Oct. 14, 2010
Fullerton, Calif. - Titans wrap up a three-match homestand on Thursday (Oct. 14) against Cal State Northridge (8-12, 1-4) before heading on the road to face UC Riverside (2-17, 0-5) on Sunday (Oct. 17), continuing the first round of Big West Conference play.
Volleyball remains the hottest team on campus having won 4 in a row and 11 of their last 12, and with a pair of wins last weekend against Pacific and UC Davis, moved itself into a tie for first place in the Big West Conference. The wins upped the Titans' record in Titan Gym to a perfect 10-0 and boosted their league mark to 4-1. Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara remain the only two squads with just one loss in league action.
A 25-19, 25-16, 25-22 win secured another notch in Fullerton's recent dominance over Pacific. It was the 9th win for the Titans over the Tigers in their last 12 meetings. Prior to 2004, the Titans were a dismal 0-41 against the visitors from Stockton. Junior Torrie Brown had 13 kills and a pair of blocks and senior Erin Saddler had 12 kills, 9 digs and a block to lead the Titans to their 13th sweep of the season and a key triumph over a team receiving votes in the AVCA coaches poll.
The Titans were challenged on Saturday night against the Aggies, who came into Titan gym tied for first place with just one loss in league. The see-saw battle wrapped up in the Titans favor behind a double-double by Saddler who scored a match-high 22 kills, 11 digs and posted a solid .358 attack percentage. She was just one of four Titans in double figures in kills and contributed to the team's .325 percentage that earned them their 2nd 5-set victory of the year. Kayla Neto had 18 kills, hit a whopping .500, and added a match-high 5 blocks on the night. Brown had 14 kills and the game-winning block in the 25-16, 23-25, 21-25, 25-17, 17-15 2 hour, 21 minute marathon.
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VERSUS CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: The Titans are 9-21 all-time against the Matadors dating back to their first meeting in 1980. Fullerton and Northridge split last year's series with each winning on the other's court. Fullerton is just 5-12 against Northridge under Carolyn Zimmerman.
VERSUS UC RIVERSIDE: The Titans have won each of their last meetings against the Highlanders and have not lost since 2004. All-time, the Titans are 17-4 against them since 1984 and have lost just twice in 16 matches under Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman.
BACK-TO-BACK POW: For the second consecutive week, outside hitter Erin Saddler was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week after guiding the Titans to a pair of wins over Pacific and UC Davis in Titan Gym. The senior from Bellflower, Calif., contributed 4.25 kills and 2.50 digs per set on the weekend as the Titans emerged into a tie for first place in the conference. Saddler connected for 12 kills and added 9 digs defensively to lift the Titans to a Friday night sweep of Pacific, which was receiving votes in the AVCA poll last week. And on Saturday, she posted a match-high 22 kills (just 3 errors in 53 swings) and hit .358 against the Aggies, who came into Titan Gym in a tie for first place. Saddler also added 11 digs from the back row, and in doing so, notched her 5th double-double of the season.
MORE ON SADDLER POWs: This is Saddler's fifth career player of the week honor and third this year. She is now tied with former teammate Brittany Moore (2005-08) for the most all-time weekly awards in Fullerton history. Between Moore and Saddler, they have combined for 10 of the 18 players of the week award that Titans have ever received. Only two others have won multiple awards (Becky Howlett and Kayla Neto have 2 each).
TITANS MAKING A DIFFERENCE: The Cal State Fullerton women's volleyball team spent last Sunday afternoon (Oct. 10) teaching volleyball to youngsters participating at the OC Parks Sports Day at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton. Go check out the video of Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman and defensive specialist Genie Francisco as they talk from the event. Click here to see the video.
SWEEPS: Thirteen of the Titans' 15 victories thus far have come by way of 3-0 sweeps of their opponents. The only two Fullerton wins that were not sweeps were five set victories over Big West competitors Cal Poly (Oct. 1) and UC Davis (Oct. 9).
MOVIN' ON UP: Despite dropping out of the receiving votes portion of the AVCA coaches poll after going 2-0 last week against Pacific (who remain in the receiving votes column) and UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton jumped eight spots to No. 28 in the nation in this week's NCAA RPI report.
SETTING NEW STANDARDS: With 15 wins, the Titans sit just 3 victories away from tying the school records for wins in a season. The Titans have 12 matches remaining on the year, six of which are against the current bottom three teams in the Big West.
PERFECT 10: The Titans are a perfect 10-0 in home matches this year, currently the 19th-longest streak in the nation. The 10-0 mark is the longest home winning streak in the history of Cal State Fullerton. Previously, the 2006 Titans started 7-0 at home before losing to UC Davis in a non-conference title in Titan Gym. The Titans will put their string to the test on Thursday, as they host Cal State Northridge in a Big West Conference match beginning at 7 p.m. Penn State currently has the longest home streak in the nation, winning their last 82 matches at Rec Hall.
SETTING UP WHAT THEY'RE LAYING DOWN: Junior Andrea Ragan (S, Arroyo Grande, Calif. ) sits atop the Big West Conference and 8th in the nation in assists per game, supplying 11.80 of them every set. Her 2,683 career assists ranks 4th all time in Cal State Fullerton history. She is approximately 300 away from passing Stephanie Shrieve (1988-91) to move into third place.
TOP 10 IN THE NATION: Fullerton ranks, a a team, among the country's Top 10s in both kills per set (6th, 14.62) and assists per set (5th, 13.69). They lead the Big West Conference in both categories, as well as attack percentage (.267) and service aces per set (1.33).
HITTING THEIR MARK: Both Kayla Neto (So., MB/OH, Clarksburg, Calif.) and Torrie Brown (Jr., OH, Diamond Bar, Calif.) rank among the Big West Conference's Top 10 in attack percentage. Neto has 208 kills in 442 swings and ranks 4th in the league with a .355 landing rate. Brown ranks 8th with a .305 mark, posting 227 kills in 495 attacks. Both are trailing the nation's leader, UC Davis' Betsy Sedlak, who is hitting a dominant .440 on the year.
CONTINUING TO CLIMB: Senior Cami Croteau (Orange, Calif.) is putting together another solid year on the defensive side of things, averaging over five digs per set. She leads the league with 332 total digs currently and has now moved into second place all-time in Big West Conference history, surpassing Pacific's Julie Magud (1,906 digs, 2004-07). Croteau continues to extend her Cal State Fullerton record, and currently sits at 1,920 career scoops. She trails Cal Poly's Kristin Jackson (2004-07) by 212 total digs. Croteau will have to have some pretty solid numbers from here on out to dethrone Jackson, but it is within reach with 12 matches remaining.
MATCH MILESTONES: Seniors Erin Saddler and Cami Croteau have each played in every one of the Titans 111 matches since they began in 2007. If they each finish out the regular season without missing a match, they will be tied for third place in Cal State Fullerton history for the most matches played in a career with 123 events played. Only Stephanie Shrieve (134, 1988-91) and Stephanie Scofield (128, 1988-91) will have played in more.