Titans to Open 2010 in Los Angeles at USC Tournament

Aug. 24, 2010

Fullerton, Calif. - SERVICE! Cal State Fullerton will begin its 31st season since 1980 on Friday (Aug. 27) evening as they participate in USC's Luxe City Center Trojan Invitational along with Bucknell, Loyola Marymount and nationally-ranked host USC.

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The Titans will open up on Friday night against Bucknell at 5 p.m., and then will face-off against LMU on Saturday at noon. Then the Titans will take on the 10th-ranked USC Trojans in the tournament finale at 7:30 p.m.

All three matches can be heard for free on fullertontitans.com. Patrick Alog will bring you the play-by-play action from the Galen Center. Also, all three matches will also be available via CBS College Sports' GameTracker.

Friday, Aug. 27 vs. Bucknell AUDIO / GAMETRACKER
Saturday, Aug. 28 vs. LMU AUDIO / GAMETRACKER
Saturday, Aug. 28 vs. USC AUDIO / GAMETRACKER

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VS BUCKNELL: The Titans are 3-0 all time against the Bison dating back to their first meeting in 1996. All three previous meetings took place in Titan Gym where the Titans won all three matches (1996, 2003, 2008) via sweep.

VS LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: Cal State Fullerton is 7-20 all time against Loyola Marymount dating back to their first meeting in 1980. Most recently the two teams met up in 2008 when the Titans snapped a 13-match losing skid to the Lions with a 18-25, 26-24, 25-23, 26-24 victory at LMU.

VS NO. 10 USC: Cal State Fullerton is 0-12 all-time against the Trojans dating back to 1980, and haven't locked horns with them since 1989. The Titans are an even 0-6 at home and on the road. This tournament will mark the first time the Titans have played in USC's Galen Center.

BEATING THE RANKED: The Titans have not had much luck over the years against ranked opponents, but did pull off their first-ever win last season, as they stunned then No. 7-UCLA in five games on Sept. 18, 2009 at Titan Gym. Erin Saddler had 20 kills, Torrie Brown had 17 and Kayla Neto had 14 in the upset. The Titans will get their first crack at a ranked opponent in 2010 on Saturday night as they take on the Trojans of USC, the No. 10 team in the nation according to the AVCA.

ZIMMERMAN TALKS TITAN VOLLEYBALL: Ninth-year Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman sat down with the media relations staff on camera to talk about the upcoming 2010 season. Fullerton photographer Matt Brown shot the interview in beautiful HD and can be seen here. You can follow Titan athletics all season long on Vimeo by going to Vimeo.com/fullertontitans.

SEASON OPENERS: Since 1980, the Titans are 17-13 in season openers. They have won each of their last to matches to open the season dating back to 2007 when they lost to then-No. 24 Santa Clara. Fullerton is 7-3 in season openers dating back to the turn of the century.

TITANS 4TH IN PRESEASON POLL: Cal State Fullerton volleyball was picked to finish fourth in the Big West Conference according the the annual preseason coaches poll released on Aug. 9. The nine Big West head coaches picked Long Beach State to win its third consecutive Big West crown with UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara coming in at No. 2 and 3, respectively. Behind Fullerton is Cal Poly and UC Davis (tied for 5th), Pacific (7th), Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside (tied for 8th). Since 1980, the Titans have never finished a season higher than 5th place in league action. This is marks the highest preseason vote for Fullerton in the history of the coaches poll.

NEW TITANS: The Titans lost seven players from last year's roster, but gained six in the transition. Incoming this year are five freshman, Abbie Miraldi (OH, Grass Valley, Calif., Nevada Union HS), Ayana Whitaker (MB, Murrieta, Calif., Vista Murrieta HS), Danika Miller (RS, Mission Viejo, Calif., Mission Viejo HS), Maya Macpherson (MB, Pacific Palisades, Calif., Marymount HS) and Bre Moreland (OH), Mission Viejo, Calif., Capistrano Valley HS) and a junior transfer Leah Maurer (OH/RS, Mission, Kan.) from UNLV.

TITAN TRIO: The first Cal State Fullerton trio of All-Big West first-teamers return as a group for the 2010 season. Seniors Erin Saddler (MB, Bellflower, Calif., Downey HS) and Cami Croteau (DS/L, Orange, Calif., Orange Lutheran HS), along with Sophomore Kayla Neto (MB/OH, Clarksburg, Calif., Christian Brothers HS) were all named to the 2009 All-Big West First Team after their performances helped guide the Titans to their first 18-win season since 1981. Neto went on to become the Titans' second All-American (honorable mention) in program's history and she also received Big West and AVCA West Region Freshman of the Year accolades.

CROTEAU WILL BE QUEEN... SOON: Senior Cami Croteau is set to break Vanessa Vella's (2004-2006) dig record and could do so in the season opener if she can scoop just 11 attacks. Croteau enters the season with 1,588 career and sits just outside the Big West Conference's career Top 10. When she surpasses the 1,600 dig mark, she will be just one 10 Big West players to ever accomplish the feat. She has averaged around 530 digs per season over her three-year career. With that added to her current total she would finish her final season with Fullerton with over 2,100 digs, battling for the all-time conference record.

THE ZIMMERMAN FILE: Carolyn Zimmerman (108-131, .452) is in her ninth season as the Titans head coach after taking over for Mary Ellen Murchison in 2002. Zimmerman's 108 wins and .452 winning percentage are the best numbers by any Titan volleyball head coach dating back to 1976. She has guided the Titans to its most prosperous times, winning 14-or-more game in each of the last six seasons, and 17-or-more in three of the last four years. Over the last six seasons, the Titans are a combined 10 games over .500, significant because they had only been above .500 twice in the previous 24 seasons. Last season, she led the team to a school record-tying 18 wins. In 2008, the team posted 9 conference wins (the most by any Fullerton team) as well as its first winning record in league (9-7). Over the last two seasons, Zimmerman has coached the only two Titans to ever be named All-Americans (Brittany Moore in 2008, Kayla Neto in 2009) as well as the program's only Big West Player of the Year in Brittany Moore.