CSUN looks to finish on top of Big West

Victor Flores

If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon already you may soon want to consider doing so.

The women’s volleyball team has started conference play on a good hand. They are currently in third place in the Big West standings heading into their rematch tonight against the Cal State Fullerton Titans. Their overall record stands at 10-5 and 3-1 in conference play. Their only conference loss thus far has been to Long Beach State, who currently holds a matching Big West record with the Matadors.

The 49ers are not a team to be taken lightly. Long Beach State was ranked by the American Volleyball Coaches Association during the middle of September. Another conference opponent, Cal Poly (13-5, 5-0), has remained consistent in the AVCA rankings throughout the season.

The Matadors’ schedule has not been the most difficult at this point, which is something they should take advantage of.

They have already exceeded the preseason conference expectations and surpassed last year’s win total very early in the season. They were ranked to finish seventh overall during the preseason coaches poll and have already defeated teams selected to finish fourth and fifth. Pacific, who was selected to finish fourth, was blown out by the Matadors in game three of their matchup, 30-8, which head coach Jeff Stork called a rare occasion in volleyball. They have proven they can beat Fullerton and Pacific and their season will probably come down to the outcome of the two UC Santa Barbara games and one remaining match against Long Beach State. They have already lost to Long Beach, and Cal Poly will only prove to be a tougher match. Unless the Matadors can pull an unprecedented upset, look for CSUN to compete for the third and possibly second spot in the conference.

As a team, CSUN currently ranks in the top half of the conference in every statistical category except for assists and digs, in which they rank fifth out of eight teams. First place Cal Poly has played strong but statistically has not put up numbers that are any more superior to CSUN’s.

The Matadors are well represented in the leader boards for the conference. Darla Donaldson is second in hitting percentage, eighth in kills per game and first in blocks per game. Angela Hupp and Kayla Wright rank in the top 10 in assists, while five CSUN players are in the top 10 for service aces. In digs, only Cal State Fullerton and Northridge have posted two players in the top 10.

Not shy on talent, look for plenty of well rounded play from Northridge as they get deeper into Big West play.