, 2009. Former All-American Doug English still holds the single match record with 26 digs at UCLA in 2003.
FAULKNER MAINTAINS IN NATIONAL RANKINGS
As noted in previous weeks, middle blocker Greg Faulkner continues to have an impressive junior season. Faulkner connected for 15 kills in two matches last week while hitting .423 on 26 attacks against Pacific and Stanford. The junior from Los Angeles remains fourth in hitting percentage (.450) in both the NCAA and MPSF trailing only USC's Andy Benesh (.507), Hawaii's Taylor Averill (.491) and UC Irvine's Collin Mehring (.458).
UPDATED RECORD BOOK
Juniors Greg Faulkner and Travis Magorien have etched themselves into the CSUN record books in 2014. Magorien continues up the assists ladder while Faulkner has put himself in position to rank among the top hitting percentage leaders in school history. With a team-high 475 assists this season, Magorien has moved past Jeff Conover (2004-05) into fifth-place on the CSUN rally scoring era (2001-present) assists list while moving into 10th-place on the all-time list. Magorien is well within reach of eighth-place as Travis Ferguson (1,660) currently ranks ninth and Dan Nash (1,950) is currently eighth on the all-time list. Magorien is still over 2,000 assists away from catching Matt Stork (3,780) for fourth-place on the rally scoring list. Faulkner is hitting a career-best .450 this season which has upped his career hitting percentage to .384 which would rank ninth on the rally scoring list. Faulkner would have to boost his career hitting percentage above .400 to rank among the all-time leading hitters in Matador history. Senior libero Charlie Condron, with 324 career digs, would need 133 digs over the rest of the season to move into the top-10 in rally scoring era dig leaders.
It's been all or nothing right out of the gate for the Matadors so far in 2014. When CSUN wins the opening set the Matadors are a perfect 5-0 but are now 0-10 when dropping set one after falling in three to Stanford on Saturday. Six of CSUN's last seven losses have come by the 3-0 score ... With Pacific officially eliminated from the MPSF Tournament, Friday's 3-0 CSUN win was the last men's volleyball match between the two schools. Pacific announced prior to this season that it would be dropping men's volleyball as an intercollegiate sport at the end of the 2014 season. The final all-time series record shows 38 all-time meetings with CSUN winning 26 of the 38. Matador head coach Jeff Campbell finishes with a winning record (12-11) in 23 matches against the Tigers ... Sophomore middle blocker Brian O'Gorman was back in the starting lineup against Pacific, his first start since the season-opener also against Pacific on Jan. 4.
CAMPBELL WITHIN TWO OF 250TH CAREER WIN
Having become Cal State Northridge men's volleyball's all-time winningest coach during the 2010 season, Jeff Campbell picked up his most recent milestone win of his 17-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 248-232 (.517), reached the 150 and 200 career wins over the last five 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 28th season) Campbell has posted double figure win totals in 14 of his previous 16 seasons on the bench and notched a career-best 24 wins in 2009.
Following this week's road match at Cal Baptist and home match vs. BYU, the Matadors will play six consecutive road matches. CSUN will visit USC, Pepperdine, UC Irvine and UC San Diego during the road stretch and will also play Penn State and Ohio State as part of the Active Ankle Classic at Long Beach State (Mar. 14-15).
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