Feb. 22, 2011
MATADOR VOLLEYBALL THIS WEEK
No. 1 USC Trojans (8-1, 8-1 MPSF) at Northridge Matadors (4-10, 3-6 MPSF)
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 7 p.m. PST
The Matadome - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: Gametracker (GoMatadors.com)
Live Audio: usctrojans.com
No. 9 Pepperdine Waves (5-6, 3-6 MPSF) at Northridge Matadors (4-10, 3-6 MPSF)
Friday, February 25, 2011 - 7 p.m. PST
The Matadome - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: Gametracker (GoMatadors.com)
Live Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
After playing 10 of its first 14 matches on the road, Cal State Northridge (4-10, 3-6 MPSF) returns home this week to host top-ranked USC (8-1, 8-1 MPSF) and ninth-ranked Pepperdine (5-6, 3-6 MPSF). The Matadors and Trojans will square off Wednesday and CSUN and the Waves will tangle on Friday. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. in The Matadome. Wednesday's match against USC opens up a stretch where Northridge will play seven of its next eight matches in the friendly confines of home.
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 splitting two matches last week, Cal State Northridge lost additional votes this week to remain unranked in the AVCA Coaches Top-15 Poll released Feb. 21. The Matadors, who earned a season-high 84 points Jan. 17, earned a season-low eight points in this week's poll down three points from last week. Northridge has now been unranked in three 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 Feb. 7. USC (8-1), Northridge's Wednesday opponent, received 15 of 16 first-place votes this week to retain the No. 1 spot for the seventh consecutive week. BYU (11-4) remained second, UC Santa Barbara (9-6) moved into third with Stanford (10-4) fourth and Ohio State (10-2) fifth. Long Beach State (7-5) is sixth this week followed by UC Irvine (8-6), UCLA (8-8), Pepperdine (5-6) and Hawai'i (6-7). This week's top-15 is rounded out by Penn State (11-3), Loyola-Chicago (9-3), UC San Diego (6-10), Lewis (10-3) and Pacific (6-9).
NORTHRIDGE AGAINST NUMBER ONES
The Matadors will get their second opportunity this season to knock off a top-ranked team in USC on Wednesday. CSUN lost in straight sets to the No. 1 Trojans in the first chance on Jan. 12 at the Galen Center. USC will be the first number one team to visit The Matadome since the Matadors turned back then-No. 1 Stanford on April 2 of 2010. Northridge is now 4-21 in matches against teams ranked number one in the AVCA Top-15 poll dating back to the 2000 season. Prior to defeating Stanford last season, the Matadors had hosted three top-ranked teams since 2005, falling twice to UC Irvine (2006, 2007) and once to UCLA (2005).
BENCHMARK WIN FOR THE MATADORS AT UC SAN DIEGO?
Saturday's win at UC San Diego was important in more ways than one for the Matadors. The victory, CSUN's third in conference, kept the Matadors in the discussion for a possible MPSF Tournament berth. Northridge jumped from the MPSF cellar into a tie for eighth place with Friday's opponent, Pepperdine. The top eight teams qualify for the conference tournament which CSUN hasn't missed since the 2001 season. The win was also the Matadors' first on the road since defeating Pepperdine on Jan. 15 in Malibu and can possibly build some momentum as CSUN heads into a three-match homestand. Several Matadors recorded season and career-highs in the win as Matt Stork (Topanga, Calif.) had a career-best seven blocks (two solo) and a season-high 10 digs. Senior Kaleo Baxter (Kapaa, Hawai'i) posted a career-high 13 digs while Drew Staker (Las Vegas, Nev.) also stuffed a career-high seven UCSD attacks. Freshman Greg Faulkner (Los Angeles, Calif.) had season-highs of 11 kills and six blocks with two of those solo stuffs.
STORK DOUBLES UP AS HE MOVES UP CAREER ASSISTS LIST
Junior setter Matt Stork posted Northridge's first double-double this season as he recorded 42 assists and 10 digs at UC San Diego on Saturday. The double-double was the sixth of Stork's career and his first since Feb. 3, 2010 when he had 56 assists and 12 digs in the Matadors' 3-2 win over No. 2 USC. Stork also continued his ascent up 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 3,624 career assists in 278 sets, an career average of 12.94 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.
