Men’s Volleyball: Matadors end season losing nine out of last 10, miss playoffs

Men's Volleyball: Matadors end season losing nine out of last 10, miss playoffs

Bob Garcia

Setter Travis Megorien sets up senior middle blocker Jared Moore for an attempted kill. File Photo / Daily Sundial
Setter Travis Megorien sets up senior middle blocker Jared Moore for an attempted kill. File Photo / Daily Sundial

In a season filled with promise, the CSUN men’s volleyball team (9-15 MPSF, 11-15 overall) collapsed down the stretch as they failed to win the one match out of their last five needed to clinch a spot in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament.

“I think it was our attitude and effort was a key reason for the last few games of the year,” said sophomore setter Travis Magorien who led the Matadors with 884 assists and ranked 12th in the conference. “Midway through the season we were as high as fourth (in the country) but we just became content and let it slip away.”

The Matadors had an up and down season, winning six of their first eight games but finished losing nine out of their last 10 matches, including their last five road matches.

“Our expectations (going into the season) were that we would be better the year before and make a run in the playoffs,” said head coach Jeff Campbell. “But unfortunately we had some difficulties with injuries along the way that prevented us from hitting our stride from really being the best we could be. We just needed to be better and the end of the year was a little disappointing.”

In the last game of the season, a must win game, Campbell made the decision not to start junior outside hitter Brandon Lebrock and senior middle blocker Jared Moore because he felt they were not practicing well enough to stay in the starting lineup.

In MPSF conference play the Matadors ranked eighth in hitting percentage, sixth in blocks, and was ranked last in both kills and assists.

One bright spot from CSUN’s season was senior opposite John Baker and senior middle blocker Drew Staker being named to the 2013 All-MPSF volleyball team. Baker earned a second team selection and Staker received an honorable mention.

“I was very excited for them (being selected),” Campbell said. “They have worked hard. Drew was one of those guys that was hurt all year and he work hard all year. I am happy that they got the recognition that they deserve from other coaches in the league.”

These awards are the first in both Baker and Staker’s careers and it marks the 11th time in the last 12 seasons that CSUN has had multiple players named to the all MPSF team.

“It is awesome and they deserve it,” Magorien said. “Baker was one of the top hitters this year and Drew is one the top middle blocker.”

Baker led the Matadors this season with 350 kills, was 11th in the MPSF with an average of 3.57 kills per game and led the Matadors with his career high 152 digs.Staker led CSUN in blocks and ranked in the top 10 with 1.11 blocks per game. This season he moved into the top 10 in blocks with 301 and also is ranked eighth in career block assists with 264.

“Next season is going to be a good fresh start for us getting new players and also has the promise of new opportunities,” said freshman middle blocker Leni Ma’ia’i.