March 1, 2011
MATADOR VOLLEYBALL THIS WEEK:
No. 8 UCLA Bruins (9-9, 4-8 MPSF) at Northridge Matadors (4-12, 3-8 MPSF)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - 7 p.m. PST
The Matadome - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: Gametracker (GoMatadors.com)
Live Audio: GoMatadors.com (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
Northridge Matadors (4-12, 3-8 MPSF) at No. 4 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (10-7, 8-6 MPSF)
Friday, March 4, 2011 - 7 p.m. PST
The Thunderdome - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Live Stats: Gametracker (ucsbgauchos.com)
Live Audio: None
Looking to wrap up a three-match homestand on a winning note, Cal State Northridge (4-12, 3-8 MPSF) hosts the eighth-ranked UCLA Bruins (9-9, 4-8 MPSF) Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Matadors, winless on the homestand after falling to No. 1 USC and No. 9 Pepperdine last week, close the week with a match Friday at fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara (10-7, 8-6 MPSF). CSUN has now dropped two straight matches after winning two of their previous three.
CAMPBELL IN HIS 14TH SEASON AS THE MATADOR HEAD COACH
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.
NUA LOOKS FOR STRONG FINISH TO SENIOR SEASON
After posting double figures in kills once in the first nine matches of the season, senior opposite Tanner Nua (Palmdale, Calif.) has now reached double figures four times in his last six matches. With 13 kills against Pepperdine on Saturday, Nua matched his season-high for kills and came within one swing of matching his season-high in attacks. In his final season, the senior has taken over as the team leader in kills per game (2.55) and is second with 107 kills. Nua, who also owns the team lead in aces with 13 after serving a pair last week, is now just six aces away from the Northridge career top-10. With 84 aces in his Matador career, six more will forge a tie with Chad Strickland and Tom Ribarich who currently share ninth place with 90.
MATADOME WOES CONTINUE
Home losses to top-ranked USC and ninth-ranked Pepperdine last week dropped the Matadors to 1-5 on The Matadome floor this season. To make matters worse, CSUN has been swept five times, while the Matadors have won just three sets and have been outscored in points 364.5 to 276.0. Northridge is typically a strong hitting team at home but the Matadors are hitting just .207 at home compared to .214 on the road. Northridge had lost a total of six home matches in the last three seasons combined (three in 2010, two in 2009 and one in 2008).
WINS VS. LOSSES
The team numbers in the four Matador wins vs. the 12 losses are fairly staggering. When CSUN wins, the team averages 11.61 kills per game while hitting .247. Setter Matt Stork is averaging 10.28 assists per game in the four wins but that number drops to 8.76 in the 12 defeats. The team hitting percentage drops to .204 and the Matadors average 10.71 kills per game. Blocking is also a factor as CSUN averages 2.53 blocks per game (13 solo blocks) in four wins and 1.74 (13 solo blocks) in 12 losses. In the four match wins, Nua is averaging a team-high 3.30 kills per game while Brandon Lebrock averages a team-best 2.34 kills per game in 12 losses.
STORK CONTINUES UP CAREER ASSISTS LIST
Junior setter Matt Stork continues his ascent up the Cal State Northridge career assists list moving within 145 assists of Travis Bluemling and fourth place. Stork, who surpassed 3,500 career assists with 24 helpers at No. 8 Penn State on Feb. 5, now has 3,688 career assists in 286 sets, an career average of 12.90 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. Stork posted Northridge's first double-double this season as he recorded 42 assists and 10 digs at UC San Diego. 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.
The growing pains the Matadors are experiencing this season are a direct result of the teams' lack of experience. Losing five senior starters has resulted in Jeff Campbell going primarily with a lineup consisting of three true freshmen, one sophomore, one junior, one second-year senior and one four-year senior. That group came into the 2011 season with a combined 176 matches of experience and 127 career starts with 126 of those starts coming from two players (Stork - 64, Nua - 62).
The last time the Matadors dropped as many as five home matches was in 2005 when CSUN finished 10-5. The Matadors' worst home record in the 35 seasons of men's volleyball was 1999 when CSUN finished 2-11 ... With losses to USC and Pepperdine last week, the Matadors finished 2-5 in February after posting a 2-7 record in January ... Brandon Lebrock missed his first match of the season against USC. The freshman, who had started all 14 matches prior to USC, came off the bench for the Matadors against Pepperdine ... Drew Staker tied his season-high with one ace against Pepperdine, the sixth different team he has an ace against this season ... As a team, the Matadors hit .256 against USC and .153 vs. Pepperdine which dropped their team hitting percentage this season to .218. CSUN has committed 57 more hitting errors that its opponents and have 131 fewer kills.
#8 UCLA (9-9, 4-8 MPSF) @ NORTHRIDGE (4-12, 3-8 MPSF)
The Matadors and eighth-ranked Bruins will meet for the second time this season and 72nd time in their history on Wednesday with UCLA holding a commanding 58-12-1 lead in the all-time series. The Bruins won this season's first meeting in four sets on Jan. 19 and have now won three straight after CSUN won five straight during the 2008-2009 seasons. The Matadors are 4-26 all-time against UCLA in The Matadome. The Bruins split a pair of road matches at Stanford and Pacific last week falling to the Cardinal in four before sweeping the Tigers. Junior Weston Dunlap leads UCLA in kills averaging 2.61 kpg while hitting .490 which ranks second in the MPSF. Gonzalo Quiroga adds 2.44 kpg as the Bruins are hitting .304 as a team.
NORTHRIDGE (4-12, 3-8 MPSF) @ UCSB (10-7, 8-6 MPSF)
Friday's match between the Matadors and fourth-ranked Gauchos will be the third meeting between the two teams this season and 81st overall. UCSB leads 44-36 in the all-time series which dates back to 1978. The Gauchos topped the Matadors in straight sets in the season-opener on Jan. 7 and then swept CSUN in its home opener on Jan, 21. The Matadors are 14-26 all-time against the Gauchos in Santa Barbara. Senior Cullen Irons leads UCSB in kills averaging 3.93 which ranks seventh in the MPSF. Fellow senior Jeff Menzel adds 3.82 kpg while the Gauchos are hitting .337 as a team.
Senior Tanner Nua knocked down a match-high 13 kills but Cal State Northridge fell at home for the fifth time in six matches as ninth-ranked Pepperdine swept the Matadors 25-21, 25-22, 25-21 Friday at The Matadome. Nua, who nearly matched his season-high with 40 swings, had a match-high 13 kills but was held to a .150 hitting clip. The senior also had one of CSUN's three aces and had a hand in three blocks. Sophomore Dillon Auxier was also effective for the Matadors as he put down eight kills while hitting .333 in 15 attacks. Auxier also contributed a pair of blocks including his third solo stuff of the season.
Following Friday's match at UC Santa Barbara, the Matadors return home to begin a season-long four-match homestand Mar. 9 against Loyola-Chicago. Another non-conference match against Harvard on Mar. 12 precedes a two-match series with second-ranked BYU on Mar. 18-19.
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