CSUN’s men’s volleyball plays back-to-back MPSF matches

Ignacio Marquez

Head coach Jeff Campbell has very specific goals he wants to accomplish this week as the Matadors prepare for back-to-back matches that start Friday at the Matadome.

Campbell pounded the CSUN men’s volleyball team in practice, working on defense, defense and more defense. The blocking and serving wasn’t there either, he said. The Matadors were in very bad shape following a straight-set loss to UC Santa Barbara on Friday.

“Okay, right now we are focusing on defense, we are focusing on blocking and serving. Right now we are not doing a very good job at that, but we’re getting better,” Campbell said.

He said the lack of work in these areas are the reason for the struggles.

“We haven’t spent a whole lot of time doing that and so for our young players to get good at that, we got to spend time on blocking and we got to spend time on serving and defense. So that’s what we did today and I’m sure we’ll do that in the few days.”

Northridge needs a complete turnaround from the way they played last game if they want to beat Stanford, Friday’s opponent.

The Cardinal (3-1, 2-1 MPSF) is ranked third in conference and is coming off a two-game series split against No. 2 University of Hawaii.

The match is not so much about playing Stanford, which ranked first in the nation en route to winning the NCAA Championship while beating CSUN in the MPSF championship match, but more about seeing improvement rather than worrying about the next opponent.

“It’s a different team, we’re a different team. We’re not looking at last year at all. You know the big picture is we need to get better and doesn’t matter who we are playing on Friday,” Campbell said. “Stanford is a great team and they got great players, great coaching staff and they will be ready to go I’m sure. But we’ve got to get better and we’ve got to be able to compete with them so hopefully we’ll have a good week of practice and be ready.”

Freshman middle blocker Greg Faulkner is optimistic about learning and applying the lessons onto the matches, even if inexperience remains a lingering issue.

“Hopefully from the stuff that we’re learning here we’re able to execute and play the game,” said Faulkner, who leads the team in blocks with 13. “Hopefully how we do in that game it could propel us through the rest of the season.”