October 12, 2012

Matadors End Three-Match Road Trip at No. 8 Hawai'i

MATCH #20 (Big West Match #8):

Cal State Northridge Matadors (13-6, 4-3 BWC) at No. 8 Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine (14-2, 7-0 BWC)

Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 - 7 p.m. HST/10 p.m. PDT
Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) - Honolulu, Hawai'i
Live Stats: GoMatadors.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: GoMatadors.com 

Weekly Match Notes (PDF)


FOR STARTERS

Cal State Northridge (13-6, 4-3 BWC) will end its three-game road trip against the Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine (14-2, 7-0 BWC) in a Friday night contest that will start at 7 p.m. (HT)/10 p.m. (PT). Live stats, internet stream and radio broadcast of CSUN's season finale against the Rainbow Wahine will be available on GoMatadors.com. A Northridge victory will help the team avenge its conference-opening, five-set loss against Hawai'i, snap the Rainbow Wahine's current seven-match win streak, hand the hosts their first conference loss of the season and end the Matadors' 11-match skid against Hawai'i.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET

Courtesy of Hawai'i Athletics, Northridge women's volleyball fans can access live stats, internet stream and a radio broadcast of Saturday's road match at Hawai'i on GoMatadors.com. For all other CSUN women's volleyball events, Mark Schuermann will call the action for Northridge this season. All Matador home matches, and conference road matches will be featured as part of the Big West's live streaming package. 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.

TO RECAP

Northridge opened its conference-high three-match road trip last weekend with its annual journey through Central California to face the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos and Cal Poly Mustangs. Beginning in Santa Barbara last Friday, the Matadors entered The Thunderdome seeking their first road victory against the Gauchos since the 2007 season. Led by Britney Graff with eight kills in her 35 swings, the Matadors held their own against a Gaucho squad that was looking to rebound from its previous loss against No. 23 Pepperdine. Even though Monica McFarland and Cindy Ortiz recorded 14 scoops apiece, and Sam Kaul led all Matadors with four of her team's 14 total blocks, CSUN dropped all three sets to UC Santa Barbara by scores of 23-25, 22-25, 16-25.

With less than 24 hours to prepare for their next opponent, the Matadors took the floor at Mott Gymnasium the next night to face the Cal Poly Mustangs. After an exciting first set that ended in the Matadors' favor by a score of 32-30, Northridge pulled away in the latter portions of the next two sets to earn its seventh three-set sweep of the season. The final two set scores were 25-23 and 25-22. The win was CSUN's first in San Luis Obispo since Oct. 1, 2004. Sydney Gedryn led all Matadors with her .625 hitting percentage (6-1-8), with Casey Hinger ending her evening with a .450 clip (10-1-20) and a match-high 10 kills. Two Matadors recorded double-digit digs against the Mustangs; in addition to Britney Graff's match-high 14 digs, Alia Casino recorded 10. Kaul and Gedryn blocked five shots apiece; combined, the pair were responsible for half of their team's blocks in a contest that saw CSUN's starters combine efforts to record all 48 kills. 

SCOUTING THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT

The Matadors will look to avenge their conference-opening, five-set loss against the Rainbow Wahine when CSUN visits the Stan Sheriff Center this Friday in the final regular season matchup between the teams.

In their last meeting, the Matadors pushed Hawai'i to the brink, earning two match-point opportunities against a team that was competing in its first conference match since returning to the Big West after a 16-year hiatus. Unable to take advantage of its two match-ending opportunities, CSUN then survived two Rainbow Wahine match-points to force additional action in the decisive fifth set. Unfortunately for CSUN, Hawai'i was able to convert on its next match-point opportunity to defeat the Matadors in the first-ever match between the two inside the Matadome. Even though Hawai'i has emerged victorious in all seven of its Big West matches, the Matadors have come the closest to defeating the No. 8 Rainbow Wahine. Hawai'i leads the conference with its 14-2 overall and 7-0 Big West records, suffering both of its losses at home against California and UCLA. 

