The Matadome, CSUN’s home for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball, added 800 new seats in time for the start of the 2015-16 basketball season. And for the first time in several seasons, CSUN Athletics sold season ticket packages for women’s basketball — riding the wave of excitement following the Matador women’s back-to-back Big West Conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2014 and 2015.
“In the past year, we’ve seen more and more fans at the Matadome for each home game,” said Brandon Martin, director of intercollegiate athletics. “Our teams deserve the best home-court advantage possible, and we’re excited that 800 additional CSUN fans will be able to pack the Matadome to cheer them on.” In addition to the Matador women’s dominance in the Big West, the CSUN men’s and women’s volleyball teams have been nationally ranked. Along with men’s basketball, all of these teams keep the Matadome buzzing from fall to spring.
CSUN added the additional seats on the upper half of the south side of the hardwood — nicknamed “The Blacktop” — across from the team benches. The new seats are available at general admission prices. “Any time you have more fans cheering for you, it increases home-court advantage,” said CSUN women’s basketball head coach Jason Flowers.
Matadors Launch CSUN Sports Network
Unveiled in August, the CSUN Sports Network multimedia platform showcases extensive video content on GoMatadors.com and the Matadors’ social media handles, expanding the ways in which fans can interact with their favorite Matador teams. The CSUN Sports Network is an expansion of CSUN’s previous MatadorTV, which has been a leader in the Big West Conference for video production.
The new media platform features on- demand video content, weekly update videos for in-season sports, highlights and feature videos. It also features Spanish-language content and archived audio content from CSUN Sports Network radio broadcasts.
The CSUN Sports Network also continues to offer live broadcasts of men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball games for BigWest.TV and added baseball and softball broadcasts for the spring. CSUN Athletics collaborates with the Department of Cinema and Television Arts to create and staff the CSUN Sports Network, giving CSUN student interns hands-on experience in sports production and expanding the opportunities available to students interested in TV and multimedia production.
Matador Alumnae Take Their Talents to Europe
It was less than a year ago that former CSUN women’s basketball player Ashlee Guay, the Matadors’ all-time leading scorer, played her final home game inside The Matadome. With her prolific college career behind her, Guay’s basketball journey has led her to Germany, where she plays for the Rutronik Stars Keltern — a pro team in Keltern, in the southwest part of the country, near the French border.
“Going from [CSUN] to playing professional basketball [in Germany] is a huge transition,” Guay said. “It was really weird to me at first to not go to class and work. I was like, ‘Wow, my only obligation is basketball!’ You are your own business and have to invest in yourself and remember that this is your job.”
Fortunately for Guay, there’s one familiar face with her in Germany — former Matador teammate Camille Mahlknecht, who has played with Guay since their freshman year at CSUN. “It is definitely a blessing to have one of my best friends here with me,” Guay said. “We got so lucky having that familiarity on the court and friendship off the court. It is like having a piece of home here.”
While Guay admits to missing her home in San Diego, she said the adjustment is starting to get easier. “You have days where you miss home, but we are lucky that we live in a time when there are so many ways to communicate,” Guay said. “Although it can be difficult, I am really enjoying my experience overseas and I’m looking to continually grow as a young woman.” —Paul Amico
Tommy Lasorda Paints
CSUN Blue Hall of Fame Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda came to CSUN last season to sign the new biography, Tommy Lasorda My Way, written by Lasorda’s longtime press coordinator, assistant and CSUN alum Colin Gunderson. After meeting CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Brandon Martin, Lasorda surprised the CSUN baseball team with a pregame visit, delivering an impassioned speech. “You’ve got to play for the name on the front of your jersey,” he told the players, “not the back!”