Sixth-Seed USC Awaits Matadors in Second Round of NCAA Tournament
NCAA TOURNAMENT - SECOND ROUND:
Cal State Northridge Matadors (24-6) vs. USC Trojans (27-5)
Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. PST
Galen Center (10,258) - Los Angeles, CA
Live Stats: usctrojans.com
TV: Pac-12 Network
In-game Twitter updates: @GoMatadors
Cal State Northridge (24-6, 13-3 Big West), Tri-Champions of the Big West Conference, will play an NCAA Tournament second round match for the first time in school history Friday as the Matadors return to Galen Center to take on the sixth-seeded USC Trojans (27-5) at 7 p.m. CSUN, which claimed a share of its first-ever Big West crown with a five-set comeback win at UC Davis on Dec. 5, advanced to the second round after defeating 12th-ranked Colorado State in five sets (25-15, 25-21, 13-25, 18-25, 15-12) Thursday night. The Matadors are making their fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament while the Trojans are making their 23rd consecutive trip to the field of 64. USC swept New Hampshire 25-9, 25-10, 25-12 in its first round match on Thursday. Friday's winner will advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET
Friday's CSUN-USC second round match will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 Network with Anne Marie Anderson and Holly McPeak handling the call. Friday's match will also have live stats (link available at GoMatadors.com). Casey Moran and Alex Jones will provide the call on CSUN's web broadcast at GoMatadors.com. Post-match press conferences will also be streamed at pac12.com and will also be available on the Trojans YouTube page. The tournament host USC has a tournament central page set up at USCTrojans.com.
A FAMILIAR SITE
The Matadors are now stranger to playing postseason matches at USC although this will be just CSUN's second NCAA match all-time at Galen Center. The Matadors made their first match a memorable one last night defeating Colorado State in five sets. CSUN made its NCAA Tournament debut in 1992 falling to the host Trojans 16-14, 15-8, 15-10. In both 2003 and 2004, The Matadors received an at-large berth into the tournament and each time played at USC's Lyon Center. CSUN dropped a 30-21, 30-22, 30-26 decision to Loyola Marymount in the first round in 2003 and fell to Kansas State 30-20, 30-23, 30-25 in the opening round in 2004. The Matadors played three regular season matches at Galen Center in 2007, the second season of the arena's existence. CSUN played fourth-ranked USC, Mercer and No. 14 Duke as part of the USC Classic that season.
• The Matadors picked up their first NCAA Tournament victory Thursday in their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance since joining the Division I ranks in 1990. CSUN reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 1992, falling to USC in straight sets (16-14, 15-8, 15-10). In 1996, the Matadors lost to Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., 15-12, 14-16, 15-11, 15-13. In its most recent NCAA Tournament appearances, CSUN lost to Loyola Marymount in 2003 and Kansas State in 2004. Overall, the Matadors are heading to postseason play for the 23rd time in the program's 38-year history with a 58-24 (.707) record. As an NCAA Div. II institution, Cal State Northridge won three national championships (1980, 1983, 1987). In Division I postseason play, Northridge now holds an all-time record of 19-10 (.655).
• Sixth-seed USC brings an overall record of 27-5 into the second round of the NCAA Tournament along with a No. 7 national ranking. The Trojans have won five straight and nine of their last 11 heading into Friday's match. USC finished 16-4 in the Pac-12 Conference which was good for third behind Washington and Stanford. Sophomore Samantha Bricio leads the Trojans offensively averaging 3.42 kills per set while hitting .255 on the season. Freshman Ebony Nwanebu adds 3.37 kps on .342 hitting for USC which is hitting .286 as a team through 32 matches. The Matadors and Trojans have five common opponents this season in UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton, UCLA and Washington. USC finished 5-2 while CSUN was 3-4.
• After defeating UC Davis in its regular season finale, Cal State Northridge remained just outside of the AVCA Coaches Top-25 for the third straight week. The Matadors received 23 points this week and are ranked 26th, the top team listed in "Others Receiving Votes" section. CSUN moved into the AVCA Top-25 on Oct. 28 for the first time since 1992 after ranking 24th with 135 points. Four weeks ago, the Matadors ranked 23rd with 196 points and were 21st with 309 points three weeks ago. Northridge has now been ranked or has received votes in 14 straight AVCA Top-25 polls for the first time in school history.
HAINA, ALLEN BOTH REACH 1,000 KILLS CLUB
Senior Mahina Haina joined the exclusive group of CSUN hitters earlier this season and has since moved into sixth place on the all-time Cal State Northridge list with 1,173 kills. Haina, who also moved into sole possession of fourth place in school history with 3,341 total attacks, is now just 23 kills behind Alexis Cormier who ranks fourth with 1,196 kills from 1998-2001. Junior Natalie Allen became the second Matador in 2013 and 10th player all-time to reach 1,000 career kills and now has 1,037 as a Matador which ranks eighth. Allen, who also ranks eighth with 2,820 career attacks, moved past Ana Kristich who had 1,004 from 1991-94.
MATADORS CAPTURE FIRST BIG WEST CROWN
By pulling out a five-set win at UC Davis on Saturday, the Matadors claimed a share of their first-ever Big West Championship. Saturday's victory improved CSUN to 13-3 in conference play which matched both UC Santa Barbara and Hawai'i. The Gauchos however had the tiebreaker over both teams to gain the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. The Matadors' 13 Big West wins is the most by a CSUN team since 1996 when the Matadors finished a perfect 16-0 to capture its one and only Big Sky championship.
CSUN WELL REPRESENTED ON ALL-BIG WEST TEAM
Cal State Northridge had four players as well as Head Coach Jeff Stork honored as the conference announced the 2013 All-Big West teams on Monday, Dec. 2. Stork, who guided the Matadors to their first Big West Conference crown, was named Co-Coach of the Year alongside UC Santa Barbara's Nicole Lantagne Welch. Stork, who was also the conference's Coach of the Year in 2011, has led CSUN to a 23-6 overall record this season and a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in his 12 years. With 23 regular season wins, the 2013 Matadors have matched the 1994 CSUN squad for third-most wins in the school's Division I era. Three CSUN players were named to the first team led by three-time selections Sydney Gedryn and Casey Hinger. Natalie Allen was also named to the first team for the second time in her career while Mahina Haina was named honorable mention for the third consecutive season.
MATADORS: NCAA SECOND ROUND THIS & THAT
Thursday's 3-2 win over Colorado State was not only CSUN's first NCAA Tournament win but was also the first time this season that the Matadors won a match when being out-hit. The Rams wound up .328 to CSUN's .248 but the Matadors had a 68-59 advantage in kills. CSUN had out-hit 22 of its 29 opponents prior to Thursday ... Senior Sydney Gedryn matched her career-high with 21 attacks against Colorado State. Gedryn has attacked that many times three times previously in her career. Sam Kaul also matched her career-high with five digs while libero Kelcie Randazzo was credited with a kill for the fourth time in her CSUN career ... Casey Hinger, who notched her fifth double-double of the season against the Rams, came within one dig of her career-high (17) which came against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 16.
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