November 5, 2013

Road Trip Sends 23rd-Ranked Matadors to UC Irvine, Long Beach State

MATADORS THIS WEEK:

MATCH #24 (Big West Match #11):

No. 23 Cal State Northridge Matadors (19-4, 9-1 Big West) at UC Irvine Anteaters (11-12, 2-7 Big West)

Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PST
Crawford Court (800) - Irvine, CA
Live Stats: ucirvinesports.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: none
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors 


MATCH #25 (Big West Match #12):

No. 23 Cal State Northridge Matadors (19-4, 9-1 Big West) at Long Beach State 49ers (12-10, 5-4 Big West)

Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 - 7:30 p.m. PST
Walter Pyramid (4,200) - Long Beach, CA
Live Stats: longbeachstate.com
Streaming Video: BigWest.TV
Audio: longbeachstate.com
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors 


Weekly Match Notes  


FOR STARTERS

Cal State Northridge (19-4, 9-1 Big West) heads back on the road for its second-to-last road trip of the regular season as the 23rd-ranked Matadors travel to UC Irvine (11-12, 2-7) and Long Beach State (12-10, 5-4 Big West) this week. CSUN, winners of nine of its last 10 matches, takes on the Anteaters at Crawford Court Friday at 7 p.m. and will cap the week with a 7:30 match against the 49ers at Walter Pyramid.


NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET

Both matches will feature live stats and will have live video stream at BigWest.TV. Saturday's match at Long Beach State will have an audio broadcast at longbeachstate.com. All Matador home matches and conference road matches will be featured as part of the Big West 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 ninth year, BigWest.TV covers Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features, including every home and conference contest in women's volleyball.


TO RECAP

In its first match as a ranked team, Mahina Haina and Casey Hinger combined for 22 kills as Northridge swept the visiting Cal State Fullerton Titans 25-11, 25-16, 25-22 on Thursday. Both Hinger and Haina hit a high percentage as Hinger hit .375 on 24 attacks and Haina connecting at a .360 clip on 25 swings. Hinger also served all three of the Matador aces to go with seven blocks. Natalie Allen narrowly missed her 11th double-double of the season as the junior opposite added eight kills, 11 digs, four assists and four blocks. On Saturday, Cal State Northridge improved to 7-0 on its home court as the 24th-ranked Matadors swept the visiting UC Riverside Highlanders Saturday behind 16 kills from Hinger and 14 from Haina. Hinger and Haina both proved virtually unstoppable as did most of the CSUN offense. Hinger connected for a match-high 16 kills in 19 errorless swings to hit an impressive .842. Haina wasn't far behind as the senior had 14 kills in 23 errorless attacks to hit .609. As a team, the Matadors hit a season-high .455 committing just six hitting errors in the match. Sydney Gedryn and Steffi Miller shared setting duties as Miller handed out 19 while Gedryn had 16. The two also combined for five blocks and four kills.


STORY LINES

• With convincing home wins over Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside last week, Cal State Northridge moved up one spot to No. 23 in the AVCA Coaches Top-25. The Matadors received 196 points this week, the highest total for a CSUN squad in school history. Last week, CSUN moved into the AVCA Top-25 for the first time since 1992 after ranking 24th with 135 points. Northridge has now been ranked or has received votes in 10 straight AVCA Top-25 polls for the first time in school history.

• With just six matches remaining in the regular season, this week's road trip to UC Irvine and Long Beach State is crucial if the Matadors are able to separate themselves in the conference standings. Heading into this week, CSUN (9-1) holds a one-half game lead over second-place UC Santa Barbara (8-1) and a two-game lead over third-place Hawai'i (7-3). The Gauchos host the 12th-ranked Rainbow Wahine in their only match of the week while Hawai'i also travels to Cal Poly. 

• Friday's match will be the 47th meeting all-time between the Matadors and UC Irvine with the two teams splitting the first 46 matches. The Matadors won the season's first meeting in four sets at The Matadome (Oct. 12) which snapped a string of two-straight Anteater wins. Saturday's match at Long Beach State is the 33rd meeting between the two schools with the 49ers leading 22-10 in the series. CSUN's 3-1 win on Oct. 10 gave the Matadors three straight wins over Long Beach for the first time in the 35-year history of the series.


