Matadors Take on Wisconsin and James Madison at Long Beach Mizuno Invitational


Wisconsin Badgers (2-1) vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-1)

Friday, Aug. 31, 2012 - 5:00 p.m. PT
Walter Pyramid (4,200) - Long Beach, Calif.
Live Stats:
Streaming Video: None
Audio: (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors


James Madison Dukes (1-2) vs. Cal State Northridge Matadors (2-1)

Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 - 3:00 p.m. PT
Walter Pyramid (4,200) - Long Beach, Calif.
Live Stats:
Streaming Video: None
Audio: (Mark Schuermann - PBP)
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


Cal State Northridge (2-1, 0-0 Big West) continues tournament play this week as the Matadors head to a familiar place to take on some unfamiliar opponents. CSUN opens with Wisconsin, a team the Matadors have not played since 1987 and Northridge closes with James Madison, whom the Matadors have never met. CSUN is coming off its trip to the Wildcat Classic in Tucson, Ariz. that saw the Matadors drop their season opener to Utah Valley (3-1) before rallying to top Arizona (3-2) and sweeping Evansville (3-0). Following two matches in Long Beach, CSUN will open the home schedule with a Labor Day matinee against Idaho Monday at 12:30 p.m.


Friday's Cal State Northridge-Wisconsin will mark the 2012 debut of Matador women's volleyball live on the internet. Mark Schuermann will call the action for both Friday's match against Wisconsin and Saturday's match against James Madison. All Matador home matches and conference road matches will be featured as part of the Big West live streaming package. Both matches this weekend will also feature live stats (Gametracker) at BigWest.TV brings together live and on-demand video from each of the Big West's ten member institutions.  Now in it's eighth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women's volleyball.


Cal State Northridge wrapped up play at the Wildcat Classic with a dominating 25-22, 25-16, 25-14 victory over Evansville Saturday afternoon at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz. With the win, the Matadors took two of three matches at the Wildcat Classic to claim the tournament championship in its opening weekend of the season. On Friday, CSUN dropped a 3-1 decision to Utah Valley before coming back to knock off host Arizona in the nightcap in five sets. Natalie Allen (MVP), Sydney Gedryn and Casey Hinger all earned all-tournament honors for the Matadors.


For the second straight weekend, the Matadors take on a pair of teams they have a distinct lack of recent history against. Northridge has played Wisconsin one time in its history with the Badgers winning in three sets at the UC Davis Tournament in 1987. Wisconsin opened this season with 3-0 wins over USF and UCF before falling in four to Creighton at the South Florida Invitational. Ellen Chapman led the Badgers offensively averaging 4.40 kps while Wisconsin hit .232 as a team in three matches. James Madison is 1-2 this season after opening with a 3-0 win over Appalachian State before falling in four to both No. 16 Minnesota and Seton Hall at its own JMU Classic. Natalie Abel led the Dukes with 48 kills (4.36 kps) over three matches while James Madison hit .230 as a team. Long Beach State is hosting the tournament but the Matadors will not face the 49ers until Sept. 27 during Big West Conference play.


It was only a pair of votes, but Cal State Northridge read its name in the AVCA Division I Coaches Top-25 Poll for the first time since 2003. Following the 2-1 weekend and the Wildcat Classic crown, the Matadors were listed among the "Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots" section. The last time a Northridge team earned recognition in the national poll was 2003 when the Matadors earned four votes in the Oct. 27 poll and five votes in the Nov. 17 poll. The last time a Northridge women's volleyball cracked the top-25 was the final poll of the 1992 season when the 27-8 Matadors finished ranked 25th. The Big West has three teams represented in this week's poll as Hawai'i checks in at No. 6 while Long Beach State earned eight votes and was listed among teams receiving votes.


