Aug. 26, 2011
Westchester, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton's Kayla Neto blasted a career-best 22 kills and scooped 11 digs, but the Loyola Marymount duo of Jasmine Rankins and Alyse Hensley each connected for 17 kills to lead the Lions to a 3-1 season-opening victory at the Four Points by Sheraton LA Westside Invitational at the Gersten Pavillion Friday night.
The Titans dropped their second match in as many seasons to the Lions, 16-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-22, and drop to 0-1 on the year. The tournament hosting Lions jump out to a 1-0 record.
In the crucial set No. 4, the Titans got off on the wrong foot, quickly falling behind by five points at 8-3 and 13-8, but he Titans clawed back with kills from Jennifer Edmonds, Abbie Miraldi and a bad set by the Lions to tie the set at 17-17. LMU regained the lead at 20-19 with Rankins' 17th and final kill of the night and never looked back to improve to 22-6 all-time against the Titans.
Fullerton stumbled out of the blocks in set one scoring the first point of the match, but then saw LMU take over and jump out to an 8-2 lead. They extended to an eight point lead on three occasions, one as late as 19-11. Hensley had four of her 17 kills in Set 1. Edmonds was the bright spot for the visitors, connecting for five of her 11 kills in the first frame.
Set two was tight, remaining within two points all the way up until 20-17, when the Titans took a "commanding" 3 point lead. Fullerton extended to a five-point buffer - that it would end up needing - at 23-18, before getting a Neto kill and a Lion service error to win its only set of the night.
The Titans squandered their 14-10 and 23-20 leads in Set 3 all the while wasting nine kills from Neto and 14 assists from Andrea Ragan. Trailing by three late, Kenna Crouse and Rankins landed back-to-back kills and Olivia Baily and Crouse thwarted Miraldi's attack attempt to tie the set at 23-23. The teams traded points but a wide shot from Fullerton's Leah Maurer and a kill from Litara Keil cemented the comeback and gave LMU a 2-1 set lead. Rankins connected for five kills an ace and a block in the set, while Bailey had two blocks and an assist.
Neto (22), Edmond (11) and Maurer (11) had double figures in kills for Fullerton which hit just .219 as a team. Andrea Ragan had 43 assists and scored her first double-double of the season by adding 10 digs. Gabrielle Dewberry also added a match high 16 digs.
LMU outblocked Fullerton 10.0 to 4.0, led by Keil, who stuffed six Titan attack attempts.
Five Titans made their Fullerton debut on Friday night. Kim Russell, Amanda Yamate (1 kill, 8 digs), Elle Moffatt (2 kills, 1 ace, 1 block assist) and Julie Consani (1 kill) all made their first Div. I appearance. Leah Best is a transfer from Western Carolina.
The Titans will play No. 11 UCLA (Noon) and Quinnipiac (5 p.m.) tomorrow afternoon/evening to wrap up the first weekend of action.