Regular Season Wraps Up With Fremont Investment & Loan Invitational

Regular Season Wraps Up With Fremont Investment & Loan Invitational

This Week's Matador Women's Volleyball Release


Match #1: Cal State Fullerton vs. Idaho * Friday, Nov. 23 * The Matadome * 4:00 p.m.
Match #2: Fairfield vs. Cal State Northridge * Friday, Nov. 23 * The Matadome * 7:00 p.m.
Match #3: Cal State Fullerton vs. Fairfield * Saturday, Nov. 24 * The Matadome * 4:00 p.m.
Match #4: Cal State Northridge vs. Idaho * Saturday, Nov. 24 * The Matadome * 7:00 p.m.

Cal State Northridge (11-18, 7-9 Big West) wraps up the 2007 season this weekend as the Matadors host the sixth annual Fremont Investment & Loan Invitational. Cal State Fullerton (13-15), Fairfield (21-11) and Idaho (13-15) round out this year's four-team field. The Matadors wrapped up the Big West schedule last week with a come-from-behind 28-30, 34-32, 30-22, 30-18 win at Cal State Fullerton. Northridge finished 7-9 and tied for fifth with the Titans in the final Big West standings.

Cal State Northridge brings an 8-6 record in five previous tournaments into this weekend's action. The Matadors finished 0-2 in last season's tournament falling to Oregon and Utah State. Northridge claimed their first-ever tournament title in 2004 when the Matadors defeated Cornell (3-0), UNLV (3-1) and SMU (3-2) to win its first title in three tries. Cal State Fullerton, Fairfield and Idaho are all making their first appearance in the Fremont Investment & Loan Invitational. Oregon and St. Mary's have each win two Fremont titles since the tournaments inception in 2002.

For the second straight season, the Big West Conference and CSTV are partnering to bring LIVE Big West Conference volleyball home to you. A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 gets you exclusive coverage of Big West women's volleyball delivered right to your computer. If you can't make it to the gym, you can still watch all the action on BigWest.TV!

Junior Val Kepler and sophomore Angela Hupp were both named Honorable Mention while Brittany Williams was named to the All-Freshman Team as part of the 2007 All-Big West Women's Volleyball Team. Kepler (Simi Valley/Royal HS) earned All-Big West honors for the first time in her Northridge career by being named Honorable Mention. The junior middle blocker led the Matadors in hitting percentage (.278) and was second in blocks (135) and aces (23) and third in kills (251). Hupp (Acton/Paraclete HS), the 2006 Big West Freshman of the Year, was the second Matador to earn Honorable Mention accolades in 2007. She ranked 10th in the Big West in assists per game (5.86), was fourth on the Matadors in kills per game (2.24) third in blocks (87) and fourth in digs (207). Williams (Chino Hills/Ayala HS) leads the Matadors in kills per game (2.73) and ranks second on the team in kills (257). She's also chipped in 54 total blocks, 39 digs and 16 assists heading into the final two matches of her freshman season.

Head coach Jeff Stork picked up his 75th win as the Cal State Northridge boss in the Matadors' 3-1 win at Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 15. Stork is now 75-93 (.446) in six-plus seasons at Northridge and 97-99 (.495) in seven seasons as a collegiate head coach. The Matadors have also posted at least 10 wins in a season for the fifth time in Stork's six seasons at the helm.

Hupp notched her Big West-leading fifth triple-double with 10 kills, 11 assists and 14 digs at Cal State Fullerton last week. She also has triple-doubles this season against San Francisco (Aug. 25), Manhattan (Sept. 7), Cal Poly (Oct. 19) and UC Santa Barbara (Oct. 20). The Matadors are 3-2 in the five matches that Hupp has posted the rare feat.

The Matadors finished tied for fifth in the Big West standings with Cal State Fullerton but beat the Titans twice during the season. Northridge win seven conference matches for the second straight season ... several Matador players were nominated for Big West Player of the Week over the course of the season but not one player was selected for the award ... Williams could become just the season Matador freshman to lead the team in kills in the last seven years. Darla Donaldson was the last freshman to lead the Matadors in kills in 2005.

Head coach Jeff Stork had this to say about closing the season against Fairfield and Idaho in the Fremont Investment & Loan Invitational:
"We've seen both teams play on video," said Stork. "But the downside to that is those matches were early in the season and both teams have changed things since then."
"We have to concern ourselves with how we play," added Stork. "We've been working hard on point-scoring hitting while our blocking has been outstanding all season. We need to generate the energy that's called for at the end of the year. My hope is that there is a sense of pride on our side to finish strong."

On the play of sophomore Angela Hupp, who leads the Big West with five triple-doubles this season:
"Angela does everything for us," said Stork. "She's a great volleyball player. What Angela has to think about during a match is quite a bit more than most other players have to think about."

On Val Kepler, Hupp and Brittany Williams receiving All-Big West honors:
"I'm proud of all our players," said Stork. "Any recognition our individual players receive is well deserved.".

Seven Matador opponents (the most of any team in the Big West) are named in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll this week. USC (23-4) is the highest ranked Northridge opponent this week at No. 5. Washington (24-3) is ranked sixth this week followed by 10th-ranked UCLA (18-9). San Diego (21-7) is ranked 16th this week followed by 17th-ranked Cal Poly (21-7). Duke (22-6) ranks 24th this week while Big West rival Long Beach State (21-6) also received votes in this week's top 25 poll.

The Stags bring a 21-11 overall (17-1 Metro Atlantic) record into this weekend's tournament. Fairfield had its 10-match win streak snapped on Monday falling to Siena in five games in the MAAC Championship. Despite the loss, the Stags are 17-2 over their last 19 matches. Northridge and Fairfield have three common opponents this season in San Diego, Long Beach State and UCSB. Both teams lost to San Diego and Long Beach while the Stags lost to UCSB and the Matadors took two from the Gauchos. Senior Kelly Oliver and sophomore Katie Mann both lead Fairfield with 408 kills. Oliver averages a team-high 4.08 kpg while Mann averages 3.68 kpg. The Stags are hitting .323 as a team. Head coach Jeff Werneke (Samford, 1996) is in his sixth season with the Stags and sports a 111-84 career and school record.

The Vandals bring a 13-15 overall (9-8 WAC) record into Friday's tournament opener against Cal State Fullerton. Idaho has won three of its last four matches including wins over Utah State, Fresno State and Boise State. The Vandals fell in four games to Nevada in the first round of the WAC Tournament last week. The Matadors and Vandals met eight times while both schools were members of the Big West. Idaho leads the all-time series six win to five. Junior Haley Larsen averages a team-high 5.38 kills per game while junior Sarah Loney is second at 2.84 kpg. Junior setter Kelsey James averages 11.81 assists per game while Idaho is hitting .180 as a team while averaging 14.71 kills per game. Head coach Debbie Buchanan (USC, 1996) is in her eighth season with the Vandals and sports a 115-120 career and school record.


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