FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton completed a monstrous comeback on Thursday night at Titan Gym, pulling away from UC Irvine in the fifth and final set to extend its win streak to three matches.
The Titans (9-10, 3-3) are now 2-3 in five-set matches in 2012 after pulling off another comeback, 25-19, 28-30, 22-25, 26-24, 15-11.
After winning the first set, CSF struggled in the second frame, trailing 21-14 at one point. The Titans rebounded by piecing together an 8-1 run to even the game at 22-22. The second set featured 10 tie scores, before UC Irvine (8-12, 3-4) was finally able to put away the game, 30-28, after back-to-back kills.
The Anteaters prevailed in the third set, and held a 19-13 lead in the fourth set until the Titans turned the macth around for good. CSF was able to take a 22-21 lead on one of two Bre Moreland service aces after Fullerton produced a 9-2 run. The Titans capped the game after a kill and service ace from Neto.
Neto's double-double of a match-high 27 kills and 19 digs was her seventh straight, while Moreland added nine kills and a season-high 19 digs. Holland Crenshaw and Lauren Kissell poured in nine kills apiece, led by Kaylynne Taeatafa's season-best 61 assists.
Senior Gabrielle Dewberry led CSF with 28 digs, while Fullerton's defense totaled 12 blocks including Crenshaw's five block assists.
UC Irvine was led by Aly Squires' 23 kills, as the Anteaters attacked at a clip of .186 compared to the Titans' .222.
The Titans return to action at Titan Gym on Saturday to host Long Beach State at 7 p.m. Fans that wear orange to the match will receive "Beat the Beach" signs.
Notes: The Titans have defeated the Anteaters in five straight matches...Cal State Fullerton is 9-3 when it wins the first set, and 4-6 when heading into the break even at one game apiece…CSF is also 2-3 in five-set matches in 2012…Leah Best's 18 kills were a new career high…Kayla Neto posted her seventh straight match with a double-double (27 kills, 19 digs) and is now tied for the team lead with 10 double-doubles in 2012…Neto also posted her fifth match with at least 20 kills in 2012…Bre Moreland's 19 digs were a new season best.