Matadors' Regular Season Concludes Friday Against Air Force

Match #29:

Air Force Falcons (3-26, 0-14 Mountain West) at Northridge Matadors (15-13, 9-7 Big West) 

Friday, Nov. 25, 2011 - 12:00 p.m. PST
The Matadome (1,600) - Northridge, Calif.
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: (Mark Schuerman - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


Cal State Northridge (15-13, 9-7 Big West) plays a rare non-conference season finale this Friday, Nov. 25 as the Matadors host Air Force (3-25) at noon. Northridge finished up the Big West season last week with a split against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly to earn sole possession of third-place in the conference standings. The last time the Matadors concluded the regular season with a non-conference match was 2007 when CSUN hosted Fairfield and Idaho in the Fremont Investment & Loan Invitational at The Matadome.


All Matador home matches and conference road matches will be featured as part of the Big West live streaming package. Friday's match will also feature live stats (Gametracker) 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.


Down two sets, Cal State Northridge staged an impressive comeback only to come up short in the fifth and deciding set as visiting UC Santa Barbara defeated the Matadors 25-21, 25-16, 17-25, 16-25, 15-13. Three Matadors reached double figures in kills led by sophomore Natalie Allen's co-match-high 15 (.265). Allen also tied for team-high honors in digs with 19 for her 10th double-double of the 2011 campaign. Freshman Casey Hinger added 12 kills (.321) and sophomore Mahina Haina chipped in 11 kills (.143). Haina also set a career-high with four aces. On Saturday, Cal State Northridge celebrated its 2011 senior night with an impressive 25-17, 25-21, 25-19 sweep over visiting Cal Poly. Prior to the match, the Matadors honored their two seniors, Sam Orlandini and Una Siljegovic and CSUN responded with one of its most impressive outings of the season. Siljegovic's kill on match point gave the senior a team-high 12 for the night as three other CSUN hitters notched 11 kills apiece. Freshman Casey Hinger capped a solid conference season with 11 kills with just one error in 20 swings to hit .500. Sophomore Mahina Haina also had 11 kills and hit well checking in at .375 while fellow sophomore Natalie Allen chipped in 11 kills (.308) as well. 


With conference seasons and postseason tournaments concluded, the Matadors and Falcons will play Friday looking to cap the 2011 on a winning note. Despite falling to UC Santa Barbara in five tough sets last Friday, the Matadors regrouped to dominate Cal Poly and claim third place in the Big West. Air Force (3-26) saw its losing streak reach 20 straight after falling to Colorado State in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament and then losing a 25-9, 25-6, 25-10 decision at No. 18 Pepperdine on Tuesday. Northridge and Air Force have not met since the 1989 season when the Matadors topped the Falcons in four sets. The only win for Air Force in the four-match series came in 1983 at the Div. II National Championships in Florida.


Sophomore Mahina Haina continues to lead the Matadors in kills averaging 3.32 kps which ranks ninth in the Big West. Freshman Casey Hinger is the conference's ninth-leading hitter at .288 and also ranks fourth in the Big West in blocking at 1.14. Setter Sydney Gedryn is CSUN's assist leader (10.44 per game) which is fifth in the Big West and Gedryn also ranks third in aces (0.33). Sophomore opposite Cami Richan and freshman middle Ayesha Hein pace the Air Force offense averaging 3.00 and 2.30 kps respectively while the Falcons are hitting .128 as a team.


With Saturday's win over Cal Poly, the Matadors posted their ninth Big West win, the most by a Northridge team since finishing 11-7 in 2004. The third-place conference finish is also the best finish for the Matadors since placing second in 2003. With a victory over Air Force on Friday, Northridge can reach 16 wins in a season for the first time since 2006 and for the fourth time since 2003.


Cal State Northridge women's volleyball reaped the benefits of a hugely successful 2011 season as the Matadors had four players named to the All-Big West Conference Team while head coach Jeff Stork was named Coach of the Year and Casey Hinger was named Freshman of the Year. The Matadors, who were picked to finish eighth in the Big West Coaches Preseason Poll in August, finished alone in third-place with a 9-7 conference record, the most Big West wins for a Northridge team since winning 11 in 2004. With Hinger, sophomore opposite Natalie Allen, sophomore setter Sydney Gedryn and sophomore outside hitter Mahina Haina all earning All-Big West accolades, Northridge had its most players recognized since 2006. Allen, Gedryn and Hinger all were named to the first team while Haina was received honorable mention. It marked the first time in Cal State Northridge's Division I era (1990-present) that the Matadors had three players named to their conference's First Team.


With 45 assists against Cal Poly on Saturday, senior Sam Orlandini further solidified her hold on third-place on the Cal State Northridge career assists list. Orlandini now has 2,745 career helpers with one match remaining. Several other Matadors are closing in on the top-10 in CSUN history this season. Junior Monica McFarland has 976 career digs which puts her within 39 digs from cracking the CSUN top-10 and 24 from 1,000. Fellow junior Cindy Ortiz currently has 890 career digs which is 125 digs away from the top-10. With 442 digs this season, Ortiz ranks seventh in the CSUN season top-10. Ortiz already holds down the sixth spot after scooping up 444 digs in 2010. Sophomore setter Sydney Gedryn currently has 1,180 career assists and is now 259 helpers away from the career top-10 in assists.


Through matches of Nov. 21, the Matadors continue to move up in the NCAA women's volleyball RPI. Last week, CSUN ranked 118th out of 327 Division I schools and after splitting matches against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly last week, the Matadors moved up to a season-high 112th. The Big West ranks among the top-10 conferences in the country again this season while four conference teams currently rank inside the top-100: Long Beach State (44th), UC Santa Barbara (56th), Pacific (87th) and UC Davis (96th).


The Matadors' loss to UC Santa Barbara was their first five-set loss this season. CSUN came in unbeaten in four five-set matches this season having beaten Weber State, Eastern Washington, UNLV and UC Riverside. The UCSB match was also the first loss for the Matadors this season when they have out-hit their opponent. Northridge was a perfect 15-0 this season when winning the hitting battle and out-hit the Gauchos .199-.166 but fell in five sets ... The weekend did have some good news for the Matadors however as CSUN snapped a 12-match losing streak to Cal Poly with Saturday's 25-17, 25-21, 25-19 win.