Fullerton, Calif. – A career-high 22 kills from Alyse Hensley was not enough for Cal State Fullerton (9-10, 2-5) to hold off Cal Poly (9-11, 3-4) and Anna Gorman's 15 kills, as the Mustangs beat the Titans 3-1 Friday night in Titan Gym.
The 19-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-23 win for Cal Poly snapped a four-match losing streak. The loss extended Fullerton's to three straight matches.
Behind six kills from Hensley in the first set, the Titans had the season best crowd of 642 on their side to snap a six-set losing streak that dated back to last Friday night at Long Beach State. But the Mustangs gathered themselves and hit .296 and .379 in sets two and three respectively to take the 2-1 lead.
Fullerton held a 23-21 lead in set four looking to push the game to a fifth set, but Gorman logged three kills over the last five exchanges and set up Taylor Gruenewald's hit that found the floor to end the contest.
Gruenewald had 11 kills in all and hit .385 for the match. Megan McDonnell also logged 12 kills on a match-high 48 swings. Titan middle Holland Crenshaw collected 16 kills on 33 attempts (.333).
Cal Poly's Steffi Sooter logged a match-high 28 digs and was one of four Mustangs in double-digits and Marianne Gera had seven blocks for Cal Poly defensively. Fullerton's McKenna Painton, too, was one of four teammates with double-digit digs. She had 24. Crenshaw had a team-high three block assists.
Hensley and setter Julie Consani recorded their team best eighth double-doubles in the loss. Hensley had 22 kills and 16 digs and also added two blocks and an ace. Consani set up 47 assists and scooped 17 attacks.
Fullerton looks to get back on track Saturday night as it hosts visiting UC Santa Barbara (11-8, 6-1), which swept UC Riverside in Riverside on Friday night. Cal State Fullerton students in attendance will receive a free Titan volleyball shirt (while supplies last) and will also get to stick around for a movie on the Titan Gym video board after the match. Game time is 6 p.m.
NOTES: Friday night's match was the first four-set contest of the year for Cal State Fullerton… Alyse Hensley's 22 kills set a career high, breaking her old mark of 20 set on Oct. 4 vs. UC Davis. Hensley is in her first year at Fullerton. She played on season at Arizona and two at Loyola Marymount… Friday night's loss to Cal Poly was Fullerton's first home loss to the Mustangs since 2009, snapping a string of four home wins in a row.