FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton is set to open up the 2014 regular season on Friday when they welcome Sacred Heart, Bucknell and Texas Tech into Titan Gym for the Titan Classic.
The Titans will host the Titan Classic on Friday and Saturday to open the 2014 regular season. It is the first of two tournaments hosted by Fullerton this season and first of four tournaments overall in which the Titans will participate prior to Big West Conference action. Cal State Fullerton welcomes Bucknell, Sacred Heart and Texas Tech to Titan Gym this weekend, with Sacred Heart and Texas Tech opening the tournament on Friday at 4 p.m., the first of six matches taking place this weekend.
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CATCH ALL THE ACTION
Streaming Video: All six matches will be streamed at www.FullertonTitans.com
Audio Webcast: For Fullerton matches only
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at www.FullertonTitans.com
Tickets can be purchased online at fullertontitans.com, or at the Cal State Fullerton Athletics Ticket Office, located in the Titan House on campus off of Gymnasium Drive on the northeast side of Titan Gym. Game day sales and will call tickets will open an hour prior to the scheduled time at the specific venue.
TITAN CLASSIC: AN INSIDE LOOK
Bucknell finished the 2013 season with a 10-16 overall record and a 3-13 mark in the Patriot League. The Bison are led by second-year head coach Anna Allison and are on the road on consecutive weekends to start the 2014 campaign, starting with a trip to Titan Gym. The Titans hold a 4-0 all-time record against the Bison.
Sacred Heart posted a 15-16 overall record in 2013 but did finish with an 8-5 mark in the Northeast Conference. The Pioneers were picked to finish fourth in the Northeastern Conference in 2014 in the preseason coaches poll. They return six of their seven starters from last season and are led by eighth-year head coach Rob Machan. Fullerton is 1-0 against the Pioneers, beating Sacred Heart in 2012.
Texas Tech look to improve in 2014 after finishing with a 10-22 overall record and 3-13 mark in the Big 12. Head coach Don Flora enters his fourth season at the helm of the Red Raiders and has led the team to 39 victories over the past three seasons, two wins shy of the school's total from the previous six years combined prior to his arrival. Fullerton won their first and only meeting against the Red Raiders in 2013.
The Cal State Fullerton women's volleyball program is set to play a 29-match schedule in 2014 and host a pair of tournaments, beginning with the Titan Classic this weekend. After the Titan Classic, Fullerton will hit the road the next two weeks before returning to Titan Gym on Sept. 19 to host the Fullerton Classic.
2014 BIG WEST PRESEASON POLL:
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.
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.
TITANS ON ESPN3The Titans will lead off the television schedule as their Big West Conference opener will be broadcast on ESPN3 when they welcome defending conference tri-champion CSUN to Titan Gym on Sept. 26. The Titans will wrap up their televised schedule on the volleyball court when they host Hawai'i, which was also crowned as a Big West Conference tri-champion in 2013.
VOLLEYBALL PROMOTION NIGHTS:
There will be five promotion nights during the 2014 season. The Titans will have an autograph night following their Big West Conference opener against CSUN on Sept. 26. The next night, Fullerton hosts Long Beach State on #WearYourColors T-Shirt Giveaway night. Other nights include a Titans Keychain Giveaway (Oct. 10), Rally Buff Giveaway (Oct. 17) and a second autograph night on Nov. 15 against UC Riverside.
TITANS OUTLAST THE ALUMNI
The Cal State Fullerton women's volleyball welcomed their veteran counterparts to Titan Gym and scored a 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-23) victory in the program's annual alumni match on Aug. 23.
The match served as a final tune-up before the Titans start their season on Friday when they host the Titan Classic at Titan Gym, opening up the tournament with a match against Bucknell.
The alumni squad held a late lead in the first as well as some large leads in the other two sets but the Titans were able to capitalize on mistakes to comeback and secure the sweep.
