Match #8 Northridge vs. Harvard, Friday, September 15, Spartan Gym, San Jose, Calif., 4:30 p.m. Match #9 Northridge vs. Utah Valley State, Saturday, September 16, Spartan Gym, San Jose, Calif., 1 p.m. Match #10 Northridge at San Jose State, Saturday, September 16, Spartan Gym, San Jose, Calif., 7 p.m.
MATADORS WRAP UP SEASON-LONG FIVE-MATCH ROAD TRIP AT SJSU HYATT INVITATIONAL
Cal State Northridge (3-4) wraps up its season-long, five-match road trip this week as the Matadors head to San Jose to compete in the SJSU Hyatt Invitational. Northridge, one of four teams in the tournament, opens on Friday against Harvard (2-1) and will take on Utah Valley State (7-4) and the host Spartans (7-2) on Saturday. The Matadors split two matches last weekend at the UNLV Invitational as Northridge swept Xavier (30-17, 30-18, 30-20) and was then swept by UNLV (19-30, 20-30, 20-30).
MATCH COVERAGE THIS WEEKEND
San Jose State will provide live stats of all matches of this weekend’s SJSU Hyatt Invitational at www.sjsuspartans.com.
RECAPPING THE UNLV INVITATIONAL
In an up-and-down weekend, the Matadors rebounded from a frustrating weekend at home to put together a dominating 30-17, 30-18, 30-20 sweep over Xavier on Friday before having the tables turned in a 3-0 sweep at the hands of UNLV. In the win over Xavier, Harmony Burdine rebounded from a tough weekend against Oregon and Utah State to lead Northridge with 10 kills while hitting .250. The Matadors also received eight kills apiece from Darla Donaldson (.583) and Angela Hupp (.375) while Siara Grayson hit .467 on her way to seven kills in 15 swings. Against UNLV, Donaldson (.389) with eight kills and Hupp (.312) with seven kills led the Matadors. Val Kepler also chipped in eight kills but hit just .190. Setter Kayla Wright posted a team-high 16 assists and Kelley Hanson recorded a team-best 13 digs in the loss.
ALL-TOURNAMENT DONALDSON A TWO-WAY THREAT
Sophomore middle blocker Darla Donaldson was the lone Matador named to the UNLV Invitational All-Tournament team. Donaldson also was named GoMatadors.com Athlete of the Week after leading the Matadors to a 1-1 weekend with a win over Xavier and a 3-0 loss to the host Rebels. Donaldson hit .467 in in the two matches with 16 kills in 30 swings with just two hitting errors. She also had six blocks in Northridge's 3-0 blanking of Xavier. For the season, Donaldson leads the Matadors in both kills (75), kills per game (2.88) and blocks (35, 1.35 per game). She also ranks third in the Big West in hitting and fourth in blocking.
MATADORS SEEK FIRST TOURNAMENT TITLE OF 2006
After finishing second at the Aztec Invitational (Aug. 25-26), third at Northridge’s Fremont Investment & Loan Invitational (Sept. 1-2) and second at last weekend’s UNLV Invitational, the Matadors are seeking their first tournament title of 2006 this weekend at San Jose State. After three tournaments, Northridge is 3-4 and has at least one win in each tournament with the exception of its own Fremont Invitational when the Matadors finished 0-2. In 2003, the Matadors defeated San Jose State and Duquesne to win the SJSU Crowne Plaza Invitational and Northridge also won the Fremont Investment & Loan Invitational in 2004.
MATADOR BLOCKING ADVANTAGE CONTINUES TO EQUAL WINS
In matches the Matadors have out-blocked their opponents (San Diego State, Hofstra, Xavier), Northridge improved to a perfect 3-0. However when the Matadors are out-blocked (San Diego, Oregon, Utah State, UNLV), they are 0-4. In the three wins, Northridge is averaging 3.79 blocks per game and is winning the battle at the net by a margin of 1.41 blocks per game. In four losses, the Matadors are blocking at a pace of 2.00 per game and are being out-blocked 1.79 blocks per game.