HOME STRETCH BEGINS WEDNESDAY
Last week's matches at UC Irvine and UC San Diego concluded a stretch where the Matadors played 10 of their first 14 matches of the season on the road. Northridge will play seven of its next eight matches at home where the Matadors are 1-3 in four matches in The Matadome. After starting 1-5 in MPSF play, Northridge has won two of its last three to improve to 3-6 in conference with five MPSF matches at home over the next three weeks.
With the 3-1 win at UC San Diego, the Matadors and head coach Jeff Campbell kept win streaks intact. CSUN, which had not lost to UCSD since the 1988 season, won its 38th straight over the Tritons. Campbell has still never lost to UCSD in 25 career matches ... With wins over USC and Pepperdine this week, the Matadors can post a winning record in February after posting a 2-7 record in January. CSUN is 2-3 in the month of February heading into this week's matches ... Brandon Lebrock (Northridge, Calif.) and Tanner Nua (Palmdale, Calif.) each bounced back with solid efforts against UCSD on Saturday. Lebrock, who has been battling illness of late, had 11 kills against the Tritons, the first time he reached double figures in kills since putting down 12 at UCLA on Jan. 19. Nua matched his season-high with 13 kills and also matched his season-high with 17 points ... The Matadors improved to a perfect 3-0 when they out-hit their opponents but are 1-10 when they are out-hit ... Staker and Lebrock are the only two Matador players to have started all 14 matches this season ... As a team, the Matadors hit .200 at UC Irvine and .177 at UCSD which dropped their team hitting percentage this season to .220. CSUN has committed 52 more hitting errors that its opponents and have 113 fewer kills.
#1 USC (8-1, 8-1 MPSF) @ NORTHRIDGE (4-10, 3-6 MPSF)
The Matadors and top-ranked Trojans will meet for the second time this season and 65th time in their history on Wednesday with USC holding a 37-27 edge in the all-time series. The Trojans snapped a streak of 17 straight CSUN wins with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-20 win at home on Jan. 12. The Matadors are 12-16 all-time against USC in The Matadome but have won the last eight matches between the two teams in Northridge. The Trojans swept a pair of road matches at Stanford and Pacific last week after falling to Pepperdine on Feb. 11 for their only loss. Senior opposite Murphy Troy leads USC in kills averaging 4.64 kpg which ranks second in the MPSF. Senior setter Riley McKibbin leads the MPSF in assists averaging 12.06 per game as the Trojans are hitting a conference-best .390 as a team.
#9 PEPPERDINE (5-6, 3-6 MPSF) @ NORTHRIDGE (4-10, 3-6 MPSF)
Friday's match between the Matadors and ninth-ranked Waves will be the second meeting between the two teams this season and 70th overall. Pepperdine leads 50-19 in the all-time series which dates back to 1978. Northridge topped the Waves in five sets on Jan. 15 in Malibu to end a string of four straight Pepperdine victories. The Matadors are 10-20 all-time against the Waves in The Matadome. Sophomore opposite Maurice Torres leads Pepperdine in kills averaging 4.11 which ranks fifth in the MPSF. The Waves are hitting .298 as a team.
After a disappointing road loss at No. 8 UC Irvine on Friday, CSUN bounced back to knock off UC San Diego in four sets (18-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-23) Saturday. Senior Tanner Nua also bounced back from a sub-par outing at UC Irvine by matching his season-high with 13 kills at UCSD. The opposite hit just .171 in a season-high 41 swings but did add two aces, four digs and four blocks. Freshman Greg Faulkner continued his consistent play of late with 11 kills (.353) and six blocks (two solo) while fellow freshman Brandon Lebrock had his best match in nearly a month with 11 kills and a season-best eight digs while hitting .304 in 23 attacks.
Following home matches with USC and Pepperdine this week, the Matadors will wrap up the three-match homestand against UCLA next Wednesday, Mar. 2. A single road match at UC Santa Barbara follows on Mar. 4 before CSUN returns for its longest homestand of the season beginning Mar. 9 with a non-conference match against Loyola-Chicago.
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