Titans Edge Mustangs in Conference Opener
Sept. 23, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. - Junior Kayla Neto had 15 kills and 13 digs to lead Cal State Fullerton (6-7, 1-0) to a three-set, 25-19, 25-22, 25-22, Big West Conference victory over visiting Cal Poly (5-9, 0-1) Friday night in Titan Gym.
Jennifer Edmond also had nine kills and a team-high five blocks to help The Titans improve to 8-43 all-time over the Mustangs dating back to 1981. Despite a lopsided all-time mark, Fullerton has won each of the last five meetings with Cal Poly dating back to 2008.
Fullerton held a slim 20-19 lead late in the first set before a pair of Mustang errors and kills by Bre Moreland, Edmond and Neto sealed the victory. Six of Neto's 15 kills came in the first frame and she hit .429. Cal Poly's Kristina Graven also had six of her team-high 14 kills in the set.
Cal Poly went up by as much as seven points in the second set at 16-9 but the Titans rallied for seven consecutive with Neto at the line to tie. The set went back and forth through 22-22 when the Titans scored three times over the final four rallies. Neither team hit well with the Titans narrowly out-hitting the Mustangs, .061 to .024.
Graven added a set-high 7 kills for Cal Poly in the final frame, but Neto (6 kills) and Leah Maurer (5 kills) combined for 11 of the Titans' 16 kills to lead them to their fourth sweep of the season. The third set was another see-saw battle with the visitors holding the lead as late as 23-22, but the biggest offensive surge of the set came off the hands of Neto and Maurer. Neto's final kill of the night tied the set at 23-23, and back-to-back kills from Maurer gave the Titans the conference opening victory.
Cal Poly out-blocked the Titans 11.0 to 8.0 and was led by Jennifer Keddy who had six (one solo). The Titans have been out-blocked seven times on the year.
From the back-row, both teams had a pair of players in double-digit digs. Gabrielle Dewberry led all players with 18 digs for the home team. Lauren Law (17 digs) and Catie Smith (15 digs) led the way for the Mustangs.
The Titans return to action Saturday night. They will be hosting UC Santa Barbara beginning at 7 p.m. All fans wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness will be admitted free.