By winning two of its three matches, including a come-from-behind 3-2 win over host Arizona, Northridge claimed its first tournament championship since winning the UNLV Invitational last September. The Matadors won consecutive tournaments last season claiming the Sacramento State Invitational prior to the UNLV crown. In winning the Wildcat Classic, junior Natalie Allen was named MVP after averaging 3.08 kills per set and 3.00 digs per set while hitting .365 in 85 attacks. Junior setter Sydney Gedryn and sophomore Casey Hinger also nabbed All-Tournament nods. Gedryn averaged 10.67 assists per set over three matches while also hitting .366 in 41 attacks while Hinger hit .290 while averaging 2.33 kps and 1.17 blocks per set.


Since knocking off Oregon and Oregon State in the same season in 1994, the Matadors had gone 18 years before defeating another Pac-12 squad. CSUN's 3-2 victory over Arizona on Friday snapped a 28-match winless streak for the Matadors against Pac-12 competition dating back to a 3-0 loss to Stanford on Aug. 25, 1995. During that stretch Northridge has gone winless against UCLA (0-7), USC (0-5), Oregon (0-4), Arizona State (0-2), Oregon State (0-2), Washington State (0-3), Arizona (0-1), California (0-1), Colorado (0-1), Stanford (0-1) and Washington (0-1).


A trio of players made their CSUN debut last weekend including Marissa Boyd, Alia Casino and Cieana Stinson. Boyd, a redshirt freshman who has been a part of the program since 2011, came in to serve in the opener vs. Utah Vallet. Casino and Stinson are boh true freshman with Stinson providing offense off the bench with four kills in five swings (.600) over the three matches ... CSUN opened the season with two wins in its first three matches for the first time since 2009. In each of the last two seasons, the Matadors went 1-2 on the opening weekend ... After three matches, the Matadors are out-hitting their opponents by nearly 100 percentage points, .266-.176.


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

On the season opening Wildcat Classic:

"We had a very good weekend. We got better and made positive adjustments as the tournament wore on. The performance of each of our players got better which we're extremely happy about. The systems we've been practicing with during the course of the preseason are starting to show up more and more. The fact that we were able to comeback from being down 0-2 to Arizona shows a lot of character. The fact that we controlled Evansville from start to finish is also a good sign so we're happy with the 2-1 weekend."

On the play of junior Natalie Allen who was named tournament MVP:

"Natalie is a very smart player. She is probably the leader of the pack in terms of being multi-dimensional, she does so many things well. She's going to contribute to the success of the team in a bunch of different ways and in many ways she's a catalyst in the team performing well. She had a very good weekend even though she's not playing to the full extent of what she's able to do."

On taking on Wisconsin and James Madison in Long Beach this weekend:

"I know we've got two difficult matches this weekend. Wisconsin is a traditional top-25 team and have always had a strong talent base and are well coached. Playing in Long Beach, I hope we'll have a bit of an advantage as far as playing in that arena many times. James Madison is another good team that had a higher RPI than we did last season. Obviously that's not an indication of what will happen this year but I know that they're a good team and we know we can't afford to have a slow start against either of these teams."


The Cal State Northridge women's volleyball was picked to finish third in the 2012 Big West Preseason Coaches Poll as announced by the conference office on Aug. 7. The Matadors received a total of 72 points from the conference's head coaches, the most for a CSUN team in 12 years as a member of the Big West. The previous best preseason ranking for a Matador squad came in 2007 when Northridge was picked to finish fifth before finishing in a tie for fifth at the conclusion of the season. Hawai'i, ranked eighth in the AVCA national preseason poll, was picked to win the Big West after earning nine of 10 first place votes and 99 total points. Defending conference champions Long Beach State was second with 88 total points followed by the Matadors with 72. UC Santa Barbara (60) and Pacific (60) tied for fourth with Cal State Fullerton (46) sixth, Cal Poly (43) seventh, UC Davis (37) eighth, UC Irvine (31) ninth and UC Riverside (14) 10th. Cal Poly earned the lone remaining first place vote.


Now in the 38th 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, 2011. Now with 715 wins in 37+ 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 323 wins, including 29 in Ker's first Division I season (1990). With the win over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 1, 2011, the Matadors reached 250 conference wins in 30 seasons as a conference member. CSUN now has 73 Big West wins and combined with 47 Big Sky wins, 100 CCAA wins and 37 SCAA wins, CSUN stands at 257 all-time conference victories.