MATADORS THIS WEEK:
MATCH #22 (MPSF Match #19):
Cal State Northridge Matadors (7-14, 6-12 MPSF) at No. 8 UC Irvine Anteaters (14-9, 11-8 MPSF)
Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2014 - 7:00 p.m. PST
Bren Center - Irvine, CA
Live Stats: ucirvinesports.com
Streaming Video: ucirvinesports.com
In-game Twitter updates: @CSUN_InGame
MATCH #23 (MPSF Match #20):
Cal State Northridge Matadors (7-14, 6-12 MPSF) at UC San Diego Tritons (2-19, 1-18 MPSF)
Saturday, Mar. 29, 2014 - 7:00 p.m. PST
RIMAC Arena - La Jolla, CA
Live Stats: ucsdtritons.com
Streaming Video: ucsdtritons.com
In-game Twitter updates: @CSUN_InGame
Cal State Northridge (7-14, 6-12 MPSF) concludes its six-match road trip this week as the Matadors venture to eighth-ranked UC Irvine (14-9, 11-8 MPSF) Wednesday and UC San Diego (2-19, 1-18 MPSF) Saturday. CSUN, 1-3 so far on the road trip, looks to win at UC Irvine for the first time since 2009 and looks to continue its dominance at UC San Diego where the Matadors haven't lost since 1988. Northridge ran into a pair of sizzling hot teams last week, dropping identical 3-0 matches at No. 7 USC and No. 4 Pepperdine 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. 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.
• Eighth-ranked UC Irvine enters the week with an overall record of 14-9 while the Anteaters are eighth in the MPSF at 11-8. UCI currently holds the eighth and final spot in the MPSF Tournament by one-half game over Hawai'i (11-9). The Anteaters, 5-2 at home this season, split road matches at Cal Baptist (W, 3-0) and No. 3 BYU (L, 0-3). The loss at BYU snapped a five-match winning streak for UCI. Zack La Cavera, who had a match-high 18 kills in the first match between UCI and CSUN, leads the Anteaters averaging 3.51 kps. The Anteaters are hitting .301 as a team which ranks fourth in the conference. Wednesday's match is the 59th meeting all-time between the Matadors and UCI with CSUN holding a 33-25 edge in the series.
• UC San Diego (2-19, 1-18 MPSF) opens its week Thursday hosting No. 2 Long Beach State before entertaining the Matadors on Saturday. The Tritons claimed their first conference win last week, knocking off Cal Baptist in five at home. Mike Brunsting leads UCSD with 158 kills while Johl Awerkamp averages a team-high 2.87 kills per set. Saturday's match is the 75th meeting all-time between CSUN and UC San Diego with the Matadors holding a commanding 67-7 lead in the series. The Matadors won in straight sets (25-20, 25-21, 25-21) in the first meeting between the two teams on Feb. 19 at The Matadome.
Sophomore outside hitter Sam Holt continues to prove he's on his way to becoming a top hitter in the MPSF. Since sitting out CSUN's 3-0 loss at No. 2 UCLA on Feb. 14, Holt has piled up 157 kills over the Matadors' last 10 matches including a career-high 32 against BYU on Mar. 8. Over that span, the sophomore from Cincinnati, Ohio is averaging 4.62 kills per set while hitting a solid .326 on 350 attacks. For the season, Holt leads the Matadors with 10 matches in double figures including eight of his last 10 and he currently ranks 10th in the conference averaging 3.65 kps.
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 remarkable 17-year Matador career in Northridge's 3-2 win over 15th-ranked Ohio State on Saturday, Mar. 15. The victory gave the Matador boss his 250th career victory. Campbell, who now has a career record of 250-236 (.514), reached the 150, 200 and 225 career milestones over the last six seasons. 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.
The task would appear daunting but the Matadors are still alive for an MPSF Tournament berth. At 6-12 in the MPSF, CSUN trails a host of teams for the eighth and final spot in the postseason tournament. The Matadors would most likely have to win their six remaining conference matches and get some help from several teams. If CSUN can finish 12-12 they could conceivably catch Stanford (11-7), UCLA (11-7), UC Irvine (11-8) or Hawai'i (11-9). A win Wednesday against the Anteaters would be a great start to that goal. The Matadors also host UCLA on Apr. 3 to begin a stretch where CSUN plays three of its final four matches in The Matadome.
The Matadors will be looking for their third true road win of the season this week. CSUN, 2-6 in road matches, also has a neutral site win over No. 15 Ohio State at Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid. After this week, the Matadors will have just one regular season road match remaining, Apr. 10 at Long Beach State ... True freshman Justin Beskeen made his first collegiate start Saturday at Pepperdine. Beskeen is the fourth middle to start opposite Greg Faulkner this season. Faulkner has started all 21 matches while next to him Vaughn Wellenreiter has started 13 times, Brian O'Gorman has started five times, Leni Ma'ia'i has started twice and Beskeen once ... After posting double figures in digs just twice in his first 12 collegiate matches, redshirt freshman libero Bradley Sakaida now has double digit digs in four straight matches and six of CSUN's last nine matches. Sakaida, who had a career-high 20 digs against Pacific on Feb. 28, has moved into the top-10 in the MPSF averaging 2.22 digs per set.
Junior Travis Magorien continues up the assists ladder in the CSUN record books in 2014. With a team-high 682 assists this season and 1,819 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 now within 131 assists of eighth-place Dan Nash (1,950) and will most likely become the eighth setter in Matador history to reach 2,000 career assists.
Following road matches this week at UC Irvine and UC San Diego this week, the Matadors return home to host UCLA next Thursday, Apr. 3. UC Santa Barbara will also visit (Apr. 5) on the homestand before CSUN heads to Long Beach for its final regular season road match on Apr. 10. The Matadors then host the 49ers on Apr. 12 to complete the 2014 regular season.
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