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CSUN Treks North to Prepare for WIVA Volleyball Season

October 29, 1987|RALPH NICHOLS | Times Staff Writer

With UCLA, Pepperdine and USC in the Western Intercollegiate Volleyball Assn., the Cal State Northridge men's volleyball team needs to look no further than its own conference to find tough competition.

But with three months until WIVA play starts, CSUN Coach John Price wanted to get a jump on the competition.

The Matadors get their chance in the second annual Thunderball Tournament at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, this weekend.

CSUN also will meet British Columbia in exhibition matches tonight and Sunday.

The Matadors play the University of Victoria on Friday in their first match of the two-day tournament. On Saturday, the CSUN-Victoria winner faces the winner of a match between British Columbia and a club team comprising Canadian all-stars.

For the Matadors, the competition will serve as preparation for play in their own powerhouse conference.

Both British Columbia and Victoria defeated NCAA champion UCLA in exhibition matches last week. UCLA, which was 1-6 on its tour of western Canada, has won 12 NCAA championships since 1970.

UCLA's poor showing in western Canada does not discourage Price.

"I wasn't expecting it to be that tough," Price said. "But we need to find out how good we are and the better the competition is the better it is for us."

CSUN did not get much respect from conference opponents last season. The Matadors were 15-21 overall and eighth in conference play with a 4-14 record.

Price expects to improve on last season's finish and his goal is to qualify for the regional playoffs. CSUN begins conference play Jan. 25 against Hawaii.

"We're a very competitive team, but in our league you can be a legitimate contender and finish ninth," Price said.

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