Matadors Host UC Riverside Looking For Second Straight Win

Match #20 (Big West Match #8):
UC Riverside Highlanders (5-16, 2-5 Big West) at Northridge Matadors (9-10, 3-4 Big West) 

Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 - 7 p.m. PDT
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, Calif.
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors
Matador Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


Cal State Northridge (9-10, 3-4 Big West) hosts UC Riverside (5-16, 2-5 Big West) on Saturday not only looking to make it two straight wins overall but also two straight wins over the Highlanders this season. The Matadors topped UC Riverside 27-25, 25-16, 25-20 on Sept. 24 at UCR's Student Rec Center. Northridge is coming off its second consecutive home sweep after the Matadors blanked UC Irvine 25-18, 25-11, 26-24 last Saturday in The Matadome.


All Matador home matches and conference road matches will be featured as part of the Big West live streaming package. The UC Riverside match 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.


Cal State Northridge had hoped to salvage the final match of a three-match road trip but instead saw its losing streak reach a season-high three as the host Cal Poly Mustangs topped the Matadors 25-9, 23-25, 25-20, 25-15 Thursday night at Mott Gym. Sophomore Mahina Haina led Northridge with 10 kills (.080) while freshman Casey Hinger added nine kills in 20 errorless swings (.450). Senior Una Siljegovic came off the bench to chip in eight kills (.042) and Sam Orlandini posted her first double-double of the season and 24th of her career with 35 assists and 11 digs. Orlandini was one of four Matadors to record double figures in digs as Cindy Ortiz and Monica McFarland each had 14 and Natalie Allen had 12. On Saturday, the Matadors improved to 2-3 at home and posted its second consecutive sweep at The Matadome as the Matadors topped UC Irvine 25-18, 25-11, 26-24. Allen paced the Matadors offensively as she put down 11 kills (.250) while also adding a match-high 13 digs for her team-leading sixth double-double of the season. Haina added eight kills (.280) and a season-high five blocks. Britney Graff chipped in five kills (.188) and also reached double figures with 12 digs as the Matadors had 48 team digs to 41 for UCI. CSUN stifled the Anteater offense limited UCI to an .066 hitting clip while hitting .287 themselves. The Matadors also had four aces to one for the 'Eaters and out-blocked UCI 11.0-5.0.


The Matadors look to continue their dominance over the Highlanders since both teams joined the Big West in 2001. Northridge, which won in straight sets in Riverside on Sept. 24, has won 14 of the 20 conference matches between the two teams since the 2001 season. Even more impressive is that the Matadors have won eight of the 10 matches against UC Riverside in The Matadome over the past 10 seasons ... The two teams are separated by just one game in the conference standings as CSUN is 3-4 and UCR is 2-5. The Highlanders picked up their second Big West win last Saturday in shocking fashion, coming back from a two-set deficit to stun UC Santa Barbara on the road. UCR's other conference win came in five sets at home against preseason favorite Long Beach State ... Amanda Vialpando leads UCR averaging 3.96 kills per set which ranks second in the Big West. Mahina Haina paces the Matador offense averaging 3.38 kps which is good for eighth in the conference ... The Highlanders are 1-5 in road matches in 2011 while CSUN is 2-3 at the Matadome.


The Matadors are playing one of their typically challenging schedules in 2011. The 10 teams CSUN has lost to this season are a combined 122-78 this season, a winning percentage of .610. Only three of the 10 teams have losing records while the seven teams with winning records (Northwestern, USC, UCLA, BYU, Long Beach State, Pacific and UC Davis) are a combined 99-39 (.717) on the season. USC is ranked third this week with UCLA sixth and Long Beach State among the teams receiving votes.


CSUN's pair of freshmen middles, Casey Hinger and Sam Kaul continued their month-long solid hitting with an impressive two matches week. Hinger, who ranks second on the team hitting .261 this season, had 15 kills with just two hitting errors in 33 swings to hit .394 last week. Kaul, who leads the team in hitting at .276 for the season, is hitting .305 in the month of October and checked in with 11 kills and also had two errors in 22 attacks for a .409 hitting clip last week. The duo have combined for 229 kills in 565 swings with just 79 hitting errors this season, a combined .265 hitting percentage.


Saturday's match with UC Riverside marks Cal State Northridge's annual effort to increase breast cancer awareness. Now in their third season partnering with the Side-Out Foundation, the Matadors raised over $2,000 last season and hope to increase that total this season. Fans wearing pink to Saturday's match will receive free admission.


Senior setter Sam Orlandini came on for starter Sydney Gedryn in the opening set against Cal Poly last Thursday and went on to post her first double-double of the season with 35 assists and 12 digs. The double-double was the 24th of Orlandini's Matador career and she increased her career assists total to 2,687.


Through matches of Oct. 16, the Matadors rank in the top half of the NCAA women's volleyball RPI. With a 9-10 record, Northridge ranks 156th out of 327 schools this week. The Big West ranks among the top-10 conferences in the country again this season while five conference teams currently rank inside the top-100: Long Beach State (59th), UC Santa Barbara (62nd), UC Davis (69th), Pacific (80th) and Cal Poly (82nd).


The Matadors' next win will give them double figure wins for the fourth time in the last six seasons and 31st time in school history. Northridge has posted at least 10 wins six times under Jeff Stork highlighted by a 17-win season and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2004 ... Sophomore Mahina Haina took a career-high 51 swings at Cal Poly but only converted 10 of those into kills. With 626 attacks this season, Haina is on pace to approach teammate Natalie Allen's team-high 1,029 swings in 2010. Allen had the second-most kills ever by a Matador freshman with 363 ... In 19 matches this season, CSUN is averaging 12.67 kills per set compared to 12.10 for its opponents ... The Matadors are looking for consecutive wins for the first time since winning four straight from Aug. 27-Sept. 3.


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 the win over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 1st, the Matadors reached 250 conference wins in 30 seasons as a conference member. CSUN now has 67 Big West wins and combined with 47 Big Sky wins, 100 CCAA wins and 37 SCAA wins, CSUN stands at 251 all-time conference victories.


Saturday's match against UC Riverside concludes a brief two-match homestand for the Matadors who will play four of their next six on the road before wrapping up the regular season with a season-long three-match homestand.