Titans Sweep Up on Highlanders to Close out Conference
Nov. 17, 2005
Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton wrapped up their 2005 Big West Conference schedule with 3-0 (30-19, 30-23, 32-30) victory over visiting UC Riverside Thursday night at Titan Gym in front of 336 fans, securing a fifth place finish in conference.
The Titans, with one game remaining in the 2005 campaign, improve to 14-14 overall and 5-9 in league play. With the win, Fullerton matches their 2004 finish and becomes only the fourth team in the school's history to reach 14 wins in a season. UC Riverside, drops to 16-11, and fall to sixth place in the Big West with a 4-10 conference record. A Fullerton win next Tuesday will give them their first winning season since 1996.
The Titans handled the highlanders in the first two games out-hitting them .343 to .161 behind the hitting of Amanda Pfielschiefter and Danielle Hitzeman who both slammed home seven kills. Fullerton also handled the game at the net before the break, out-blocking Riverside 9-0 as a team. Pfielschiefter led the way with five blocks (2 solos), with senior Alyssa Opeka adding three block assists. With a block assist in the first game, Opeka became the all-time leader in block assists at Cal State Fullerton, passing former Titan Stephanie Scofield, who has held the record since 1991.
The two teams battled back and forth in game three with the Titans trailing most of the way. The Titans caught up at 27-27 and continued to wrestle for the lead, eventually winning 32-30.
Fullerton held the Highlanders to just a .174 hitting percentage on the night with outstanding blocking and digging from the defensive side. Pfielschiefter finished with six blocks, while Opeka, Brittany Moore and Sarah Morrison each contributed three as well. Allison dela Puenta and Vanessa Vella scooped 13 digs apiece while Barbie Thierjung led the team with 14.
Riverside's Jaime DeKiewiet's double-double (18-kills and 15 digs) was lost in the defeat as she handled the offense alone for the most part. DeKiewiet's 18 kills were the most by any player, and the only Highlander in double-digits.
Three other Riverside players tallied 14-or-more digs, with Kimberly McNeal leading all players with 16.
Jenna Carney got the start at setter for the Titans and she set 36 assist, her second-best total of the season but was out-done by the conference's leading setter Kym Murphy, who picked up 48 assists.
Fullerton stays home for their final game of 2005, where No. 20 San Diego will come to town to face the Titans at Titan Gym. Game time on Tuesday, Nov. 22 is set for 7:00 p.m. with the Titans three seniors set to be honored prior totheir final game in a CSF uniform.