Matadors Wrap Up Road Trip at Cal Poly Before Hosting UC Irvine

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)

Match #18 (Big West Match #6):
Northridge Matadors (8-9, 2-3 Big West) at Cal Poly Mustangs (7-11, 2-3 Big West) 
Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011 - 7 p.m. PDT
Mott Gym (3,032) - San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Live Stats:
Live Video: BigWest.TV

Match #19 (Big West Match #7):
UC Irvine Anteaters (6-10, 1-4 Big West) at Northridge Matadors (8-9, 2-3 Big West) 
Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 - 7 p.m. PDT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, Calif.
Live Stats: (Gametracker)
Live Video: BigWest.TV


Looking to salvage the final match of a three-match road trip, Cal State Northridge (8-9, 2-3 Big West) travels to Cal Poly (7-11, 2-3 Big West) on Thursday before returning home to host UC Irvine (6-10, 1-4 Big West) on Saturday. Both matches are scheduled for a 7 p.m. first serve. The Matadors dropped the first two matches of the trip last week falling in four at Pacific and in three at UC Davis. Saturday's match against UC Irvine opens up a two-match homestand for Northridge which also hosts UC Riverside on Oct. 22.


All Matador home matches and conference road matches will be featured as part of the Big West live streaming package. Both matches this week will also feature live stats at The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring fans exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features into your home via the Internet. Now in its seventh year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in women's volleyball.


Sophomore Natalie Allen led the Matadors with 13 kills (.323) while freshman Casey Hinger added 12 kills but the Matadors opened their three-match road trip with a four-set loss at Pacific. Hinger also added a team-high seven blocks. Sam Kaul (.375) and Mahina Haina (.121) each chipped in nine kills for CSUN which wound up hitting .137 in the match. Libero Cindy Ortiz had a season-high 31 digs and setter Sydney Gedryn posted 46 assists, five kills, six digs and four blocks in the loss. At UC Davis, sophomore Mahina Haina had a match-high 17 kills and hit .433 but it wasn't enough as Cal State Northridge fell in straight sets (25-19, 26-25, 25-23) at Hickey Gym. Haina's 17 kills was her top hitting performance since Sept. 3 against Sacramento State. Her .433 hitting in 30 swings is also her best hitting night since hitting .533 against Marist on Sept. 2. Unfortunately no other CSUN hitter posted more than Natalie Allen's nine kills (.160). Allen also added seven digs while libero Cindy Ortiz had a team-high 11 digs. Sydney Gedryn and Sam Orlandini combined for 36 assists as CSUN hit .173 (37-19-104) as a team.


Thursday's match at Cal Poly will break up the two-way tie for sixth-place in the Big West as both the Matadors and Mustangs come in with 2-3 conference records. Despite dropping road matches at Pacific and UC Davis last week, CSUN still holds 7-6 record in road matches this season while Cal Poly is undefeated on its home court in three matches. Sophomore Kristina Graven paces the Mustang offense averaging 3.64 kps which ranks sixth in the Big West while sophomore Mahina Haina leads the Matador offense averaging 3.47 kps which is eighth-best in the conference. The Mustangs dealt CSUN a tough loss at Mott Gym last season coming back from two sets to one down to top the Matadors in the fifth set 15-12 ... On Saturday, Northridge looks for its second conference win at home as UC Irvine pays a visit. The Anteaters, tied with UC Riverside at 1-4 in the Big West, trail the Matadors and Cal Poly by one game. UCI has beaten CSUN seven of the last eight matches but the Matadors defeated the Anteaters in five (16-14 in the fifth set) last season at The Matadome. Sophomore Aly Squires leads UC Irvine averaging 3.47 kills per set which is tied with Haina for eighth-best in the conference.


Although she has played in just four sets this season, senior Sam Orlandini (La Cañada, Calif.) has added to her career assists total. Orlandini now has 2,652 career helpers (8.90 aps) which continues to rank third in Matador volleyball history. Orlandini needs 957 more assists this season to move past Alison Wool (3,608) and into second place on the all-time list behind Nadine Nickel (4,798). Orlandini is also within 20 aces from taking over 10th-place on the all-time service aces list. Junior Monica McFarland (Riverside, Calif.) needs 134 digs to move into 10th place on the all-time digs list. With 882 career digs, McFarland and fellow junior Cindy Ortiz (Los Angeles, Calif.) have a good chance to move into the top-10 in career digs. Ortiz now has 714 digs in her three-plus seasons. 


Road losses at Pacific and UC Davis dropped the Matadors to 1-2 in Big West road matches this season. However the conference road win at UC Riverside on Sept. 24 equaled the number of road wins for CSUN in each of the last three seasons. Big West road wins have been rare for the Matadors since joining the conference in 2001. Northridge is a combined 25-60 on the road since 2001 and the Matadors have finished 1-7 on the road in each of the last three seasons. CSUN has finished at or above .500 in conference road matches twice in 10 seasons, 4-4 in 2007 and 6-3 in 2004.


With 26 kills in two matches last week, sophomore Mahina Haina (Honolulu, Hawai'i) eclipsed the 196 kills she posted during her freshman season. Haina now has a team-high 215 kills this season and is averaging a team-best 3.47 kps while hitting .256 which is also a career-best. The Big West Player of the Week on Sept. 5 has led the Matadors in kills 11 times in 17 matches this season. Haina currently ranks eighth in the Big West in kills per set and her 17 kills at UC Davis on Saturday was her high total since also putting down 17 kills at Sacramento State on Sept. 3. Haina's season and career-high came against Weber State on Aug. 27 when she posted 28 kills while hitting .468.


After five Big West matches, the Matadors are out-scoring their opponents 308-274. CSUN also ranks at the top of the conference in assists (13.71 aps), kills (14.53 kps) and digs (18.88 dps) ... After winning a season-high four straight matches from Aug. 27-Sept. 3, the Matadors have since failed to string together consecutive wins. Northridge has not lost more than two straight matches all season, a stat the Matadors hope to keep intact against Cal Poly on Thursday ... CSUN's 3-0 loss at UC Davis was the first time in nearly a month that the Matadors had been swept. The last time was Sept. 12 at UCLA ... Libero Cindy Ortiz has served two aces in two of CSUN's last three matches. Ortiz had two aces against Utah in the second match of the season before matching that with two aces against both Cal State Fullerton and UC Davis ... Freshman Mariah Counts knocked down her first collegiate kill against Pacific on Friday ... Sydney Gedryn, Northridge's second leading blocker, failed to record a block at UC Davis, the first time this season she did not have at least one block.


In the 37th season of women's volleyball at Cal State Northridge, the Matadors reached the 700-win plateau with their 3-0 win over Fresno State on Sept. 3. Now with 704 wins in 36+ years averages out to roughly 19 wins per season which was largely achieved during the programs heyday as a Division II school (1975-1989). Under the direction of Walt Ker, the Matadors posted 401 wins from 1979-1992, an average of nearly 29 wins per season. Since moving up to the Division I level in 1990, Northridge has 297 wins, including 29 in Ker's first Division I season (1990). With Saturday's win over Cal State Fullerton, the Matadors will reached 250 conference wins in 30 seasons as a conference member. CSUN now has 66 Big West wins and combined with 47 Big Sky wins, 100 CCAA wins and 37 SCAA wins, CSUN stands at 250 all-time conference victories.


Matador head coach Jeff Stork shares his thoughts each week on the team, this week's opponents and other topics.

On last week's match at Pacific:

"The first set against Pacific we didn't play well at the start and yet played very well at the end. We came out in the second set and completely controlled it and were playing extremely well. We went up early in the third set and then were given opportunities at the end of the set and didn't convert. In the fourth set, the injury to Natalie Allen kind of took us out of it. If I was to evaluate it on the first three sets I thought we played pretty good volleyball and produced the amount of points we need to."

On winning the close matches:

"We're 3-0 in five-set matches so I know we can play at clutch times. This team is better than two or three of the Northridge teams we've had, we just need to find a way to win some of those tighter sets.

On the teams' offensive distribution:

"We still need one and half more scorers for each match. It seems like every match we play we have category leaders but we don't have the team-wide consistency that we need, it's somebody different each night. Mahi had 17 kills and was one of those category leaders against Davis, but we need to have some success with more of our hitters and stability with our point scorers. I actually thought Natalie did pretty well in that match."

On this week's matches:

"We have Cal Poly and UC Irvine coming up this week and they're both good teams. Cal Poly swept both Davis and Pacific at home so they're tough to beat there. Irvine beat Cal Poly at home so it doesn't get any easier for us this week, but that's the nature of the Big West."


The Matadors wrap up their mini two-match homestand Oct. 22 as the second half of the Big West season opens against UC Riverside. CSUN will then travel to Cal State Fullerton (Oct. 28) and Long Beach State (Oct. 29) before playing five of the final seven regular season matches at home.


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