Matadors Tabbed Fourth in MPSF Preseason Men's Volleyball Poll

Dec. 8, 2008

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WOODLAND, Calif. - Cal State Northridge, coming off one of the most successful seasons in its men's volleyball history, was picked to finish fourth in the 2009 MPSF men's volleyball preseason poll released on Monday, Dec. 8.

The Matadors, who finished third in the MPSF last season with a 17-5 conference record, earned a pair of first place votes and 84 points overall to come in just behind Pepperdine (104 pts.) and UCLA (104) and Long Beach State (87). Northridge won 23 matches last season before falling to Brigham Young in the 2008 MPSF Tournament semifinals.

This season, the Matadors return four starters and 11 letterwinners, including 2008 First Team All-American Eric Vance. The outside hitter from Camarillo, Calif., will be the lone senior on the 2009 roster. Other returning starters include 2008 All-MPSF Honorable Mention junior middle blocker Kevin McKniff, junior outside hitter Mike Gaudino and junior libero Ali'i Keohohou. After playing sparingly as a freshman, sophomore Tanner Nua looks to take over at the opposite/right side hitter spot in 2009.

Northridge opens the 2009 season on Jan. 9 at the UCSB/Elephant Bar Invitational.

Complete release courtesy of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation

In the 2009 MPSF Men's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll, Pepperdine and UCLA collected 104 points along with four and two first-place votes respectively to split the No. 1 ranking. The Waves won the MPSF Tournament Championship last year after finishing tied for fourth in the regular season, and received an automatic bid to the NCAA Final Four. The 2008 national runner-up returns two-time first-team All-American Paul Carroll. The Bruins, who tied the Waves for fourth last year, return all but their libero including all-conference hitters Sean O'Malley and Garrett Muagututia. Long Beach State checks in at No. 3 with 87 points and a pair of first-place votes. The 49ers won the MPSF regular season and were the at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Cal State Northridge placed fourth with two top rankings, while UC Irvine placed fifth with one. Only one point behind the Anteaters was USC, also with one first-place vote. Stanford and BYU placed seventh and eighth. Hawaii, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and Pacific completed the votes. All told, six different teams received at least one top vote in the poll. The top eight finishers in the conference advance to the MPSF Playoffs. The '09 season begins Wednesday, Jan. 7, while a pair of tournaments in Hawaii and Santa Barbara will be held that weekend.

Rank, Team, Points (First-Place Votes), 2008 Record: 2008 MPSF Finish:

1T, Pepperdine, 104 (4), 17-11 overall; 12-10 MPSF #4T/NCAA-2nd

1T, UCLA, 104 (2), 17-14 overall; 12-10 MPSF #4T/Quarterfinal

3, Long Beach State, 87 (2), 23-7 overall; 18-4 MPSF #1T/NCAA Semis

4, Northridge, 84 (2), 23-7 overall; 17-5 MPSF #3/MPSF Semi-Final

5, UC Irvine, 80 (1), 16-15 overall; 11-11 MPSF #7/Quarterfinal

6, USC, 79 (1), 13-16 overall; 10-12 MPSF #8/Play-in

7, Stanford, 76, 17-11 overall; 12-10 MPSF #4T/Quarterfinal

8, BYU, 70, 25-5 overall; 18-4 MPSF #1T/MPSF-2nd

9, Hawai'i, 41, 11-16 overall; 8-14 MPSF #9

10, UC Santa Barbara, 28, 10-17 overall; 7-15 MPSF #10

11, UC San Diego, 26, 10-19 overall; 6-16 MPSF #11

12, Pacific, 13, 4-24 overall; 1-21 MPSF #12


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