NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge had three players named to the 2014 All-MPSF Team as junior Greg Faulkner and sophomore Sam Holt were named Honorable Mention while Bradley Sakaida was named to the seven-player All-Freshman Team as announced by the conference on Thursday, Apr. 17.
With three MPSF selections, CSUN had its most honorees since four Matador standouts were named all-conference in 2010.
Faulkner, who was an All-MPSF Freshman Team pick in 2011, had a solid season after battling through injuries over the past two seasons. The junior from Los Angeles (Westchester HS) led the Matadors in hitting at .430 which ranked fifth in the MPSF. He also pounded a career-high 219 kills to go with a career-best 92 blocks.
"Greg put up some really outstanding numbers for us," said CSUN head coach Jeff Campbell. "He's a guy who worked hard and has started to blossom into a great volleyball player in this league so obviously we're excited for him. He bounced back this season and really fought to be a good volleyball player, I'm really proud of his effort."
Holt, a sophomore from Cincinnati, Ohio (Purcell Marion HS), earned all-conference honors for the first time after enjoying a breakout season. He had two of the biggest offensive matches in the MPSF this season while leading CSUN in kills (319), attacks (735) and aces (21). He put down a conference season-best 37 kills in the Matadors' 3-2 upset over No. 9 UCLA on Apr. 3 and also had 32 kills against No. 2 BYU on Mar. 8. His kill and point total against the Bruins is the most by a conference player in four years.
"Sam really came into his own this season," said Campbell. "He's a young player in terms of experience so being good on a consistent basis was kind of his achilles heel. He was dominant player one match and the next he could struggle in passing which would affect his hitting a little bit. But Sam is going to be a really good player in this leage so we're excited about that."
Sakaida, a redshirt freshman from Oak Park (Oak Park HS), led the Matadors in digs with 185 and digs per set at 1.93. One of the top all-around players on the squad, Sakaida started at outside hitter in several matches to strengthen the CSUN passing.
"Bradley played libero for us roughly 80% of the time this year but is such a good player that we moved him to outside in some of our biggest matches of the year" said Campbell. "He's probably one of our best all-around players who can do almost anything on the court, I'm very proud of him.
"Having all three of these guys come back next year certainly bodes well for the future of this program," added Campbell.
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