FULLERTON, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton committed 35 attacking errors and they proved costly as they dropped a 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 20-25, 14-25) decision to Yale in their opening match of the Fullerton Classic Presented by Embassy Suites - Orange County Friday night at Titan Gym.
Niki Withers led the way for the Titans (5-6) offense with 18 kills and junior middle blocker Holland Crenshaw added 13 kills but it was not enough to overtake the visiting Bulldogs (3-4), who had three players notch double-digit kills and out hit the Titans .245 to .090 for the match.
Mackenzie Olsen had her second double-double of the season, dishing out 39 assists to go along with 10 digs. Megan Kurz had seven kills for the Titans offense and McKenna Painton led the defense with 22 digs. Rachel Brown chipped in with eight digs and one service ace while Paige Reed added seven digs in the loss.
Kelly Johnson led the Bulldogs with 14 kills and a .345 hitting percentage, Mollie Rogers added 12 kills and 11 digs and Maya Midzik pitched in with 10 kills and nine blocks.
The Titans were their own worst enemy, committing at least seven attacking errors in every set, culminated by 12 errors in the fourth and final set. But the Titans had their chances, particularly in the first set.
The teams hung around with each other in the opening frame as the set featured eight ties and three lead changes. The Titans held a 19-17 advantage after an ace from Brown and a hitting error by Johnson. Following a timeout, the Bulldogs stormed back with five straight points to take a three-point lead. They capitalized on three Fullerton attacking errors late and went on to claim the set, 25-21.
The Titans bounced back in the second as they never trailed in the frame. The Bulldogs were able to tie the score three times in the game and overcame a six-point deficit to deadlock the set at 22. But the Titans got a set point on a service error by Johnson and then Crenshaw blasted a kill after a long rally to tie the match at one set apiece.
But the Bulldogs tallied 15 kills on a .333 hitting percentage in the third set and closed out the match on a 12-3 scoring run.
Fullerton will look to regroup Saturday as they play Georgetown at 12:30 p.m. and then close out the tournament against No. 22 UCLA at 7 p.m. at Titan Gym.
Notes: The Titans have lost three straight matches after opening the season 5-3… The Titans are now 1-1 all-time against Yale, with both meetings occurring at Cal State Fullerton… The Titans had 38 digs as a team, eight more than the Bulldogs… Fullerton fell to 1-6 this season when their opponents have a higher hitting percentage… In the opening match of the day, No. 22 UCLA defeated Georgetown 3-0 (25-16, 26-24, 25-18).