If the numbers are an indication, Friday's match will be a highly-competitive affair as both Cal State Northridge and Hawai'i are ranked in the top three in three statistical categories. The Rainbow Wahine possess a .268 hitting percentage, with Northridge occupying the third spot with its .215 clip. Sporting a conference-high 2.83 blocks/set average, only the Matadors stand between Hawai'i 2.67 b/s mark and the top spot in the Big West. Ranked second and third respectively, Hawai'i and Northridge have both been successful in minimizing damage sustained by allowing opponents to hit an average of .158 and .169. 

Two members from the Rainbow Wahine sit atop the Big West individual leaderboard; Kalei Adolpho leads all players with her .361 attack percentage, with teammate and current Big West Player of the Week Emily Hartong possessing a conference-high 4.27 kills per set average. CSUN's Casey Hinger and Adolpho lead their respective front-lines with 1.24 and 1.18 blocks/per match, totals that place the pair in second and fourth place in this statistical category. 

NORTHRIDGE AND THE NCAA

Northridge leads all Big West teams with its 2.83 blocks per set, ranking the Matadors 21st in the nation. CSUNs front-line will face one of its toughest challenges of the season as Hawai'i has also earned a national ranking with its .268 hitting 
percentage (23rd).

HOME SWEET HOME

Including the Matadors' current road swing, five of their seven contests scheduled throughout the month of October will take place on the road. However, seven of CSUN's final 11 contests will take place inside the Matadome. Returning to their home floor for both of next week's Big West contests against Pacific (Oct. 18) and UC Davis (Oct. 20), a season-long three-match homestand against Cal Poly (Nov. 1), UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 3) and Loyola Marymount (Nov. 10) awaits the Matadors in early November. CSUN will also end its 2012 schedule at home against UC Riverside (Nov. 21) and Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 24).

CAN YOU DIG IT?

CSUN's Sept. 29th match against UC Irvine was the fourth time this season that four Matadors ended their evening with double-digit dig totals. Led by Britney Graff with 18, Cindy Ortiz recorded 12 scoops, with Mahina Haina and Monica McFarland each ending with 11. In the Matadors' inaugural Big West road match of the season at Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 21), Ortiz recorded a match-high 21 digs, followed by McFarland (20), Graff (11) and Alia Casino who earned 12 digs to record her first double-dig match in Northridge colors. Other quadruple-double dig matches include efforts from McFarland (18), Graff (12), Sydney Gedryn (11) and Ortiz (10) vs. James Madison (Sept. 1) at the Long Beach Mizuno Classic, and totals turned in by Ortiz (20), Gedryn (15), Graff (13) and Natalie Allen (12) at Arizona (Aug. 24) in CSUN's second match at the Wildcat Classic. The Matadors earned a win in three of those four matches, their meeting against the Anteaters is the lone exception.

TWO OF A KIND

Even though the result earned by CSUN last Saturday was not the outcome the team desired, the Matadors' still had a chance to end its last two-match homestand against the Anteaters with a victory by capturing the third set thanks to the efforts of Britney Graff and Mahina Haina. In that match Graff led all Matadors with 14 kills, followed by Haina's 10. Combined, the duo were responsible for 45 percent of CSUN's points scored. Also finishing with 18 and 11 digs respectively, the pair each finished with a double-double. That was Graff's third of the season, 16th of her career, and Haina's first-ever double-double as a Matador.

MATADORS NOTCH 700TH PROGRAM VICTORY, 250TH CONFERENCE WIN

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 722 wins in 37+ years, the program is averaging roughly 19 wins per season, a figure that was largely influenced throughout the program's 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 328 wins, including 29 in Ker's first Division I season (1990). 

With a win over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 1, 2011, the Matadors reached 250 conference wins in 30 seasons as a conference member. CSUN has 75 Big West wins; combined with 47 Big Sky wins, 100 CCAA wins and 37 SCAA wins, CSUN stands at 259 all-time conference 
victories. 

MATADORS PICKED THIRD IN BIG WEST PRESEASON POLL

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.

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