MATCH #26 CSUN at UC Irvine, Friday, Nov. 18, Crawford Court, Irvine, CA, 7:00 p.m. MATCH #27 CSUN at Long Beach State, Saturday, Nov. 19, The Pyramid, Long Beach, CA, 7:00 p.m.
MATADORS CLOSE 2005 SEASON AT UC IRVINE, LONG BEACH STATE
Cal State Northridge women’s volleyball (4-21, 2-10 Big West) wraps up the 2005 season with a pair of road matches this week as the Matadors travel to UC Irvine (9-18, 2-10) and Long Beach State (21-5, 10-2). Both matches have an effect on the Big West standings as the winner of Friday’s match in Irvine will most likely finish out of the Big West cellar. Saturday’s match has higher aspirations as Long Beach State is still in the hunt for the Big West regular season crown, but needs to defeat CSUN to get there.
CRAWFORD’S 12 DIGS VS. UCSB GIVES HER 411 FOR THE SEASON
Junior libero Jamie Crawford moved up another spot into seventh-place on the Cal State Northridge season digs list with 411 after a 12-dig performance against UC Santa Barbara. Crawford, who moved past Alexis Cormiér (404), becomes just the eighth player in Northridge history to record 400 or more digs in one season. Crawford is also just 60 digs away from entering the CSUN career top 10 in digs.
DONALDSON TAKES OVER AS TEAM’S LEADING HITTER
Freshman middle Darla Donaldson, one of the Matadors’ hottest hitters of late, has taken over as the team leader in hitting percentage at .236. She hit a season-high .588 with 11 kills and one error in 17 swings against Pacific (Oct. 29) and hit .524 (13-2-24) in the three-game win over Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 20. Donaldson is also the team leader in kills per game at 2.91, which is historic in that this season’s Matadors will not have a player average at least 3.00 kills per game for the first time in 14 years.
FOUR FRESHMEN ACCOUNT FOR 69% OF CSUN’S POINTS IN 2005
CSUN’s version of the “Fab Four” hitters (Harmony Burdine, Darla Donaldson, Val Kepler and Jenn Probert) have accounted for 1,115 of CSUN’s 1,620.5 points this season. Donaldson is the team leader with 315.5 points, followed by Burdine (303.0 points), Probert (285.0) and Kepler (211.5). Add in Kelley Hanson’s 138.0 points and Kayla Wright’s 119.5 points and the amount of points generated by CSUN’s 2005 freshmen class grows to 1,372.5 or 84.6% of the Matadors’ total points.
UCSB LOSS COMPLETES 3-9 HOME SEASON FOR CSUN
With the 3-0 loss to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, the Matadors completed their home season with a 3-9 record. The .250 home winning percentage is the lowest for a CSUN team since 1995 when the Matadors finished 1-8 (.111). This season, Northridge was swept at home six times and won 13 games while dropping 30. The Matadors’ three home wins came over UNLV, Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton.
MATADORS IN THE BIG WEST STATS
In the latest Big West stats, Jamie Crawford remains second in digs per game averaging 5.01 dpg. Crawford trails Cal State Fullerton’s Venessa Vella by 0.42 digs per game heading into the final week of the regular season. Besides Crawford, the only other Matador players to rank among the top 10 in the Big West are freshmen Val Kepler and Kayla Wright. Kepler dropped two spots into ninth place in blocks at 1.01 bpg, while Wright remains seventh in the conference in assists per game (10.29). As a team, the Matadors rank as high as fifth in the Big West in team digs (15.97) and are sixth in blocks (2.21) and seventh in opponents hitting percentage (.241). CSUN ranks eighth in the remaining four categories: kills (13.78), hitting percentage (.174), assists (12.59) and aces (1.43).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Matadors need to win one of its final two matches to avoid its second eight-match losing streak of the season. CSUN also dropped eight in a row from Sept. 20 to Oct. 15 before beating Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 20. The Matadors have not been able to string together two wins yet this season ... Northridge’s run of consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament will end at two (2003 and 2004). The Matadors have now been to the three times since 1996 ... As a team, the Matadors need four kills to surpass the 1989 team and avoid setting the Division I era record for lowest kill total in a season. Northridge currently has 1,282 kills in 25 matches, the 1989 squad had 1,286 kills in 37 matches ... After winning its conference opener over Cal Poly on Sept. 17, CSUN has dropped 10 of its last 11 Big West matches. Over that span of matches, the Matadors have won 10 games and lost 31.
SCOUTING UC IRVINE
The Anteaters (9-18, 2-10 Big West) also close their season this week against the Matadors on Friday and Pacific on Saturday. UCI has dropped five straight matches since defeating Northridge 3-0 on Oct. 25. Last week, the Anteaters dropped a pair of road matches at Cal State Fullerton (3-1) and UC Riverside (3-2). Senior Amanda Vazquez, who pounded 26 kills in the five-game loss at UCR, leads UCI in kills at 3.62 per game which also ranks sixth in the Big West. Freshman Lauren Kellerman ranks second at 2.99 kpg. Head coach Charlie Brande is in his sixth season with the Anteaters and sports an 83-93 overall and school record. Friday’s match will be the 31st meeting all-time between the Matadors and Anteaters with Northridge holding an 18-12 advantage in the series. The Matadors are an even 7-7 all-time against the Anteaters in Irvine.
SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE
The 49ers (21-5, 10-2 Big West), who received 61 points in this week’s CSTV/AVCA Top 25 poll, can claim a share of the Big West title with a pair of wins this week. Long Beach hosts Pacific on Friday before entertaining the Matadors on Saturday. If the 49ers win twice they will claim the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament by virtue of a tiebreaker over UCSB. Freshman Ali Daley had 26 kills in a pair of wins last weekend ranks second on the team averaging 3.54 kpg. Sophomore Alexis Crimes leads the team averaging 3.56 kpg and is hitting a team-high .372. Head coach Brian Gimmillaro is in his 21st season with the 49ers and sports a 574-133 overall and school record. Saturday’s match will be the 17th meeting all-time between the Matadors and 49ers with Long Beach holding a 12-4 advantage in the series. The Matadors are 2-6 all-time in The Pyramid.