After a disappointing Big West Conference opening weekend up north against UC Davis and Pacific, the CSUN women’s volleyball team (4-10, 0-2 Big West) is looking for answers on how to improve its current record.
“The success of the team is distributed among all the players and even the coaches,” head coach Jeff Stork said, when asked what the team should focus on during practice. “There is no one area (in which) it all lies.”
Whatever it is that the team practices will be put to test when it travels to the high desert to take on the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners (7-10) today.
The Roadrunners are coming off a 3-1 loss to San Francisco University. Earlier this month the Matadors played SFU in a tournament with the same result.
Bakersfield’s roster only includes four upperclassmen, including one junior and three seniors. Of the three seniors, only two can be considered key playmakers: setter Barbie Unfried and defensive specialist/libero Kayla Williamson. The lone junior on the team is outside hitter Lindsay Toone, who ranks fifth on the Roadrunners kills list.
Unfried has dished out 591 assists this season to go along with her 23 aces, while Williamson has amassed 394 digs (5.97 digs per set). Freshman middle blocker Kelsey Mills leads in blocks with 35, six of which she acquired on her own.
Seeing as to how the Roadrunners don’t have a player that reaches over the height of five-feet-ten-inches, the Matadors might just have a chance at a victory. But even with a height disadvantage, the Roadrunners do have a young offense that gets the job done.
Sophomore Lindy DeGeare leads the Roadrunners in kills with 236 (.241) under her belt, and she is tied for first on the team in aces with 26. Another sophomore, middle blocker Alysia Baker, joins DeGeare at the top of the ace list and also ranks second in kills with 154 (.252).
The Matadors’ offense is still led by senior Angela Hupp (who had a mixed weekend against Davis and Pacific), with a consistent supporting cast led by freshmen Britney Graff and Brittany Williams. Sophomore Sam Orlandini has been consistent in assisting the hitters while the defensive duo of Karina Woerhstein and Monica McFarland has dominated the back row.