ALLEN INCHES CLOSER TO CSUN 1,000 KILLS CLUB, HAINA CONTINUES TO CLIMB THE LADDER

Junior Natalie Allen is on track to become the second Matador in 2013 and 10th player all-time to reach 1,000 career kills. Allen heads into this week's matches with 959 career kills after putting down 15 kills in two matches last week. Earlier this season, senior Mahina Haina became the ninth member of the exclusive group of CSUN hitters and is in seventh place on the all-time Cal State Northridge kills list with 1,110. Haina ranks sixth in school history with 3,104 total attacks and is just seven attacks away from passing Nancy Nicholls into fifth place on the all-time list.


MATADORS CONTINUE HISTORIC START 

With a 19-4 record, the 2013 Matadors have equaled the 1984 and 1986 CSUN teams for the best record after 23 matches in school history. Walt Ker's 1984 squad also was 19-4 on their way to a 39-9 overall record and Ker followed that up in 1986 with another 19-4 start on the way to finishing 37-6. Since joining the NCAA Div. I ranks in 1990, Northridge's previous best 23-match stretch came in its first season (1990) when Ker led the Matadors to an 18-5 start. The Matadors' best record after 23 matches in Jeff Stork's 11 previous seasons was 15-8 in 2003, 2006 and 2012.


HINGER ON PACE FOR RECORD-SETTING SEASON

Junior Casey Hinger, who is hitting a team-high .343 through 23 matches, is on pace to shatter the CSUN rally scoring era (2001-present) record for season hitting. Darla Donaldson currently holds the top spot at .302 while Kathleen Dixon holds the all-time record after hitting .394 in 1989. Hinger's current .343 clip would rank sixth all-time. With 99 blocks, the junior from Fullerton is certain to reach 100 season blocks for the third time in as many seasons. Hinger already ranks sixth in career blocks with 363. Teammate Sydney Gedryn ranks 10th with 334 career total blocks.


CSUN REMAINS PERFECT AT HOME 

Straight set wins over Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside last week kept the Matadors unbeaten on The Matadome floor this season. At 7-0, CSUN is attempting to go unblemished at home for the first time in 28 years in just the second time since 1978. With home matches remaining against Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara next week (Nov. 14, 16), the Matadors can equal the most home wins in Stork's tenure. Stork's 2003 and 2004 squads, which both reached the NCAA Tournament, both posted nine home wins. The 1979 (11-0) and 1985 (10-0) CSUN teams each finished unbeaten at home while the 1980 Matadors hold the school record with 16 home wins. In the Division I years, the 1996 CSUN team finished 13-2 under head coach Lian Lu.


MATADORS: WEEK 11 THIS & THAT

Cal State Northridge posted all-time program wins No. 750 and 751 last week. Since 1975, the Matadors are now 751-487 (.607) in 38 seasons of women's volleyball. The Matadors also have an all-time conference record of 278-172 (.618) ... The Matadors check in at No. 47 on this week's NCAA RPI report ... As a team, CSUN ranks second in four of the seven Big West categories. The Matadors, who are out-hitting the opposition .276-.201, are as high as 16th in the nation in hitting percentage (.276) ... Senior Britney Graff, one of four Matador players to have played in all 90 sets this season, has now played in 415 career sets which ranks 11th in CSUN history. Jessika Hammerich (2001-04) currently ranks 10th with 417 sets played ... The Matadors' Halloween win over Cal State Fullerton improved CSUN to 7-1 in October.


UP NEXT

Cal State Northridge returns to The Matadome for its final homestand of the 2013 regular season next week as the Matadors host Cal Poly (Nov. 14) and UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 16). CSUN will honor its three seniors (Sydney Gedryn, Britney Graff and Mahina Haina) in festivities prior to the match against the Gauchos.

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