Nov. 6, 2010
Stockton, Calif. - Senior Erin Saddler blasted 16-kills and had 5 blocks to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 3-1 Big West Conference volleyball victory over Pacific Saturday night to keep the Titans in first place by a slim one-game in the standings.
With the 15-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-11 win in the Spanos Center, the Titans improve to 21-5 overall and jump to 10-2 in conference. The 21st victory of the season extends the Titans school record for wins in a year, and the 10th league win sets a new school record for wins in a conference schedule. The Titans have now won four in a row and 17 of their last 19 matches dating back to Sept. 11.
The Titans had to come back from a first set loss for just the fourth time this season. In the final match the Titans drove in the final nail by going on a 10-0 run with Genie Francisco serving after being tied at 8-8 to start the set. The Titans then outscored Pacific 7-3 the rest of the way to beat the Tigers in their second-biggest margin of victory in a set this season at 25-11.
Saddler tied Pacific's Svenja Engelhardt with the match high in kills, but got some support from Kayla Neto and Jennifer Edmond who combined for 18 more spikes. The Titans hit .231 as a team and they held the home team to just an .082 mark. Engelhard was Pacific's offensive shining star and lone senior on Senior Night.
Though the Titans out-blocked the Tigers, Pacific's Gabby Cowden got her hand on eight blocks to lead all players. Saddler had five for Fullerton, including two solos, while Neto and Leah Maurer each contributed four blocks apiece.
Senior Cami Croteau continued her assault on the Big West Conference dig record, scooping another 22 attack attempts to move to within 73 of the top spot held by former Cal Poly standout Kristin Jackson. Gabrielle Dewberry (14 digs), Andrea Ragan (13 digs) and Francisco (10 digs) all finished with double-digits in digs, with Ragan's supporting the back end of her double-double night (7th of the season). The setter also posted 40 assists.
Four Tigers finished with 10-or-more digs. Rebeka Torres finished with a team high 18 scoops in the loss.
The Titans hold on to first place by a narrow one-game margin over Long Beach State. The 49ers nearly let one slip by on Saturday night, but pulled out a five-set win over UC Davis. So the standings heading into the next week of competition has Fullerton on top at 10-2, Long Beach at 9-3, Cal Poly in third at 9-4, UC Santa Barbara in fourth at 8-5 and Davis and Pacific drop to 3.5 games back in a tie for 5th at 7-6.
The Titans have a busy schedule next week as they return for their final three home matches of the year. The Titans are 13-1 on their home court this season and will face San Diego State (13-13) on Tuesday in a non-conference tilt, then will host UC Irvine (6-19, 2-10) and UC Riverside(2-26, 0-12) on Friday and Saturday, respectively, in Big West action. All three matches will begin at 7 p.m.