FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton battled back from a two-set deficit against UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night at Titan Gym, but the Titans couldn't answer in the final game, falling in five (25-13, 25-21, 18-25, 20-25, 15-12).
Leah Sully led UCSB (15-16, 8-8 Big West) with 20 kills and 22 digs as the Gauchos took the lead on a kill courtesy of Jenna Wilson in the fifth set and never looked back. The Titans (15-14, 9-7 Big West) were able to tie the score twice in set five, but could never use that opportunity to take the lead.
UCSB's Taylor Britton added 12 kills, while Kara Sherrard recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs. Taylor Formico totaled a match-high 30 digs on defense, while Jaylen Villanueva directed the offense with 40 assists.
Kayla Neto led Cal State Fullerton with a match-high 23 kills and a season-best 25 digs. Bre Moreland added another double-double for the Titans with 16 kills and 16 digs, while Jule Consani dished 50 assists.
Senior Torrie Brown, who has battled injuries the past two seasons, helped fuel the Titan comeback with 10 kills. Gabrielle Dewberry led CSF with 28 digs, while Holland Crenshaw recorded a match-high seven blocks.
UC Santa Barbara was dominant in the first set, as the Titans committed 11 attacking errors, while the Gauchos landed 13 kills attacking at rate of. 333. Fullerton's troubles continued in the second set as the Titans committed an additional 12 attacking errors, while the Gauchos stuffed three attempts.
After the break, the Titans finally found their rhythm in set three. Moreland and Neto combined to land 12 of Fullerton's 16 kills as the Titans attacked at a sizzling rate of .325.
In set four, Fullerton's offense was once again potent with the Titans hitting at a .220 clip.
Cal State Fullerton will end the 2012 regular season on the road at Hawai'i (9 p.m. PT, Wednesday) and at Cal State Northridge (7 p.m., Saturday).
Notes: Before the match, Fullerton honored its five seniors: Torrie Brown, Brenna Cygan, Gabrielle Dewberry, Kayla Neto and Kaylynne Taeatafa as they played their final match at Titan Gym...Fullerton is now 0-5 in five-set matches in 2012…Kayla Neto's 25 digs were a season high, and with 23 kills, she recorded her 10th match with at least 20 kills in 2012…Neto and Moreland lead the Titans with 20 double-doubles apiece…Abbie Miraldi's 14 digs are a new season high…Torrie Brown's 10 kills are a new season best…the Gauchos won at Titan Gym for the first time since a four-set victory on Sept. 27, 2008.