September 15, 2009

Matadors Travel to Loyola Marymount Before Opening the Home Season Friday Against Fresno State

Sept. 15, 2009

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FOR STARTERS With its home opener just around the corner, Cal State Northridge (3-6 0-0 Big West) completes its season-opening 10-match road swing with a Tuesday match at Loyola Marymount (6-3). Following Tuesday's match, the Matadors prepare to host Fresno State (6-3) and Portland (2-9) this weekend. Northridge and Fresno State meet in the Matadors' home opener Friday at 7 p.m. Northridge hosts Portland Saturday, also at 7 p.m. The Matadors finished 1-2 in their final tournament of the season, the Nike Cougar Challenge in Pullman, Wash. Northridge defeated Idaho in four sets but dropped both matches to host Washington State.

NORTHRIDGE POSTS 1-2 TRIP TO THE NORTHWEST The Matadors went 1-2 against a pair of opponents at the Nike Cougar Challenge at Washington State last weekend. After falling in four to the host Cougars on Friday, the Matadors bounced back to defeat Idaho in four on Saturday. Northridge could not sustain the momentum however as the Matadors dropped the finale in three to Washington State.

"I thought we played a good Washington State team and a good Idaho team," said Head Coach Jeff Stork. "I thought we played better as the tournament went on and we're certainly much-improved from the start of the season. We're figuring out what we need to do serving-wise but we've gotten better at reducing our errors which is a real good thing."

MATADORS IN HOME OPENERS With last season's home-opening loss to No. 4 UCLA, Northridge, slipped to 15-16 (.484) in home openers dating back to 1978. The Matadors are 2-5 in seven home openers under Jeff Stork but have dropped five straight. Northridge defeated Kent State (2002) and Northeastern (2003) in Stork's first two seasons but have since opened the home schedule with losses to UCLA (2004, 2008), Arizona State (2005), Oregon (2006) and UC Irvine (2007).

ROAD WARRIORS RETURN HOME With 10 matches on the road to open the 2009 season, the Matadors have continued the trend of recent seasons. In 2007, Northridge opened the season with a school record 14-match road trip and last season the Matadors played nine consecutive on the road to open the campaign. From 2002-2006, Northridge hosted the Fremont Investment & Loan Invitational as its traditional home opener. But due to excessive heat in the San Fernando Valley during August and September, the tournament was moved to the end of November in 2007.

ORLANDINI PROVIDES ACES, KILLS AND DOUBLES Sophomore Sam Orlandini, who started 24 matches at setter as a true freshman in 2008, has added a serving prowess to her game in 2009. Orlandini leads the Matadors with 12 aces (0.36 saps) which ranks ninth in the Big West Conference. Her 2009 service ace total is already one behind her entire total from 2008. She has also been effective on defense this season as she has double-doubles in assists-digs in three of the last four matches. In terms of kills, Orlandini has picked her spots wisely as she has 14 kills and just four errors in 38 attempts this season for a .263 hitting clip. During her freshman season she hit .064 with 21 kills and 16 errors in 78 attacks.

HUPP CONTINUES UP CAREER CHARTS Senior Angela Hupp continues her rise up the Northridge career records list. Following last weekend's matches, the four-year starter entered the Matador career top-10 in kills. Hupp now ranks 10th with 914 career kills and 17 away from Heather Fobian and ninth place. This season, Hupp has moved from 10th to eighth in total attempts (2,635) and from 11th to eighth in total blocks (296). She remains ninth in assists (1,312) and eighth in block assists (285). Hupp is also just 36 sets away from the top-10 in career sets played The senior from Acton, Calif., also had double-doubles in two of the three matches last weekend to give her a team-high five this season and 30 for her Northridge career.

MATADORS CONTINUE TO EXCEL ON THE BLOCK Despite slipping one spot to second in the Big West in team blocking, the Matadors have out-blocked five of their first nine opponents. Northridge out-blocked Washington State on Saturday (8.0-6.0) and matched both Idaho (9.0-9.0) and the Cougars (8.0-8.0) in earlier matches. The Matadors posted a season-high 16.0 total blocks (one solo, 30 assists) in their five-set win over Northridge Arizona on Aug. 29. individually, senior Tela Burnett added 14 blocks last weekend to her team-leading total of 36. Burnett continues to rank among the top blockers in the conference at 1.20 bps Angela Hupp (0.91 bps) dropped out of the Big West top-10.

NORTHRIDGE NOTES The Matadors' 3-1 win over Idaho not only snapped a season-long, four-match losing streak but also gave Northridge its first win in six matches in September. The Matadors were 2-1 in three matches in August ... Despite dropping six of its first nine matches, Northridge trails in overall point scoring by just 0.5.

NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET All Cal State Northridge home matches will be available via Gametracker at GoMatadors.com and will also be available via live video streaming at BigWest.TV. Get exclusive coverage of Big West Conference action by logging on to BigWest.TV! Now in it's fifth year, BigWest.TV gives fans on-demand access to Big West sports as well as press conferences, features and Big West Conference Championships. If you can't make it to the gym or the field, head to www.BigWest.TV to catch up on your favorite team.

MATADORS VS. Series History: Northridge leads 17-14 in the all-time series with Loyola Marymount, leads 12-7 in the series with Fresno State and is 2-0 all-time against Portland. Loyola Marymount (6-3): The Matadors and Lions last met in the 2006 season finale. Northridge is 9-4 all-time at Gersten Pavilion. LMU is led by Alaina Bergsma (4.32 kps) and Ariana Covington (2.78 kps). Fresno State (6-3): The Matadors and Bulldogs last met in 2007 at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. when CSUN came away with a 3-2 win. Northridge is 6-1 all-time against the Bulldogs at The Matadome. Fresno State is led by Lacey Gera (2.29 kps) and Kelly Leonardo (2.09 kps). Portland (2-9): The Matadors and Pilots have not met since the 2001 when Northridge won in three in Pocatello, Idaho. Portland is led by Jessica Clemens (3.16 kps) and Maria Clemens (2.26 kps).

UP NEXT After the brief two-match homestand over the weekend, the Matadors head back out on the road for three matches beginning with their Big West opener at UC Davis on Sept. 25. The three-match stretch completes a season-opening stretch that saw Northridge play 13 of its first 15 matches away from home. That changes in October when the Matadors play six of eight in The Matadome.

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