FULLERTON, Calif. - Niki Withers tallied 23 kills on the day and McKenna Painton added 26 digs in two matches, earning each a selection to the All-Tournament Team as Cal State Fullerton finished in second place at the Titan Classic after splitting their two matches on Saturday at Titan Gym.
Match One: Cal State Fullerton 3, Sacred Heart 0 (PDF Box)
Withers finished the match with 12 kills to lead the Titans (2-1) while Holland Crenshaw hammered down eight kills without an error to compile a .727 hitting percentage as the Titans downed the Pioneers 25-17, 25-21, 25-18 on Saturday morning.
Mackenzie Olsen dished out 29 assists and added three blocks and three digs while Painton paced the defense with 11 digs.
The Titans had 41 digs as a team and 20 blocked shots (two solo). Freshman Stephanie Buss was outstanding at the net with eight total blocks (one solo). Katelyn Nielsen also had three blocks while Crenshaw and Megan Kurz pitched in with two blocks apiece.
Fullerton was stellar in the first two sets, building a six-point lead in the first and a seven-point advantage in the second to take a commanding 2-0 lead. In fact, the Titans trailed only briefly in the match, falling behind 11-8 in the third set. They tied it at 12 before the Pioneers (0-3) took the lead on a kill from Makayla Dole. After that, the Titans took over as they scored five straight points to take a 17-13 lead and outscored the Pioneers 13-5 to close out the match.
Match Two: Texas Tech 3, Cal State Fullerton 0 (PDF Box)
Both teams entered the sixth and final match of the Titan Classic undefeated, essentially making it the championship match, which the Red Raiders would sweep 25-14, 25-18, 25-22.
Withers led the way offensively with 11 kills and a .308 hitting percentage. She led the tournament with a 4.30 kills per set average, hammering down 43 kills in 10 sets.
Nielsen added 10 kills against the Red Raiders (3-0) while Painton added 15 digs. She led the tournament with a 5.60 digs per set average after accumulating 56 in 10 sets played.
Olsen added 27 assists and the Orange-native finished the tournament with a 10.11 assists per game average, dishing out 91 in nine sets.
The Titans came out sluggish in the first set, managing a .057 hitting percentage and it proved costly as they were never in the game.
But the team came out energized in the second frame, jumping out to a 7-3 advantage. The Red Raiders regrouped, however, scoring 10 of the next 11 points out of a timeout to take the lead, which they never relinquished.
The third set was the closest of the match as neither team was able to build a lead of more than three points. There were five ties and three lead changes in the frame, with the Red Raiders jumping out in front for good on an ace by Rachel Brummitt to make it 14-13. Brummitt was named to the All-Tournament team while teammate Lauren Douglass earned MVP honors, tallying 10 kills against the Titans. She led the tournament with a .544 hitting percentage, tallying 35 kills.
Titan Classic All-Tournament Team
MVP - Lauren Douglass (Texas Tech)
Rachel Brummitt (Texas Tech)
Niki Withers (Cal State Fullerton)
McKenna Painton (Cal State Fullerton)
Meghan Wentzel (Bucknell)
Ana Gonzalez (Sacred Heart)
Notes: Bucknell finished third in the Titan Classic after defeating Sacred Heart in five sets in Match No. 5… In three matches and 10 sets, the Titans had 176 digs… The Titan Classic drew 882 fans to Titan Gym during the two days of action… Through three matches, Kurz and Paige Reed each lead the team with three service aces.