The Matadors take their No. 2 national ranking to Hawaii, a place where they have lost their last five matches.
Cal State Northridge visits No.12 Hawaii for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. The Stan Sheriff Center, home arena of the Warriors, has not been a very pleasant place to play at for the Matadors over the years.
CSUN has played 24 matches in Hawaii since 1977, when the men’s volleyball program started at Northridge. CSUN has gone 3-21 in those matches, losing their last five and getting swept the last two trips to the Big Island.
This season has been a struggle for the Warriors, getting out to a 1-6 overall record and losing all four Mountain Pacific Sports Federation matches while only winning three of 15 sets.
CSUN, which is off to the best start in its history, looks to add to the Warriors’ miserable start by getting solid performances from senior Eric Vance, sophomore Tanner Nua and freshman Matt Stork.
‘We never look (past) any team. Every team is really good in this league,’ Vance said. ‘Every team is really hard to beat.”
After the two game-match in Hawaii this weekend, the Matadors return home to host Long Beach State on Feb. 6. The match will be the first of five consecutive at home for Northridge.
Both matches against Hawaii will be available via live video streaming (uhstreaming.oceanic.com) and audio webcast (espn1420am.com).
Matador to watch: Matt Stork, freshman, setter: Last week, Stork had a season-high 45 assists against No. 10 UC Santa Barbara, helping the offense to its best hitting percentage this season (.416). The reason for his stellar play as a freshman might have something to do with being the son of former U.S. Olympian and current CSUN women’s volleyball coach Jeff Stork.
Warriors to watch:
Steven Hunt, freshman, outside hitter:
Hunt is leading the Warriors in kills as a freshman. In his last 3 games he has cumulated 58 kills, averaging 5.3 kills per set. For the year he is averaging 4.04 kills per set.
Gus Tauniga, freshman, outside hitter:
Tauniga is part of the youth movement for the Warriors. He is third on the team in kills with 53, and is averaging 2.21 a set this season. In his last match against BYU Tauniga had 10 kills and 2 assists.
What did he say?
Jeff Campbell, CSUN Head Coach: On facing the Warriors at the Stan Sheriff Center:
‘That is a very good team, that is very tough at their place’