Freshmen Niki Withers and Steph Buss looked impressive in their debut with Fullerton, with the latter notching the match-winning kill in the third set. Others making their debut included Rachel Brown, Megan Kurz, Mackenzie Olsen, Katelyn Nielsen and Katie Roux while returners Holland Crenshaw, Paige Reed, McKenna Painton and Devin Ulmer also logged playing time on Saturday afternoon.
The Fullerton volleyball alumni squad featured 2008 Big West Player of the Year Brittany Moore (2005-08), 2010 Big West Player of the Year Erin Saddler (2007-10), Titans all-time digs leader Cami Croteau (2007-10), Julie Geissert (2004-07), Genie Francisco (2007-10), Leah Best (2011-13), Cari Bailey (2006-07), Amanda Pfielschiefter (2005-06), Danika Miller (2010-12), Bre Moreland (2010-13) and Jennifer Edmond (2008-11). Former Titan Jamie Ivers (1999-2000) also made an appearance, serving as coach for the alumni.
The Titans will welcome a number of newcomers to the squad this season with nine newcomers including five freshmen. Here is a look at the newcomers:
1 • Niki Withers • Lakewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS
Played three years on the varsity squad and was a three-time letterwinner for the Jackrabbits... Played both outside and opposite hitter positions as well as some middle blocker... Earned First Team All-Moore League as a junior and senior.
4 • Katie Roux • Trabuco Canyon, Calif./Mission Viejo HS
Played four years on the varsity team for the Diablos... Named First-Team All-Sea View League as a senior... Played setter and outside hitter.
6 • Mackenzie Olsen • Orange, Calif./University of Delaware
Played two seasons at the University of Delaware (2012-13)... Dished out 1,840 assists with the Blue Hens, ranking her No. 8 on the program's All-Time Assist List.
8 • Steph Buss • Sioux Falls, S.D./Lincoln HS
Played four years on the varsity at Lincoln High School... Led team with 448 kills and a 4.4 kills per set average as a senior... Named to the All-State Second Team as a junior.
12 • Rachel Brown • Riverside, Calif./Fresno Pacific University
Played one season at NCAA Division II Fresno Pacific University (2013)... Recorded 104 digs and a 1.46 digs per set average in 71 sets for the Sunbirds.
14 • Brionna Thompson • Elk Grove, Calif./Franklin HS
Playing her first season with the Titans volleyball team after competing in both indoor and outdoor track & field for Cal State Fullerton... Played three years on the varsity volleyball squad at Franklin HS.
15 • Ally Forsberg • Huntington Beach, Calif./Huntington Beach HS
Played and started all four years on the varsity for the Oilers... Played at middle blocker... Was named team captain as a senior and earned First Team All-Sunset League honors as a junior and senior.
16 • Megan Kurz • San Diego, Calif./Grossmont College
Played at Grossmont under head coach and former Titan Jamie Ivers in 2013... Led team with 365 kills and a 3.17 per set average in 35 matches.
18 • Katelyn Nielsen • Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS
Played four years on the varsity at both outside and opposite hitter positions... Scholar athlete in all four years with the Nighthawks... Tallied 301 kills and a 3.2 per set average as a senior.
CAROLYN ZIMMERMAN: Entering her 13th season at Cal State Fullerton, Carolyn Zimmerman possesses an all-time record of 173-186 (.481). The sixth head coach in Fullerton's 37-year history, she is the winningest (.481) head coach in CSF volleyball program history.
Cal State Fullerton brings back two starters from last year's team in middle blocker Holland Crenshaw and libero McKenna Painton. Other key returners include Paige Reed, Devin Ulmer, Shannon Bell and Delaney Gurol
Crenshaw led the team as a sophomore with 79 total blocks and 71 block assists. She was also third on the team with 219 kills and a 2.19 kills per set average. Painton played in just 19 matches due to injury in 2013 but still recorded 317 digs to finish second on the team. Her 4.59 digs per set average ranks as the sixth best single-season mark in Titans history. Reed played in all 28 matches for the Titans in 2013 as a freshman and finished third on the squad with 294 digs, including posting a season-high 22 digs at UC Davis on Nov. 2.