Sept. 16, 2008
Weekly Match Notes in PDF Format
MATADORS HOST NO. 4 UCLA IN HOME OPENER BEFORE TRAVELING TO PEPPERDINE TOURNEY
Cal State Northridge (5-4) opens the home season on Tuesday as the Matadors host fourth-ranked UCLA (6-1) in The Matadome at 7 p.m. Northridge, coming off a 1-2 weekend at the ASU Sheraton Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. last weekend, will get another taste of the top 25 when the Matadors travel across town to take on No. 21 Pepperdine (9-0) and Texas State (4-7) this weekend. Northridge tangles with Texas State on Friday at 5 p.m. and Pepperdine on Saturday at 11 a.m. as part of the Pepperdine Asics Classic.
NORTHRIDGE ON THE NET
Tuesday's match against UCLA will be broadcast live at GoMatadors.com with Paul Duchesne handling the play-by-play. The match will also be available via Gametracker (GoMatadors.com) and via live video streaming at BigWest.TV. This weekend's Pepperdine Asics Classic will feature live stats at pepperdinesports.com.
MATADORS WIND UP 1-2 AT ASU SHERATON INVITATIONAL
After falling to Cincinnati in their opener of the ASU Sheraton Invitational, the Matadors knew they would have to play solid volleyball to come away with a 2-1 record for the third consecutive tournament. After beating Montana on Friday evening, Northridge took on the host Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday afternoon with a chance to head into its home opener with a 6-3 record. Despite holding their own on the stat sheet, the Matadors were dealt a three-set loss. Brittany Williams and Angela Hupp each had 10 kills while Amy Hultner, Sam Orlandini and Kelley Hanson each had 12 digs in the loss. The difference in the match came at the service line and at the net where ASU had a 6-1 advantage in aces and a 10.5-1.0 advantage in team blocks.
PAIR OF TOP-25'S ON THE DOCKET THIS WEEK
The Matadors will get their first crack at a ranked opponent in 2008 when the fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins come to The Matadome on Tuesday. The Bruins are the highest ranked opponent to venture to Northridge since UCLA, then ranked third, defeated the Matadors in four sets to open the 2004 season. Northridge also hosted top-ranked USC in the 2003 regular season finale, falling in four sets.
"It's nice to have quality teams come into our gym," said head coach Jeff Stork. "My hope is that the student body here will support us on Tuesday. UCLA is ranked fourth and are a well known team, it's a good opportunity for us to show what were made of. I hope we'll fight for every point"
The road doesn't get any easier for the Matadors this weekend as a short road trip to Malibu features a match-up with No. 21 Pepperdine. Ironically, it was the 25th-ranked Waves who were the last ranked team to fall to Northridge as the Matadors came away with a five-set win in Malibu on Sept. 3, 2005. Since then, Northridge is 0-12 against teams ranked in the top 25.
HUPP MAKES IT THREE-FOR-THREE
Junior Angela Hupp continued her run of solid play this season as the junior right side hitter made it three-for-three in all-tournament accolades after being selected to the ASU Sheraton Invitational All-Tournament Team. Hupp also picked up all-tournament honors at the Sacramento State Invitational which followed her all-tourney performance at the season-opening Bronco Invitational in Boise, Idaho two weeks ago. Hupp, who has 10 career triple-doubles and 18 career double-doubles, nearly notched her 19th when she posted 10 kills and nine digs in Saturday's loss to Arizona State.
MATADORS IN HOME OPENERS
Northridge brings an even 15-15 (.500) record in home openers into Tuesday's clash with UCLA. The Matadors are 2-4 in six home openers under Jeff Stork but have dropped their last four. Northridge defeated Kent State in its 2002 opener and Northeastern in its 2003 home opener, but have since lost to UCLA (2004), Arizona State (2005), Oregon (2006) and UC Irvine (2007). Last season, the Matadors played a school-record 14 consecutive road matches before opening the home season Sept. 28 against the Anteaters. Northridge's record in season-openers dropped to 19-12 (.613) after the Matadors lost in five sets to Washington State on Aug. 29 in Boise, Idaho.
Three-set sweeps were the norm at the ASU Sheraton Invitational last weekend. The Matadors defeated Montana in three and came out on the short end of three-set decisions to Cincinnati and Arizona State. Against the Sun Devils, the Matadors had more kills and digs but came up short in blocks and aces.
"We had 33 digs in one set which is an unbelievable number," said Stork. "We were very dialed in to Arizona State's tendencies but the downside to that contest was our serving and blocking numbers."
"I think overall the weekend was pretty good," said Stork. "We've pretty well dialed in to what we perceive to be as close to a starting lineup as we have. I think this was by far the most difficult of all the tournaments we've played this year.
MATADORS TAKE OVER BIG WEST ACE LEAD
Always one of the top teams in the Big West in serving, the Matadors ranked up 14 aces in three matches last weekend including 11 in a three-set win over Montana. Northridge is now averaging 1.44 aces per set with 46 aces in 32 sets. Sophomore Siara Grayson ranks seventh in the conference at 0.34 aces per set with 11 aces in 32 sets while senior Amy Hultner ranks 10th (0.28) with nine aces in 32 sets.
If record and RPI are any indication the Matadors are beating the teams they should beat and have yet to upset any team in 2008. Northridge's four losses have come to teams with higher RPI's and those teams have a combined record of 27-11 (.711). The Matadors' five wins have come over teams with a combined record of 14-36 (.280) ... The Matadors are one of four Big West teams that have yet to play a home match. UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and Pacific are the others while Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton have each played four home matches in 2008 ... Northridge is 3-3 in neutral site matches and 3-3 in three-set matches.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
The fourth-ranked Bruins bring a 6-1 record into Tuesday's match in Northridge ... UCLA has won five straight since falling to top-ranked Penn State on Aug. 30 ... among the Bruins' wins: a 3-1 win at No. 12 Hawai'i and victories over Big West schools UC Riverside (3-0) and Cal State Fullerton (3-0) ... Sophomore OH Dicey McGraw leads UCLA averaging 3.27 kpg while senior OH Ali Daley averages 2.56 kpg ... Head coach Andy Banachowski (UCLA, 1968) is in his 42nd season with the Bruins and sports a 1,066-282 career and school record.
The Bobcats (4-8) take on Prairie View A&M on Wednesday (Sept. 17) before heading to the West Coast for this Asics Classic ... Texas State has dropped five straight and seven of its last eight matches after opening the season 3-1 ... Junior OH Jessica Weynand leads the Bobcats averaging 2.67 kpg while also contributing 1.84 digs per game ... Soph. setter Brittany Collins averages 5.88 apg ... the Bobcats are hitting .203 as a team ... Head coach Karen Chisum (Texas State, 1971) is in her 29th season and owns a 652-420-3 career and school record.
The 21st-ranked Waves are a perfect 9-0 as they host the Pepperdine Asics Classic this weekend ... The Waves claimed their third tournament championship last weekend at the Nevada AT&T Invitational ... Pepperdine defeated UC Davis, Missouri and the host Wolf Pack all in straight sets ... Senior OH Julie Rubenstein is the Waves' leading hitter at 4.60 kpg while junior OH Rachel Lumsden averages 2.73 kpg ... Junior setter Kiah Fiers averages 10.58 apg ... Head coach Nina Matthies is in her 26th season at Pepperdine and sports a 483-286 career record.