Notebook: Woosh? The call of the Matador

Victor Corona

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Anyone who’s been to a men’s volleyball game over the last few seasons might have noticed that, after winning a point, the Matadors ‘- both on and off the court ‘- come together in a circle and yell something.

That something is ‘woosh.’

Some players, especially freshmen, don’t know how this call originated. They just do it.
‘I don’t actually know, I was going to ask someone,’ said first-year player Matt Stork after the Matadors’ 3-1 quarterfinal win over BYU on Saturday.

If anyone would know how this random roar came to be, that would be the lone senior on the team, Eric Vance. According to the All-American the ‘woosh’ is something that he and junior Theo Edwards started.

‘We used to do something (like that) before. I forget what it was, but we changed it up during (Edwards’) freshman or sophomore year,’ Vance said.

Edwards, an opposite hitter who has been the spark plug off the bench late in the season for Head coach Jeff Campbell, recalled how the woosh originated in 2007.

‘Two years ago me and (outside hitter) Mike Gaudino played on the practice team and we were playing real well one day,’ Edwards starterd. ‘One day, I told Mike, ‘next point, I want you to open your legs and, when I get that kill, I’m doing something funny.’

‘And I got that kill and I just went ‘woosh’ and dove underneath his legs. That was the birth of ‘wooooosh’ and we started doing it and it has transferred over to the first team. We’ve been doing ever since.’

The woosh was in full-effect against the Cougars, especially after the team struggled in the third set and fell behind by eight. Campbell, needing a spark, inserted Edwards into the lineup. The move paid immediate dividends as a combined block from Kevin McKniff and Edwards fueled a great comeback.

‘Woosh.’

‘For us, it brings the team together,’ Edwards said. ‘It fires people up and is intimidating when you make a big play. And then when someone on the other team gets blocked and hears the woooosh all in sync together, it’s strong.’

MPSF has plenty of Northridge

Thanks to a great regular season in which the CSUN finished ranked as the No. 2 team in the nation, five Matadors were honored by the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation last week. Senior Eric Vance, juniors Ali’i Keohohou, Jacek Ratajczak, Kevin McKniff and freshman Matt Stork were all named All-MPSF. Stork was also named setter on the seven-player MPSF All-Freshman team.

Vance, the six-foot-four All-American, was named to the MPSF First team for the second season in a row. He became the first Matador player to do so since the start of MPSF in 1993. Vance 2009 r’eacute;sum’eacute; included 573 kills (second in MPSF), 5.51 kills per game (second in MPSF) and a school-record 56 aces. He was also named MPSF Player of the Week three times, as well as Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week twice.

Ratajczak, the seven-foot middle blocker from Warsaw, Poland was named to the MPSF Second Team after leading the Matadors in total blocks (110), finishing second on the team in hitting percentage (.460) and ranking fourth in both kills (247) and kills per game (2.40).’ ‘ ‘ ‘

Stork, a six-foot-four setter, was named to the MPSF Third Team along with McKniff. Stork led the nation in assists per game (14.12) and had 1,468 total assists, number which ranks ninth on the Northridge all-time total-assists-for-a-single-season record books. Stork led Northridge as a freshman to a .336 team hitting percentage, That was third-best in the nation.

McKniff, a six-foot-seven middle blocker, led the Matadors in hitting (.474) and was fifth in kills with 223. He finished second to Ratajczak in blocks with 102. His .474 hitting percentage was second in the conference behind Kevin Wynne of UC Irvine.

Keohohou, a five-foot-seven libero, was an MPSF Honorable Mention after leading the Matadors in digs with 293, which ranked third in the conference. His digs per set (2.87) ranked third in the MPSF this season behind Erik Shoji of Stanford (3.96) and Dustin Watten of Long Beach State.

The five picks tied a school record for All-MPSF selections, matching the 2004 and 2008 teams. Since 2002, 28 Matadors have been named to all-conference teams.