MATADORS IN THE BIG WEST STATS
Individually, Kelley Hanson dropped to third in the conference in aces per game (0.38) and Kayla Wright moved into seventh (0.35). Donaldson moved up to third (.336) and Angela Hupp is ninth (.255) in hitting percentage and Donaldson is fourth (1.35) and Val Kepler is seventh (1.19) in blocks per game. Wright (5.46) and Hupp (5.15) are seventh and eighth respectively in assists per game and the Matadors are not represented in kills or digs. As a team the Matadors remain second in service aces (1.92), third in blocks (2.83), fifth in hitting (.192), sixth in kills (13.00), seventh in assists (11.46) and opponent hitting (.229) and eighth in digs (12.23).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
As a conference, the Big West is 3-8 so far in 2006 against teams ranked in the AVCA Top 25. Cal Poly has two of the wins (No. 8 Texas, No. 20 Louisville) and Long Beach State owns a win over No. 13 Missouri ... After seven matches the Matadors and their opponents are almost even in several statistical categories. Northridge opponents are averaging 13.65 kpg compared to 13.00 kpg for the Matadors. Northridge is being out-served by a slight margin of 0.16 aces per game and are being out-dug by an average of 1.04 digs per game.
The Crimson come into Friday’s match with a record of 2-1 after taking two of three matches at the Harvard Invitational last weekend. Harvard defeated Binghampton (3-2) and Rutgers (3-1) was swept by Long Island. The Crimson are led by senior middle blocker Katie Turley-Molony who had 41 kills in three matches and is averaging 3.42 kpg. Harvard has used two setters with senior Sarah Cebron averaging 6.50 assists per game and freshman Lily Durwood averaging 6.00 apg. Head coach Jennifer Weiss (Bentley, 1988) is in her 14th season at Harvard and sports a 173-177 overall and school record. Friday’s match will be the first ever meeting between Harvard and Cal State Northridge.
SCOUTING UTAH VALLEY STATE
The Wolverines, who open the SJSU Hyatt Invitational on Friday against San Jose State before taking on the Matadors on Saturday afternoon, have won seven of their last nine matches after opening the season 0-2. Last weekend, Utah Valley State hosted the LaQuinta Invitational and finished 2-1 with wins over Weber State (3-0) and IPFW (3-1) and a four-game loss to Oral Roberts. Sophomore outside hitter Camie Manwill averages a team-high 4.38 kpg while junior Jessica Endres averages 3.33 kpg. Senior setter Lacee Koelliker averages 10.49 apg while the Wolverines have hit .200 as a team. Head coach Sam Atoa (BYU, 1988) is in his fourth season at UVSC and sports a 46-45 school record. Overall, Atoa is 184-76 in her eighth season of coaching. Saturday’s match will be the first-ever meeting between the Matadors and Wolverines.
SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE
The Spartans, who will host Utah Valley State and Harvard before taking on the Matadors in the final match of the tournament on Saturday, have won four straight and seven of their first nine matches to open the season. Last weekend, San Jose State won the New Hampshire Tournament with wins over Texas-San Antonio (3-1), New Hampshire (3-0) and Brown (3-0). Redshirt freshman Courtney Lorusso is averaging a team-high 4.06 kpg, while junior Jennifer Senftleben has a team-high 122 kills (3.70 kpg). Head coach Craig Choate (BYU, 1978) is in his 14th season at San Jose State and sports a 232-181 school record. Overall, Choate is 261-248 in his 17th season of coaching. Saturday’s match will be the ninth meeting between the Matadors and Spartans with the series tied at four wins apiece. Since the series began in 1984, Northridge is 2-1 all-time in matches at San Jose State.
UP NEXT FOR THE MATADORS
This weekend’s SJSU Hyatt Invitational wraps up a five-match road trip for the Matadors who will return to the Matadome to take on UC Riverside on Thursday, Sept 21. The match is not only the Big West opener for both schools but will be the first home match for the Matadors since Sept. 2. Cal State Fullerton completes the brief two-match homestand before Northridge heads back out on the road for conference matches at Pacific (Sept. 30) and Long Beach State (Oct. 3).