FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton has been selected to finish eighth in the Big West Conference according to the Big West preseason coaches' poll, which was released Wednesday by the conference.
The Titans received 24 total points in the poll without garnering a first-place selection. In 2013, the Titans finished in eighth place after going 11-17 overall with a 4-12 mark in conference play. Fullerton got off to a good start in 2013 after winning seven of their first 10 matches, but a six match losing streak halfway through the season saw the Titans take a tumble in the standings.
The Titans bring back third-year middle blocker Holland Crenshaw, who finished third on the team with 219 kills and a 2.19 kills per set average in 2013. She also led the squad with 79 total blocks and 71 block assists as a sophomore.
A freshman standout in 2013, McKenna Painton also returns to the Titans after finishing the season with 317 digs in just 69 sets played. Her 4.59 digs per set average in 2013 ranked as the sixth best single-season mark in Titans history.
Crenshaw and Painton make up two of the seven returners to the Titans in 2014, a squad that will also see nine newcomers take to the court in the upcoming season. In addition, Fullerton will feature a young squad that features just one senior and three juniors.
Riding a streak of three straight Big West titles after being crowned tri-champions in 2013, Hawai'i nabbed five first-place votes and 77 total points to finish atop the 2014 preseason poll. Head coach Dave Shoji, who leads the nation with 1,228 career victories, leads the Rainbow Wahine into the 2014 season with a young roster that boasts 10 underclassmen.
After finishing fourth in the conference last season, Long Beach State were selected to finish second in the conference after accumulating 68 overall points including one first-place vote.
UC Santa Barbara and CSUN, who were each crowned tri-champions with Hawai'i in 2013, come in at third and fourth in the poll respectively. The Gauchos received two first-place votes and 63 points overall with the Matadors nabbing the final first-place vote and accumulating 60 points.
Rounding out the 2014 Big West preseason coaches' poll are UC Irvine, Cal Poly, UC Davis ahead of the Titans while UC Riverside was picked to finish ninth in the conference for the second straight season.
Cal State Fullerton will host the Alumni Match on Aug. 23 at Titan Gym and then kick off the 2014 regular season on Aug. 29 when they host the Titan Classic, opening the tournament against Bucknell.
Tickets for the Titan Classic and the rest of the 2014 Titans home schedule are available by clicking here or calling the Cal State Fullerton Athletic Ticket Office at (657) 278-CSUF.
2014 Big West Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Hawai'i (5) 77
2. Long Beach State (1) 68
3. UC Santa Barbara (2) 63
4. CSUN (1) 60
5. UC Irvine 42
6. Cal Poly 34
7. UC Davis 25
8. Cal State Fullerton 24
9. UC Riverside 12
( ) Denotes first place votes