CSUN Breaks From MPSF Play to Take on Penn State, Ohio State in Long Beach


MATCH #18:

No. 14 Penn State Nittany Lions (13-4) vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-11)

Friday, Mar. 14, 2014 - 5:00 p.m. PST
Walter Pyramid - Long Beach, CA
Live Stats: longbeachstate.com
Streaming Video: none
Audio: none
In-game Twitter updates: @CSUN_InGame 

MATCH #19:

No. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-9) vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors (6-11)

Saturday, Mar. 15, 2014 - 5:00 p.m. PST
Walter Pyramid - Long Beach, CA
Live Stats: longbeachstate.com
Streaming Video: none
Audio: none
In-game Twitter updates: @CSUN_InGame   

Weekly Match Notes             


Cal State Northridge (6-11, 6-10 MPSF) takes a brief break in the rigors of MPSF play this week as the Matadors travel to Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid to play a pair of non-conference matches in the Active Ankle Classic. CSUN opens the two-day tournament against 14th-ranked Penn State (13-4) Friday at 5 p.m. which is followed by host No. 2 Long Beach State against No. 15 Ohio State (8-8) at 7 p.m. The Matadors will then take on the 15th-ranked Buckeyes Saturday at 5 p.m. followed by the 49ers vs. Penn State at 7 p.m. CSUN split a road and home last week as the Matadors swept Cal Baptist in Riverside before returning home to host second-ranked BYU which held off Northridge to win in four sets. 


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.


For the third consecutive week, Cal State Northridge remained unranked in the AVCA Coaches Top-15 poll released Monday, Mar. 10. After sweeping unranked Cal Baptist on the road and falling in four to No. 2 BYU at home last week, the Matadors earned eight points for the second straight week. CSUN, which has been ranked in five of the 11 weekly polls this season, has been ranked in 190 of the last 208 weekly polls dating back to the 2002 season.

Loyola-Chicago (15-1) remained No. 1 for the fifth straight week as the Ramblers earned 12 first-place votes and 259 total points. Long Beach State (13-4) moved up to second with 254 points, receiving three first-place votes while BYU (13-4) is third also receiving three first-place votes. UC Santa Barbara (12-5) and Pepperdine (10-5) round out this week's top-five. Stanford (12-6) is sixth this week followed by UCLA (14-6), UC Irvine (13-8), USC (11-7) and Hawai'i (11-8). This week's AVCA Top-15 is filled out Lewis (12-4), IPFW (13-3), Ball State (12-5), Penn State (13-4) and Ohio State (8-8).

Loyola is also number one in this week's Volleyball Magazine Top-10 Poll. The Matadors remain unranked in the Volleyball poll in the 10th week of the season.


• 14th-ranked Penn State enters this week with an overall record of 13-4 while the Nittany Lions are 6-1 in the EIVA. Penn State, 2-4 away from home this season, takes on CSUN Friday and Long Beach State Saturday. The Matadors and Nittany Lions have two common opponents this season (UCLA, Hawai'i), CSUN is 0-3 and Penn State is 0-2. Aaron Russell leads the Lions averaging 3.83 kps while Nick Goddell adds 3.42 kps. Penn State is hitting .303 as a team through 17 matches. Friday's match is just the 12th meeting all-time between the Matadors and Lions with Penn State holding a 7-4 edge in the series. The Matadors have dropped the last two to Penn State including a 3-0 loss in the 2010 NCAA Final Four.

• 15th-ranked Ohio State (8-9) opened the week with a straight-set loss at No. 11 Lewis and comes into the weekend's tournament having split its last six matches. CSUN and Ohio State have the same common opponents (UCLA, Hawai'i), the Buckeyes falling to Hawai'i (3-0) and UCLA (3-0) in the season-opening weekend. Andrew Lutz leads Ohio State averaging 3.32 kills per set while Michael Henchy adds 2.85 kps for the Buckeyes who are hitting .288 as a team. Saturday's match is the eighth meeting all-time between CSUN and Ohio State with the Buckeyes holding a slim 4-3 edge in the series. The last time the two teams met, Ohio State defeated the Matadors in straight sets at Penn State in 2011.


Sophomore Sam Holt had one of the best offensive weeks in recent memory as he struck for career-highs in successive outings. The week opened with Holt connecting for a then career-high 22 kills while hitting .432 in the Matadors straight-set win at Cal Baptist. Bigger things were in store for the outside hitter from Cincinnati, Ohio two nights later as Holt shattered his career-high with 32 kills. Despite falling to No. 2 BYU, Holt was a one-man wrecking crew hitting .393 on 61 attacks. For the week, he averaged 7.71 kills per set while hitting .408 on 98 swings. Holt's kill total is the most by a CSUN hitter since Eric Vance had 33 against Pepperdine in 2009. The CSUN record for kills in one match is 44 by Bob Samuelson in 1989 and equaled by Ken Lynch in 1992. Dan Rhodes holds the rally scoring era record with 41 against Pepperdine in 2006 but Holt's total is most since rally scoring went to 25 points.  


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 249-233 (.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.


One of the many bright spots in Saturday's hard-fought loss to BYU was the 10 kill-13 dig performance by redshirt freshman opposite Jakub Ciesla. The double-double was the first of Ciesla's brief Matador career and the first since Travis Magorien had 21 assists and 10 digs at No. 7 UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 12. Ciesla also added career-highs of two aces and three assists against the Cougars.    


Although they have struggled this season against teams above them in the MPSF standings, the Matadors are still just three games out of the eighth and final spot in the MPSF Tournament. Hawai'i and Stanford currently share the eighth spot at 9-7 with eight conference matches remaining ... Head coach Jeff Campbell is 7-4 all-time against teams from the EIVA and 26-8 against teams in the MIVA but is 1-3 against Penn State and 0-2 against Ohio State in his career ... This weekend against No. 14 Penn State and No. 15 Ohio State, the Matadors will look to defeat a ranked team for the first time since upsetting No. 4 USC in straight sets on Jan. 24. Since that match, CSUN has gone 0-8 against teams ranked in the AVCA Top-15, the last being a four-set loss to No. 2 BYU on Saturday. Five of the Matadors' six wins this season have come over teams unranked in the top-15.


Junior Travis Magorien continues up the assists ladder in the CSUN record books in 2014. With a team-high 555 assists this season and 1,692 in his career, Magorien has moved past Jeff Conover (2004-05) into fifth-place on the CSUN rally scoring era (2001-present) assists list while moving into ninth-place on the all-time list. Magorien is well within reach of eighth-place Dan Nash (1,950) and will most likely become the eighth setter in Matador history to reach 2,000 career assists.


This weekend opens up a season-long six-match road trip for the Matadors who will also travel to USC (Mar. 21) and Pepperdine (Mar. 22) next week followed by matches at UC Irvine (Mar. 26) and UC San Diego (Mar. 29) to close out the month of March. 


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