Matadors Open Final Road Stretch of 2010 at CSU Bakersfield

Nov. 2, 2010

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Cal State Northridge (10-16, 3-8 Big West) opens up its final stretch of regular season road matches this week as the Matadors travel to CSU Bakersfield (0-23) for a non-conference match Tuesday and UC Riverside (2-23, 0-9 Big West) for a Big West Conferrence match on Friday. The Matadors split a pair of matches at home last week falling to Pacific in four sets before knocking off UC Davis in five. Northridge has now won four of its last eight matches and will be looking for its first road win in six weeks this week.

Friday's match at UC Riverside will be available as part of the Big West live streaming package. Both matches will also feature live stats at and 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 coverage to you. If you can't make it to the gym, you can still catch all the action on BigWest.TV!

Cal State Northridge had its three-match home winning streak snapped after the Matadors dropped a 25-15, 25-22, 22-25, 25-16 decision to the visiting Pacific Tigers Friday at The Matadome. Junior Una Siljegovic had a team-high 13 kills on a night when Northridge was without leading hitter Natalie Allen who missed the match with an injury. Siljegovic hit .154 and also added seven digs. Seniors Janet Alvarado and Lynda Morales each added seven kills while freshmen Nicole Jarvis and Mahina Haina each chipped in six kills. Jarvis wound up hitting a team-best .333. Sydney Gedryn came off the bench to record a double-double with 21 assists to go with 13 digs while also posting seven block assists. Morales also had seven blocks with one of those a solo stuff. Monica McFarland and Cindy Ortiz had a combined 26 digs for CSUN in the loss. But Allen returned Saturday to lead Cal State Northridge with a match-high 19 kills as the Matadors overcame a two sets to one deficit to upset the visiting UC Davis Aggies 10-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-21, 15-13 Saturday night. The freshman from Murrieta, Calif., hit an impressive .425 on 40 swings while committing just two errors. She completed her seventh double-double of the season by adding 11 digs. Siljegovic added 14 kills (.216) and freshman Mahina Haina came off the bench to add eight kills (.000). Gedryn registered 30 assists and six digs while junior Sam Orlandini had 17 assists and six digs.

It's the second time around for the Matadors against CSU Bakersfield and UC Riverside. Northridge defeated the Roadrunners in four on Oct. 6 and also topped the Highlanders in four on Oct. 9. CSU Bakersfield (0-23) has yet to win this season after falling to Fresno State in straight sets in its last match. The Roadrunners have played just four matches at home this season where they have lost to Fresno State, Fresno Pacific, St. Mary's and #13 UCLA. Junior OH Lindy DeGeare leads CSUB in kills with 214 (3.06 kps) while freshman OH Hayleigh Haratyk adds 2.29 kps. The Matadors hold a 29-8 lead in the all-time series with the Runners and have won six of the last nine matches between the two teams. UC Riverside, which hosts UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, is 2-23 (0-9 Big West) and in the midst of a nine-match skid after falling to San Diego State (3-1) and Arizona State (3-0) last week. Senior OH Kelly Simpson leads the Highlanders averaging 2.79 kills per set. The Matadors hold a 42-19 lead in the all-time series with UC Riverside but the Highlanders have won three of the last five matches between the two schools.

Northridge heads out for its final four road matches of the season looking to reverse their season-long struggles away from home. The Matadors have dropped their last five road matches (all Big West matches) and are now 2-7 on hostile courts. Northridge last won on the road Sept. 17 at UNLV with the team's other road win coming at Santa Clara on Sept. 10. The Matadors are now 19-52 on the road over the last six years. The 2004 Northridge team that finished 17-11 overall was the last to post a winning road record after winning eight of 12 away from home.

Freshman Natalie Allen (Murrieta, Calif.) is averaging a team-high 2.99 kills per set through 26 matches. If Allen can boost that average one one-hundredth of a point she can become the first Northridge hitter in five seasons to average at least 3.00 kills per set. Darla Donaldson in 2006 was the last Matador to reach the plateau when she averaged a team-high 3.14 kills per set. The 2004 CSUN team had three players average at least 3.00 kill per set as Jen Ryan (5.15), Delaney Menell (3.22) and Heather Fobian (3.17) all averaged at least 3.00 kills per set.

With Saturday's five-set win over UC Davis, the Matadors posted double figures in wins for the sixth time in nine seasons under Jeff Stork and first time since 2007. Northridge averaged nearly 15 wins per season over Stork's first three seasons (2002-04) which included 17 wins and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2004. The Matadors also had 16 wins in 2006 and 13 in 2007. CSUN also became the seventh Big West Conference team to win at least 10 matches this season.

Through matches of Oct. 31, Northridge ranks 155th out of 328 schools in the NCAA women's volleyball RPI. The Big West Conference has six teams (Long Beach State - 23, Cal State Fullerton - 30, UC Santa Barbara - 53, Cal Poly - 74, Pacific - 92, UC Davis - 108) ranked among the top-108 in the nation. UC Irvine (167) is 12 spots behind the Matadors while UC Riverside ranks 255th out of 328 Division I schools.

Freshman setter Sydney Gedryn (San Jose, Calif.) has become a force at the net for the Matadors over the last week. After putting up five blocks in the season opener at San Diego State, Gedryn did not have more than one block in limited action over the next two months of the season. But in two matches last week, Gedryn tied for team-high honors with eight stuffs against Pacific and added six more blocks against UC Davis ... Saturday's win not only gave the Matadors 10 wins this season but also gave Jeff Stork his 50th career win in The Matadome. It was also Northridge's second win this season when the opponent records more kills. The Aggies had 64 kills to the Matadors' 57 ... Six of CSUN's 10 wins this season have come on Saturday, the Matadors also have three wins to go with six losses on Friday ... Northridge wound up the month of October with a 4-6 record after finishing 6-7 in September and 0-3 in August ... Northridge's current team hitting percentage of .193 would be the highest for a Matador team since 2006 when CSUN hit .199. The Matadors hit .222 in 2003, the highest for a Northridge team since 1996.

Following this week's matches in Bakersfield and Riverside, the Matadors conclude their four-match road trip with matches at Long Beach State (Nov. 11) and UC Irvine (Nov. 13). The Irvine match marks the final road match of the 2010 regular season for the Matadors. Northridge returns home Nov. 19 to host Long Beach State before taking on conference-leading Cal State Fullerton on senior night (Nov. 20).