Matadors hope to continue home-cooking

Victor Corona

Wins over two top-15 teams last week has the No. 4 Matadors back on track this week as they prepare to face non-conference opponent Cal Baptist at the Matadome Friday. The Lancers, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Division team from Riverside, comes into the match as the top-ranked team in this week’s NAIA national rankings.

‘They are a very talented team. They are in a different division than we are, but they are still very good,’ CSUN Head Coach’ Jeff Campbell said. ‘This is a non-conference match, which doesn’t count towards our league-record but, this is a team that we need to get better against.’

Both teams are coming off impressive wins last weekend. The Matadors (8-2, 5-2 MPSF) swept No. 7 Long Beach State and No. 15′ UC San Diego at home while Cal Baptist won all four matches at the Lindenwood Tournament in St. Charles, Mo. They beat four top-10 teams in the NIAI national rankings, including previously-undefeated top-ranked Park.

The Lancers are led by freshman outside hitter Levi Cabral, who averages 5.37 kills per game. Junior outside hitter Adiel Tiedjop is second at 5.16 kpg.

Look for the Matadors to contain them with their size up front, where they’re led by 7-foot junior middle blocker Jazek Ratajczak and 6-foot-7 junior middle blocker Kevin Mcniff. The two combined to have 13 kills and eight blocks against UC Santa Barbara.

Date: Friday
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: The Matadome, Northridge
Series: CSUN leads 2-0
Last meeting: CBU 0 @ CSUN 3, Mar 2, 2007
Interesting fact: Cal Baptist is 2-3 against Mountain Pacific Sports Federation teams this season, defeating BYU and UC San Diego and losing to UC Irvine, Pepperdine and UCLA.

Matador to watch:
Tanner Nua, sophomore, opposite hitter

Nua has enjoyed the comfort of playing at the Matadome this season. In three matches at home, he has 31 kills in helping the Matadors to sweeps over three opponents. Nua has posted at least 10 kills in eight of the first nine matches. In the match-up against UC San Diego, he was held to eight kills, snapping a five-game streak of at least 10 kills in a game.

Lancer to watch:
Adiel Tiedjop, junior, opposite hitter

Tiedjop is a 27-year-old from Cameroon. He leads the team with 19 aces and is second in kills with 5.16 per game. Last season, he started 25 of 26 matches and led the team in kills with 405 (4.76 kps.) Tiedjop holds the Cal Baptist record for kills in a game with 35 versus Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne.

What did he say?

Jeff Campbell, CSUN Head Coach
On Cal Baptist:

‘They are very good. They would be very competitive if the played in our league’