2021 Big West Preview: CSUN

Photo courtesy of CSUN Athletics

Jonathan Bates | Associate Editor

With the first match of 2021 involving Big West teams less than a week away, Off the Block will be previewing each of the conference’s six teams. The Big West finished last year with the best non-conference record of any NCAA Division I/II conference, and currently have five teams ranked in both the AVCA coaches poll and the Off the Block media poll. Today, we start with CSUN, who was picked No. 6 in the conference’s preseason coaches poll.


Final 2020 Poll Rankings: –/–
2020 Record: 4-11, 0-0 Big West

2020 Team Stats Rankings
● No. 11 nationally in kills per game (12.48 kills per game)
● No. 13 nationally in assists per game (11.50 digs per game)
● No. 13 nationally in attack percentage (.286)


2020 Individual Stats Rankings
● Middle attacker – Daniel Wetter – No. 1 nationally with a .528 attack percentage
● Setter – Taylor Ittner – No. 9 nationally with 10.07 assists per game
● Outside attacker – Maciej Ptaszynski – No. 14 nationally with 0.466 aces per game

2020 Individual Awards
● Outside attacker – Kyle Hobus (Co-Freshman Big West Player of the Year)
● Middle attacker – Daniel Wetter (Big West First Team)
● Outside attacker – Maciej Ptaszynski (Big West Second Team)

Lost to graduation
● Outside attacker – Domanik Stratford
● Outside attacker – Ksawery Tomsia

New incoming players
● Setter – Lance Krenik
● Opposite – Nathan Merren
● Libero – Joe Picone
● Libero – Magnus Samuelson

Returning starters
● Setter – Taylor Ittner
● Outside attacker – Maciej Ptaszynski
● Outside attacker – Kyle Hobus
● Outside attacker – Griffin Walters
● Middle attacker – Daniel Wetter
● Middle attacker – Paul Rzepniewski
● Libero – Johnny Anselmo

Returning Production
● Kills: 99.7%
● Assists: 78.9%
● Aces: 98.8%
● Digs: 93.9%
● Blocks: 95.7%

Jonathan’s Preview and Bold Prediction
I would love to predict a bounce-back season for CSUN but the deck is stacked against them. Hawai’i returns everyone, while UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine return all but one starter. They (along with Long Beach State) have not had the off-season practice time their Big West colleagues have had, especially Hawai’i. Their best bet for wins this season will come in non-conference matches where the other team will be experimenting with lineups or resting starters. While wins in the Big West might be tough to come by, the is not an indictment of the CSUN roster, but instead the overall strength of the conference. I expect to see Daniel Wetter to be near the top of the attack percentage rankings and earning Big West honors again.