No. 11 Matadors Head to No. 3 UCLA Before Taking On No. 5 UC Santa Barbara in Home Opener

Jan. 19, 2011

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MATADOR VOLLEYBALL THIS WEEK

Match #6

No. 11 Northridge (2-3, 1-1 MPSF) at No. 3 UCLA (5-1, 0-0 MPSF)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 7 p.m. PST

Pauley Pavilion - Los Angeles, Calif.

Live Stats: uclabruins.com (Gametracker)

Match #7

No. 5 UC Santa Barbara at No. 11 Northridge (2-3, 1-1 MPSF)

Friday, January 21, 2011 - 7 p.m. PST

The Matadome - Northridge, Calif.

Live Stats: GoMatadors.com (Gametracker)

FOR STARTERS
No. 11 Cal State Northridge (2-3, 1-1 MPSF) concludes its six-match, season-opening road swing at third-ranked UCLA (5-1, 0-0 MPSF) on Wednesday before hosting UC Santa Barbara (3-2, 1-1 MPSF) in its home opener on Friday. The Matadors split matches at top-ranked USC and No. 3 Pepperdine last week falling to the Trojans in straight sets before knocking off the Waves in five sets.

CAMPBELL OPENS 2011 SEASON AS CAREER WINS LEADER
Jeff Campbell is in his 14th season as head coach with 214 career wins, the most in Northridge men's volleyball history. With the Matadors' 3-0 win at Long Beach State on Jan. 15, 2010, Campbell became the winningest coach in CSUN men's volleyball history surpassing John Price (194-158) who coached the Matador men for 12 seasons. Campbell has averaged over 23 wins per season over the last three seasons and has led the Matadors to at least 18 wins every season since 2003.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET
Follow Matador volleyball online at the official online home of Cal State Northridge athletics, www.GoMatadors.com. All Matador home matches and a majority of road matches will be broadcast live via Gametracker. In addition, select home and road matches will feature live audio. Fans can also follow the Matadors at Twitter.com/gomatadors and YouTube.com/northridgeathletics. Fans can also view and print the Matadors 2011 media guide online at GoMatadors.com. The guide features player information, photos, statistics and a complete men's volleyball history.

MATADORS UP TO 11TH IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL
After two straight weeks ranked 12th in AVCA Coaches Top-15 Poll, the Matadors moved up one spot this week to 11th following a split at top-ranked USC and third-ranked Pepperdine. Northridge earned a season-high 84 points in this week's poll released Jan. 17. USC (2-0) received all 16 first-place votes this to retain the No. 1 spot for the second straight week with 240 points. Stanford (4-0) moved up two spots to second followed by UCLA (5-1) which jumped form eighth to third. BYU (3-2) slipped two spots to fourth and UC Santa Barbara (3-2) rounds out this week's top five. Pepperdine (2-2) fell from third to sixth this week followed by UC Irvine (3-3), Long Beach State (2-3), Penn State (2-1) and Ohio State (1-2). This week's top-15 is rounded out by the Matadors (2-3), Ball State (2-2), Hawai'i (0-3), Loyola-Chicago (1-0) and UC San Diego (2-3). Northridge has now been ranked in the AVCA Top-15 for 153 consecutive weeks. The last time the Matadors did not rank among the nation's top-15 was the first poll (Jan. 15) of the 2002 season.

MATADORS IN HOME OPENERS
Northridge heads into Friday's home opener against UC Santa Barbara with a 23-11 (.676) record in 34 home openers. The Matadors are well over .500 (21-13) all-time in conference home openers dating back to 1977. Northridge can improve to 17-18 in MPSF openers with a win over fifth-ranked UC Santa Barbara on Friday. With their straight set loss to UCSB on Jan. 7, the Matadors' record all-time in season openers slipped to 22-13 (.629).

NORTHRIDGE LOOKS TO BUILD ON SOLID HOME RECORD
The Matadors will take to the home court on Friday looking to build on the solid home record they have built over the last four years. Since the 2007 season, Northridge is an impressive 49-10 (.831) on The Matadome floor. In each of the last four seasons, the Matadors have won at least 11 matches at home and have not more than four. The 2009 CSUN team set the school record with 14 home victories while the 2008 squad (12-1) came within reach the school's best home winning percentage of .929.

BAKER, FAULKNER ASSUME STARTING ROLES
Sophomore John Baker (Racine, Wis.) and freshman Greg Faulkner (Los Angeles, Calif.) have assumed starting roles just five matches into the season. Baker, who took over as the starting opposite midway through the 2010 season and held the spot for much of the remainder of the season, knocked down 15 kills in his first start at Pepperdine on Saturday. Baker's total was his highest since also putting down 15 kills against BYU in last season's MPSF semifinal match. Baker now ranks second on the Matadors averaging 2.40 kills per game while hitting .385. Faulkner, who played in a reserve role in three of the first four matches this season, also started against the Waves and put down a season-high nine kills while hitting .400 in a season-high 20 attacks. The true freshman also recorded a season-high four blocks and one ace in the win.

