Press Release courtesy of CSUN Athletics
UC Merced Bobcats (0-0) at No. 8 CSUN Matadors (3-0)
Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. PT
The Matadome (2,000) – Northridge, Calif.
In-game Twitter updates: @CSUNMensVB
The eighth-ranked CSUN Matadors (3-0) open the 2018 home schedule this Friday (Jan. 12) as they host UC Merced at 7 p.m. CSUN opened the season last week at the UCSB Asics Invitational, winning all three matches for the third straight season. The Matadors defeated Saint Francis in four sets before sweeping NJIT and Princeton in successive matches.
FOLLOW YOUR MATADORS ONLINE
Follow CSUN Matadors volleyball on-line at the official home of CSUN athletics, www.GoMatadors.com. All home matches will feature live stats and will be streamed live by the CSUN Sports Network presented by Dignity Health via Big West TV. Seven Matador home matches will feature a webcast with Darren Preston handling the play-by-play. For road matches, related links to the match, including for any live stats, audio and video, will be posted before the match on the men’s volleyball schedule page of GoMatadors.com.
Fans are also encouraged to check the CSUN Athletics Department’s official Twitter feed (@GoMatadors) and the volleyball-specific feed (@CSUNMensVB) for news and notes throughout the week as well as updates of matches in progress.
MATADORS JUMP TO EIGHTH IN AVCA TOP-15 COACHES POLL
After winning all three matches at the UCSB Asics Invitational, CSUN jumped up three spots to eighth in this week’s AVCA Div. I Coaches Top-15 Poll. The Matadors earned a season-high 181 points after earning 99 points in the AVCA preseason poll. At No. 8, CSUN has earned its highest ranking since Mar. 11, 2013 when it was also eighth. CSUN has now been ranked in the AVCA Top-15 in 234 of the last 260 weekly polls dating back to the 2002 season.
Ohio State (1-0), which totaled 365 points and 18 first-place votes, was ranked number one for the second consecutive poll followed by fellow Big West squad Long Beach State (4-0) which received five first-place votes and 352 points. UCLA (3-0) and Hawai’i (3-0) also received one first-place vote and were followed in the top five by UC Irvine (2-0). BYU (1-1) is sixth this week followed in the top 10 by Loyola-Chicago (1-1), the Matadors, Penn State (0-0) and Pepperdine (1-0). The remainder of this week’s top 15 features Lewis (0-2), USC (3-1), Grand Canyon (3-0), Ball State (2-0) and Saint Francis (2-2).
UC Merced (0-0): The Bobcats open the 2018 season Thursday at UC San Diego. UC Merced returns its leading hitter in senior outside Cole Smith who averaged a team-high 3.50 kills per set in 2017. Senior setter Matthew Pelfini also returns from last season’s squad that finished 7-11 overall. UC Merced is an NAIA school competing as part of an unaffiliated grouping with Menlo College, Benedictine University at Mesa and Hope International.
Friday’s match is just the second meeting all-time between CSUN and UC Merced. The Matadors took the first meeting in straight sets (25-12, 25-14, 25-16) in The Matadome last season. In the win, CSUN snapped a 35-year old school record by committing just two hitting errors while connecting for 43 kills on 62 swings to hit .661. That broke the CSUN single match hitting record of .598 set at UCSB in 2009. It also snapped the Matadome record of .624 set by Stanford in 1989. Dimitar Kalchev and Schylar Lillethorup each put down a match-high 13 kills to lead the Matadors with Kalchev hitting a career-high .929 on 14 errorless swings which tied for the CSUN single match record.
HONORS FOR GREENE AT THE UCSB ASICS INVITATIONAL
After leading CSUN in kills all three matches, senior opposite Arvis Greene was named to the UCSB Asics Invitational All-Tournament Team. Greene hit a combined .321 in three Matador wins, averaging a team-high 3.90 kills per set. He also added 10 aces which included a career-high four aces against both NJIT and Princeton. Greene’s performance also earned him an honorable mention selection on VolleyMob.com’s national Player of the Week list.
