Crucial Match with 49ers On Tap for Volleyball

Oct. 22, 2010

Fullerton.edu - Waiting in the wings this week is the Titans' most threatening foe, again looking to snap the Titans' extended winning streak in Big West action.

Long Beach State returns to Titan Gym on Saturday having beat Fullerton in each the teams' last 56 matches. The Titans come into the week winners of six in a row and 13 of their last 14. The last time the two met on Sept. 25, the Titans' record seven-match streak came to an end in a quick 3-0 match at The Pyramid.

The Titans are all alone atop the Big West Conference standings as UC Santa Barbara dropped their second match in league play to UC Davis last Saturday. The Gauchos and the defending champion 49ers are now tied for second place with a pair of losses each.

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Last week Fullerton posted another productive week, beating both Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside via 3-0 sweeps and move to within one victory of tying the school record for the most wins in a season. The Titans beat the Matadors at Titan Gym on Thursday and improved to 11-0 at home before heading on the road to take care of the Highlanders at the Student Recreation Center.

Erin Saddler again led the Titans' offense posting 29 kills, 3 aces, 15 digs and 2 block on the weekend. Kayla Neto had 23 kills with 7 digs and 8 blocks.

The team had a solid weekend hitting .319 as a team while holding their opponents to a .152 clip.

Andrea Ragan had 82 assists and averaged 13.67 assists per set on the weekend, to raise her average which is already Top 10 in the nation.

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PINK NIGHT: Volleyball is again showing its commitment to the community as the program hosts "Pink Night," this Saturday, Oct. 23, in its support of breast cancer awareness. Anyone attending the 7 p.m. match against Long Beach State wearing "pink" will be admitted free with hopes they might make a monetary donation to the cause. The Titans will also be selling bracelets and handing out pink ribbons at the event. Proceedes from the event will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation.

TITANS MAKING A DIFFERENCE: The Cal State Fullerton women's volleyball team spent a Sunday on 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. (Watch Here)

VERSUS LONG BEACH STATE: Long Beach State has dominated the all-time series with Fullerton, posting a 56-4 record since 1980 and have won the last 56 matches in a row. The last four matches, including their last meeting in Long Beach on Sept. 25, have been won by the 49ers via the 3-set sweep.

SADDLER AND POWs: Erin Saddler has earned three Big West Player of the Week nods this season including back-to-back awards on Oct. 7 and Oct. 11. and now has five on her career. She is 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).

SWEEPS: Fifteen of the Titans' 17 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). The Titans have been swept just once. Long Beach State downed them in three back on Sept. 25.

THIS WEEK IN THE POLLS/RANKINGS: Both the Titans and the 49ers are receiving votes in this week's AVCA Top 25 Coaches Polls. Though not in the Top 25, Long Beach is receiving the most votes of anyone not in the Top 25 with 48, while Cal State Fullerton is receiving 20 votes, the most in school history.

This week in the RPI rankings released by the NCAA have the Titans down four spots to No. 32 after a 2-0 week against teams at the bottom of the Big West. The 49ers are right behind the Titans at No. 36. The next best Big West school in terms of RPI is UC Santa Barbara at No. 52.

SETTING NEW STANDARDS: With 17 wins, the Titans sit just 1 victories away from tying the school records for wins in a season. The Titans have 10 matches remaining on the year, four of which are against the current bottom three teams in the Big West.

OURS GOES TO 11: The Titans are a perfect 11-0 in home matches this year, currently the 19th-longest streak in the nation. The 11-0 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 tilt in Titan Gym. The Titans will put their string to the test on Saturday against Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Penn State currently has the longest home streak in the nation, winning their last 84 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 7th in the nation in assists per game, supplying 11.96 of them every set. Her 2,765 career assists ranks 4th all time in Cal State Fullerton history. She is 633 away from tying Stephanie Shrieve (1988-91) in third place. Ragan has accumulated 40-plus assists 12 times this year, 50-plus three times and 60 twice. Her career high is 65 last accomplished Nov. 7, 2009 vs. Pacific.

TOP 10 IN THE NATION: Fullerton ranks, a a team, among the country's Top 10s in both kills per set (6th, 14.61) and assists per set (6th, 13.67). They lead the Big West Conference in both categories, as well as attack percentage (.271).

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 231 kills in 489 swings and ranks 5th in the league with a .358 landing rate. Brown ranks 9th with a .307 mark, posting 247 kills in 540 attacks.

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 5.12 digs per set and ranks second in total digs with 369 total digs. She is now into second place all-time in Big West Conference history. Croteau continues to extend her Cal State Fullerton record, and currently sits at 1,957 career scoops. She trails Cal Poly's Kristin Jackson (2004-07) by 175 total digs for the league record. Croteau will have to have some pretty solid numbers from here on out to dethrone Jackson, but it is still within reach with 10 regular season matches remaining.

MATCH MILESTONES: Seniors Erin Saddler and Cami Croteau have each played in every one of the Titans 113 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.

ONES THAT GOT AWAY: The Titans had a 2-0 set lead on Aug. 28 against Loyola Marymount at the USC Tournament, and wound up dropping three straight sets for their first loss of the year. The Titans also dropped a five-setter to Pepperdine after clawing back to take a 2-1 lead going into the fourth set. Pepperdine stormed back for 25-23 and 15-11 victories to secure the win on Sept. 10 in Las Vegas.

TOP 25 WINS: The Titans defeated a ranked opponent for just the second time in program history on Sept. 22 as they swept No. 21 San Diego, 27-25, 25-20, 25-21 at Titan Gym. Last Year they defeated a then-No. 7 UCLA squad in five sets (25-23, 15-25, 25-20, 18-25, 16-14) on Sept. 18, 2009. The Titans are 1-2 against ranked opponents this year and 2-0 against teams receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll.