Matadors Host Loyola Marymount Tuesday Before Opening Big West Play This Weekend

Sept. 21, 2010

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Cal State Northridge (6-7, 0-0 Big West) plays its final non-conference tuneup before the start of Big West Conference play this week as the Matadors host Loyola Marymount (6-6) Tuesday at 7 p.m. Big West action opens Friday as Northridge hosts UC Santa Barbara (6-6, 0-0 Big West) and continues Saturday against Cal Poly (10-3, 0-0 Big West). The Matadors have won four of their last six matches after claiming the UNLV Classic last weekend with wins over UNLV, Xavier and San Jose State.

All three matches this week will be available as part of the Big West live streaming package. All matches will also feature live stats via Gametracker at The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring fans exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features into your home via the Internet! Now in its sixth year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in women's volleyball. A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 delivers exclusive cover age to you. If you can't make it to the gym, you can still catch all the action on BigWest.TV!

Freshman Mahina Haina pounded a match-high 14 kills to lead Cal State Northridge to its first three-set sweep of the 2010 season, 25-11, 25-17, 25-18 over UNLV in the opening match of the UNLV Classic. Haina's 14 kills was a then career-high and the freshman from Honolulu, Hawai'i hit an impressive .565 with just one error in 23 swings. Junior setter Sam Orlandini had another solid all-around match with 21 assists, seven digs, two aces and five kills. Freshman Natalie Allen added nine kills (.231) and had three of Northridge's nine aces in the match. On Saturday against Xavier, Haina and Lynda Morales combined for 28 kills to lead the Matadors to a 23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-18 victory. Haina eclipsed her previous career-high with 15 kills while hitting .481 while Morales added 13 kills and just two errors in 24 swings to hit .458. Northridge then ran its win streak to three straight as the Matadors claimed the tournament title with a 25-17, 25-19, 23-25, 25-19 victory over San Jose State. Haina completed a stellar weekend in Las Vegas with 12 kills (.200), nine digs and two aces against the Spartans. Allen added 11 kills (.233) and six digs while Morales chipped in nine kills, hitting .400. As a team, Northridge hit .244 (52-27-127) as a team to .178 (47-24-129) for San Jose State.

Loyola Marymount brings a 6-6 record to Northridge on Tuesday. The Lions won their final two matches last weekend (UC Riverside, Utah Valley) at the Utah State Invitational which snapped a four-match skid. Junior OH Jasmine Rankins leads LMU averaging 3.71 kps while hitting .224. The Matadors lead 17-15 in the series with the Lions but LMU has won the last three matches between the two teams. UC Santa Barbara is 6-6 after dropping two of three in San Diego last weekend. The Gauchos fell to No. 12 Minnesota (3-0) and No. 23 San Diego (3-0) and defeated San Diego State in five. Senior OH Charlene DeHoog paces the UCSB offense averaging 3.23 kps. CSUN trails 26-5 in the all-time series with UCSB and the Gauchos have won four straight. The Mustangs of Cal Poly are 10-3 and have won eight straight after defeating Oregon State (3-2), Portland (3-1) and CSU Bakersfield (3-0) last weekend. Freshman OH Kristina Graven averages 3.56 kps to lead the Mustangs. Cal Poly holds a 24-20 lead in the series with the Matadors and has won nine straight over CSUN dating back to 2005.

Freshman Mahina Haina (Honolulu, Hawai'i), junior Sam Orlandini (La Cañada, Calif.) and sophomore Cindy Ortiz (Los Angeles, Calif.) all picked up accolades at the UNLV Classic last weekend. Haina averaged a team-high 3.73 kps while hitting .400 in the three wins. She had 41 kills and committed just nine errors in 80 swings. Orlandini averaged 9.64 assists and 1.82 digs per set while also serving five aces to go with 15 kills to earn All-Tournament honors with Haina. Ortiz was named the tournament's Outstanding Libero after averaging 3.55 digs per set over three matches.

