Titans Fall to Anteaters in Five Sets

Box Score (PDF)

Fullerton, Calif. -- Bre Moreland dropped 23 kills and Faith Rockmore added 22 more, but it wasn't enough as Cal State Fullerton lost to UC Irvine in five sets. It is the eighth, five-set contest of the season for the Titans.

The Titans fall to 10-14, 3-9 while UC Irvine improves to 14-13, 5-8. Set scores were: 26-24, 22-25, 25-21, 19-25, 15-10.

Offensively, Cassidy Pickrell led all attackers with 25 kills (four errors) on the night and 47 swings, good for a .447 hitting efficiency from the outside hitter position. Marisa Bubica chipped in with 15 kills. Setter Shelley Anderson had 52 assists, with two aces as well.

Rockmore and Moreland, who also led the team in digs with 22, paced the Titans offensively throughout the evening and Fullerton outhit and outblocked Irvine, .238 - .217 in efficiency, and a 12-8 advantage at the net. But, Irvine, as it has done all season, used power serving to maintain or apply pressure in the match. The Anteaters had seven service aces to Fullerton's four.

Defensively, there were big plays on both sides of the net, with Anteater libero Arden Davis leading her team with 21. For the Titans, in addition to Moreland's 22 digs, Julie Consani and Abbie Miraldi each contributed 12 in the effort. Miraldi added some consistent serving in the second set, in particular, that had the Anteaters off pace.

From the middle, the Titans got eight kills from Holland Crenshaw and five from Leah Best, while opposite side hitter Alyse Hensley added eight more. Setter Julie Consani, the Big West leader in assists per set, matched Anderson's 52 and added an ace, a block solo and four block assists.

The match was even throughout as Cal State Fullerton had a set point early in the first that the Anteaters overcame to take the lead, 1-0. The Titans regrouped to claim the second set in similar fashion as Irvine had the previous one and established a pattern of back and forth that would persist.

By the end of the third, either team could've been up 2-1, or either team could have already won the match. In the fourth, Cal State Fullerton grabbed a lead midway through and applied pressure in what was the most dominant set of the evening to that point. Irvine countered by forcing a tie at eight in the final frame and the Anteaters mounted a lead they would not relinquish to claim the match. 

The Titans host Long Beach State, who beat UC Riverside this evening, 3-1, tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. in what will be a trifecta of sports in Titan Gym. Starting at noon, the women's basketball team hosts Fresno State, followed by the Titan men's home opener at 3 p.m.