RARE DOMINANCE OVER USC COMES TO AN END
Northridge had its seven-year, 17-match win streak over USC snapped in Wednesday's straight set loss. The Matadors had not lost to the Trojans since Feb. 11 of the 2004 season. Northridge pulled off the rare feat of defeating USC three times in one season in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2010. In each of those seasons, the Matadors took both regular season meetings than defeated the Trojans in the MPSF Tournament. Other remarkable numbers during the streak: CSUN won 51 sets over the 17 matches to just 11 for the Trojans and the Matadors swept USC seven times.

STORK CLOSES IN ON 3,400 CAREER ASSISTS
Junior setter Matt Stork (Topanga, Calif.) comes into this week's matches needing just one more assist to reach 3,400 for his Matador career. Currently in sixth place in Northridge history in career assists with 3,399, Stork needs just 132 helpers to move past Gary Reznick into fifth place. Stork, who has achieved his total playing in 254 sets, has started all 69 matches since arriving at CSUN from Crespi High School in 2009.

NORTHRIDGE NOTES
Head coach Jeff Campbell saw his career record against USC drop to 21-7 but saw his career record against Pepperdine improve to 5-27 ... Northridge's win at Pepperdine on Saturday was the Matadors' second win at Firestone Fieldhouse in their last 18 tries ... Freshman Cory Wagner (Carlsbad, Calif.) was the third true freshman to make an appearance for the Matadors in 2011. Wagner came off the bench against Pepperdine and contributed five kills (.286), two digs, one ace and one block ... Fellow true freshman Brandon Lebrock (Northridge, Calif.) continues his solid early season play as he had 11 kills against the Waves, the third consecutive match with double figures in kills for Lebrock. He currently leads the Matadors with three matches in double figures while sophomore Drew Staker has two matches in double figures ... By winning the first set at Pepperdine, the Matadors took the opening set of a match for the first time in the first five matches of the season. CSUN also out-blocked an opponent for the first time with 9.5 team blocks to 8.5 for the Waves ... The Matadors are being out-hit by a margin of .356 to .260 over the first five matches but are slightly better in two MPSF matches where CSUN trails .354-.276. The Matadors are out-serving their opponents by an ace margin of 25-18. Senior Tanner Nua (Palmdale, Calif.) leads CSUN with six aces while Lebrock is second with five. The Matadors have 82 service errors as a team, led by Lebrock's 22.

NORTHRIDGE (2-3, 1-1 MPSF) @ UCLA (5-1, 0-0 MPSF)
The Matadors and Bruins will meet for the 71st time on Wednesday with UCLA holding a 57-12-1 lead in the all-time series. UCLA won both matches last season which snapped a five-match win streak for Northridge. The Matadors have won seven of the last 12 matches between the two teams dating back to 2005. The third-ranked Bruins won all three matches at Hawaii's Outrigger Invitational last weekend, defeating Penn State (3-1), Ball State (3-1) and Hawai'i (3-0). Jeremy Casebeer leads UCLA in kills with 55 (2.39 kpg) while the Bruins are hitting .295 as a team.

UCSB (3-2, 1-1 MPSF) @ NORTHRIDGE (2-3, 1-1 MPSF)
The Matadors and Gauchos will meet for the 80th time on Friday with UCSB holding a 43-36 edge in the all-time series. The two teams met in the season-opener (Jan. 7) in Santa Barbara with the Gauchos posting a 3-0 win. The win snapped a nine-match Northridge win streak which dated back to 2007. The Matadors have won eight straight over UCSB in The Matadome. Seniors Jeff Menzel and Cullen Irons lead the Gauchos with 61 kills apiece with Irons averaging 3.81 kpg and Menzel 3.59 kpg. UCSB is hitting .314 as a team.

TO RECAP
Playing in a facility in which they have had little success over the years, 12th-ranked Northridge went into Pepperdine's Firestone Fieldhouse and upset the third-ranked Waves 25-19, 22-25, 16-25, 25-18, 15-9 on Saturday night. Sophomore John Baker, who earned his first start of the season at opposite, led CSUN with 15 kills while hitting .433 in 30 swings. Baker also added three digs and three blocks. Freshman Brandon Lebrock added 11 kills (.227), four digs and one ace while sophomore Drew Staker chipped in 10 kills (.400) and four blocks. Greg Faulkner also earned the start and contributed nine kills (.400), four blocks and one ace. Fellow freshman Cory Wagner, came off the bench for his first collegiate action, and put down five kills (.286) to go with two digs and one block. Matador setter Matt Stork dished out a season-high 50 assists in leading Northridge to a near season-best .315 (56-17-124) hitting clip. Libero Kaleo Baxter matched his season-best with eight digs.

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