Matador head coach Jeff Stork came into the 2010 season, his ninth on the bench, with 94 career wins. With Saturday's four-set win over San Jose State, Northridge's sixth this season, Stork reached the century mark. He now has 122 career coaching wins which includes 22 wins as the interim head coach of the Pepperdine men's team in 2000. In his ninth season at Northridge, Stork owns a school record of 100-143 (.412) and is 122-149 (.450) overall. Stork is now 17 wins away from passing Dr. Lian Lu (1994-01) and moving into second place on the all-time Matador coaching wins list. Walt Ker (1979-92) is the all-time winningest CSUN women's volleyball coach after amassing 401 wins in his 14 seasons at Cal State Northridge.

Northridge carries a record of 18-8 (.692) in conference openers into Friday's match with UC Santa Barbara. The Matadors have had success in Big West openers under Jeff Stork where CSUN is 4-4 (.500) in eight seasons. Last season, the Matadors dropped a five-set decision at UC Davis (20-25, 25-14, 17-25, 25-22, 9-15) in their conference opener and Northridge has now dropped back-to-back openers in five sets. In 2008, the Matadors fell in five sets at home to UC Santa Barbara. Northridge, which finished eighth in the Big West last season, has finished as high as fourth (2006) in the conference standings in Stork's eight seasons.

The Matadors rank fourth in the Big West in team blocking (2.00 bps) but does not have a player ranked among the top-five in blocking. Senior Lynda Morales (Fallbrook, Calif.) and junior Puneet Pataria (San Jose, Calif.) lead the team with each averaging 0.97 bps ... Morales, who was injured in pregame against UNLV, sat out the match but responded with 13 kills (.458) and nine kills (.400) against Xavier and San Jose State respectively. Morales has now played in 100 matches in her Northridge career ... Senior Janet Alvarado (Los Angeles, Calif.) came off the bench in the win over Xavier to put down a career-high 11 kills while hitting a solid .321. She also had four kills in six swings (.667) against UNLV after sitting out three of the previous five matches ... Tuesday gives the Matadors their second chance at their first home win. Northridge, which dropped its home opener to No. 13 UCLA last Tuesday, is one of three Big West teams without a home win ... The Matadors improved to a perfect 5-0 on the season when they kill more balls than their opponents. CSUN is 5-2 this season when leading its opponent in hitting percentage. The Matadors had two of their best hitting matches of the season in Las Vegas, hitting a season-high .389 against UNLV followed by a .323 clip against Xavier ... Six of the nine Big West teams head into conference play with records of .500 or better.

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

On the UNLV Classic last weekend:
"It was a very good weekend in the sense that we continued to steady out offensively. The whole weekend was a team collaboration as far as playing well. The passers did their jobs, Sam did her job and the hitters did a good job."

On Mahina Haina and Sam Orlandini earning All-Tournament accolades:
"Mahi was taking a lot of quality swings at critical times and was very successful. She had a great match against Xavier and I thought her aggressiveness was a little bit contagious. By staying in system more, Sam is getting a cleaner look at what she should be running and she was outstanding."

On the teams improved passing:
"I think we're passing very well which helps our setters stay in system. The passers are getting into more of a rhythm and that's correlating into better passing. We were 65% perfect passing over the weekend, we've been in the low 50's for most of last year and with that we're able to run a quicker offense. "

On Loyola Marymount and opening Big West Conference action:
"Against Loyola Marymount, we're expecting something similar to what we've seen. They'll have a system similar to Cal Poly, Xavier and also Seattle. The personnel is different but the style of play is something we've seen before. We'd like to open the conference season with wins, but I'm still looking for performance goals instead of outcome goals. I want to make sure we're thinking about what kind of volleyball that we're playing. I want to make sure we're playing quality volleyball and the winning and losing will take care of itself."

Following this week's season-long, three-match homestand, the Matadors begin Big West play in earnest as nine of their next 10 matches are against conference foes. Northridge next travels to UC Davis (Oct. 1) and Pacific (Oct. 2) before returning home for a non-conference match with CSU Bakersfield (Oct. 6).