Matadors Look For Road Wins at No. 8 UC Irvine, No. 12 UC San Diego This Week
Feb. 16, 2011
MATADOR VOLLEYBALL THIS WEEK
Northridge Matadors (3-9, 2-5 MPSF) at No. 8 UC Irvine Anteaters (6-8, 3-5 MPSF)
Friday, February 18, 2011 - 6 p.m. PST
Bren Center - Irvine, Calif.
Live Stats: Gametracker (GoMatadors.com)
Northridge Matadors (3-9, 2-5 MPSF) at No. 12 UC San Diego Tritons (6-8, 3-5 MPSF)
Saturday, February 19, 2011 - 7 p.m. PST
RIMAC Arena - La Jolla, Calif.
Live Stats: ucsdtritons.com
After a successful one-match homestand, Cal State Northridge (3-9, 2-5 MPSF) heads back on the road this week as the Matadors travel to eighth-ranked UC Irvine (6-8, 3-5 MPSF) on Friday and No. 12 UC San Diego (6-8, 3-5 MPSF) on Saturday. Friday's match in Irvine begins at 6 p.m. while Saturday's match is scheduled for 7 p.m. Northridge, unranked in this week's AVCA Poll, snapped its season-long, six-match losing streak with a five-set upset over second-ranked Long Beach State last Friday.
CAMPBELL OPENS 2011 SEASON AS CAREER WINS LEADER
Jeff Campbell is in his 14th season as head coach with 216 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 won his 195th match 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 REMAIN UNRANKED IN AVCA TOP-15 POLL
Despite knocking off the second-ranked team in the country in Long Beach State on Friday, Cal State Northridge actually lost votes this week to remain unranked in the AVCA Coaches Top-15 Poll released Feb. 14. The Matadors, who earned a season-high 84 points Jan. 17, earned a season-low 11 points in this week's poll down one point from last week. Northridge has now been unranked in consecutive polls for the first time since the 1999 season. The Matadors had been ranked in the AVCA Top-15 for 155 consecutive weeks prior to last week. USC (6-1) received 15 of 16 first-place votes this week to retain the No. 1 spot for the sixth consecutive week. BYU (10-3) remained second, Long Beach State (6-4) is third, UC Santa Barbara (8-5) fourth and Stanford (9-3) rounds out this week's top-five. Ohio State (8-2) remains sixth this week, followed by UCLA (7-7), UC Irvine (6-8), Pepperdine (4-5) and Hawai'i (5-6). This week's top-15 is rounded out by Penn State (9-3), UC San Diego (6-8), Loyola-Chicago (7-3), Lewis (8-3) and Pacific (6-7).
ANOTHER WIN STREAK ON THE LINE AT UC SAN DIEGO
With lengthy win streaks over UC Santa Barbara, Pacific and USC already snapped this season, the Matadors will put their longest current win streak on the line at UC San Diego on Saturday. Northridge carries a 37-match win streak over the Tritons into Saturday's match. The Matadors, who have not lost to UCSD since 1988, extended their dominance over the Tritons earlier this season when CSUN escaped with a hard-fought 29-31, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18 win. The Tritons pushed Northridge to five sets twice during the 2001 season and have extended the match to four sets three times in the last seven meetings.
GROWING PAINS FOR A PAIR MATADOR FRESHMEN
The Matadors have leaned heavily on their freshman class so far in 2011 and though the trio have largely been up to the task, two are beginning to show some wear. Brandon Lebrock (Northridge, Calif.) has been Northridge's leading hitter for much of the season but a recent slump has dropped him to third in kills per game (2.17). Since knocking down 12 kills at UCLA on Jan. 19, Lebrock has not reached double figures in the last six matches and has a total of 30 kills in those six matches, an average of 1.50 kills per game. His hitting percentage, which was as high as .252 on Jan. 21, has dipped to .171. Fellow freshman Cory Wagner (Carlsbad, Calif.), who had 13 kills while hitting .273 in his first two collegiate appearances, has 12 kills while hitting .132 in his last five matches.
STORK MOVES INTO FIFTH PLACE ON CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE CAREER ASSISTS LIST
With 47 assists against Long Beach State on Friday, junior setter Matt Stork (Topanga, Calif.) moved into fifth place on the Cal State Northridge career assists list. Stork, who surpassed 3,500 career assists with 24 helpers at No. 8 Penn State on Feb. 5, now has 3,557 career assists in 273 sets, an career average of 13.03 assists per game. Stork, who had his streak of 70 consecutive starts as the Matador setter snapped against UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 21, set a personal season-best with 1,626 assists (13.22 apg) as a sophomore in 2010. He had 1,588 assists (14.18) as a freshman.