CSUN UNBEATEN IN LAST THREE UCSB ASICS INVITATIONALS
With wins over Saint Francis, NJIT and Princeton last week in Santa Barbara, the Matadors went undefeated at UCSB’s annual tournament for the third straight year. CSUN defeated Quincy, Fort Wayne and Mount Olive in 2017 and Sacred Heart, Lindenwood and NJIT in 2016. The Matadors’ last loss at the Santa Barbara tournament came to Princeton in 2015. CSUN is now 48-30 (.615) all-time in 20 appearances at the UCSB Asics Invitational.
KALCHEV MOVES INTO FOURTH PLACE IN CAREER ACES
In three matches last week, junior outside hitter Dimitar Kalchev added six aces to his career total which now stands at 114. Kalchev moved into a fourth-place tie with Mike Gaudino who served 114 aces in 335 sets from 2007-10. Kalchev has achieved his career total in just 209 sets over two-plus seasons. Kalchev, who broke Eric Vance’s eight-year record for aces in a single season last year with 63, holds down two spots in the CSUN single season top 10 as he also ranks 10th after serving 45 as a freshman in 2016.
Several Matador players made his CSUN debut over the course of three matches in Santa Barbara. Sophomore Ksawery Tomsia (Gdansk, Poland) started all three matches at outside hitter, putting down a season-high 14 kills on .348 hitting in his debut against Saint Francis. Maciej Ptaszynski (Gdansk, Poland), who attended the same high school as Tomsia, appeared in all three matches, recording five kills against Princeton. Junior Lucas Timm (Lake Elsinore, Calif.) saw spot duty in two matches and had two big kills against NJIT and redshirt freshman Gabe Vernoy (Ventura, Calif.) recorded a pair of kills against Saint Francis and had four blocks against Princeton. The Matadors also used a pair of liberos as freshman Sean Mitchell (Chula Vista, Calif.) started the opener before junior transfer Evan Enriques (Kailua, Hawai’i) started the final two matches.
CAMPBELL CLOSES IN ON 300 CAREER WINS
CSUN head coach Jeff Campbell notched the 292nd win of his career following the Matadors’ 3-0 win over Princeton on Jan. 6. Having become CSUN men’s volleyball’s all-time winningest coach during the 2010 season, Campbell, who now has a career record of 292-287 (.504), reached the 150, 200, 225 and 250 career milestone wins over the last nine seasons. Currently, the second-longest tenured head coach at CSUN (men’s golf coach Jim Bracken is in his 32nd season) Campbell has posted double figure win totals in 18 of his previous 20 seasons on the bench and notched a career-best 24 wins in 2009.
Arvis Greene ranks atop the Big West rankings in aces after the first week of play. Greene, who served 10 aces over three matches last week, is averaging a conference-best 1.00 aces per set. Kalchev ranks third at 0.60 aces per set with six aces in 10 sets. Greene also ranks second in points per set (5.35) and fourth in kills per set (3.90) in the conference. Junior Eric Chance ranks fourth in blocks per set (1.30) with Josiah Byers sixth at 1.14. Setter Schylar Lillethorup currently ranks fifth in assists at 9.00 per set … As a team, CSUN leads the Big West in blocking averaging 2.85 per set and is second in aces at 2.30 … With Thursday’s win over Saint Francis, the Matadors improved to 25-16 (.610) in season openers. CSUN takes a 28-12 record in home openers into Friday’s match against UC Merced.
After Friday’s home opener against UC Merced, CSUN then hits the road to face former MPSF foe Stanford on Jan. 17 in Burnham Pavilion. The Matadors then return home for a single match, Jan. 19against Concordia-Irvine before departing for the Midwest to take on Lewis and Loyola-Chicago (Jan. 25-27).