ROAD STRETCH NEARLY COMPLETE
With road matches at UC Irvine and UC San Diego this week, the Matadors will conclude a stretch where they've played 10 of their 14 matches of the season on the road. Northridge, which is 2-6 on the road this season (including a 1-2 record on neutral courts), will play seven of its next eight matches at home where the Matadors are 1-3 in four matches.
PAIR OF MATADORS RANK AMONG MPSF'S BEST
A pair of Matadors statistically rank among the top-10 in the MPSF. Sophomore Drew Staker (Las Vegas, Nev.) and senior Kaleo Baxter (Kapaa, Hawai'i) both rank fifth in their respective categories. With an .833 attack percentage against Long Beach State, Staker improved his hitting percentage this season to a team-best .439. Baxter remains fifth in the conference in digs per game at 2.03.
Sophomore John Baker (Racine, Wis.) has provided a spark in two of the Matadors' three wins this season. After playing in a reserve role in the first four matches of the season, Baker earned his first start of the season at Pepperdine (Jan. 15) and responded with a team-high 15 kills while hitting .433. Unable to approach those numbers in his next several starts, he was again playing a reserve role when he came off the bench Friday against Long Beach State to put down eight kills while hitting .357 and providing a spark to his team in the five-set upset win ... Redshirt freshman Charlie Condron earned his first start since the season-opener when he started at libero against Long Beach State. Condron, who had two digs in four sets for the season, has seven digs in his last two matches, including a season-high four in the win over Long Beach ... Staker's .833 hitting clip against the 49ers in a career-high and he now has reached double figures in kills three times this season ... Fellow middle Greg Faulkner (Los Angeles, Calif.) matched his career-high with 10 kills against Long Beach and his 14.5 points in the match is a career-best ... Two of the Matadors three wins this season have come in five sets, while four of CSUN's five MPSF losses have been sweeps ... As a team, the Matadors rank last in the conference in five of the seven statistical categories. CSUN ranks as high as ninth in aces (0.95 sapg) and are 11th in digs (6.47 dpg).
NORTHRIDGE (3-9, 2-5 MPSF) @ #8 UC IRVINE (6-8, 3-5 MPSF)
The Matadors and eighth-ranked Anteaters will meet for the second time this season and 53rd time on Friday with Northridge holding a 33-19 edge in the all-time series. UC Irvine, which defeated the Matadors in four sets on Jan. 8 in Santa Barbara, has now won nine of the last 12 matches between the two teams. CSUN is 17-10 all-time against the Anteaters in Irvine. The Anteaters split a pair of conference road matches last week defeating No. 15 Pacific (3-0) before falling to fourth-ranked Stanford in five. Junior opposite Carson Clark leads UC Irvine in kills averaging 4.43 kpg which ranks third in the MPSF. Senior outside hitter Cory Yoder adds 3.44 kpg and is hitting .443 on the season. UC Irvine is hitting .340 as a team.
NORTHRIDGE (3-9, 2-5 MPSF) @ #12 UCSD (6-8, 3-5 MPSF)
Saturday's match between the Matadors and 12th-ranked Tritons will also be the second meeting between the two teams this season. Northridge topped UCSD in four sets on Jan. 7 in Santa Barbara to run its win streak over the Tritons to 37 straight. The Matadors, who are 62-6 all-time against UC San Diego, have not lost to the Trions since the 1988 season and are 31-4 in matches in La Jolla. Sophomore outside hitter Carl Eberts leads UCSD in kills with 146 while junior opposite Shane Veiga averages a team-high 3.09 kpg. The Tritons are hitting .259 as a team.
Drew Staker and Greg Faulkner each had a team-high 10 kills as Cal State Northridge came back from two sets down to pull off an improbable five-set win (11-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-22, 16-14) over second-ranked Long Beach State in an MPSF match Friday at The Matadome. Staker, who hit .833, did not have a hitting error in 12 swings and also added a pair of blocks and three digs. Faulkner hit .353 in 17 attacks and added five blocks (two solo) and one ace. John Baker and Dillon Auxier came off the bench to each put down eight kills with Baker hitting .357 to go with four digs and two blocks. Matt Stork dished out 47 assists and added two kills, one ace, seven digs and three blocks.
Following a pair of road matches this week, the Matadors return to The Matadome to host top-ranked USC (Feb. 23) and No. 9 Pepperdine (Feb. 25).
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