Sept. 3, 2009
Fullerton, Calif. - Erin Saddler again cleared the way for another Titan victory as she blasted a career high 27 kills en route to Cal State Fullerton's 3-1 victory over visiting Montana Thursday night at Titan Gym.
The Titans, winners of four straight matches, improved to 4-0 on the young season with the 25-23, 26-28, 25-14, 38-36 victory. The Grizzlies fall to 1-3.
Saddler, last weekend's tournament MVP, continued her offensive dominance, hitting .277 in the match, while also tallying 12 of her kills in the lengthy fourth set. The Titans served for the match win seven times, while the Grizzlies served to force a fifth set five times. Eventually, the Titans prevailed on a match point net violation by Amy Roberts.
In sets one, two and four, the set went down to the wire, while set three was the anomaly. Fullerton jumped out to a commanding 20-8 lead and finished with a .419 attack percentage coming out of the break.
Sophomore Torrie Brown also provided some needed offense for Fullerton tallying 11 kills on the night. Whitney Hobbs (17 kills) and Jaimie Thibeault combined for 29 kills for Montana, which finished with a .174 attack percentage.
Defensively, the Titans outplayed the Grizzlies, posting 10.0 team blocks and 73 digs to the Grizzlies' 7.0 blocks and 60 digs. Fullerton's Cami Croteau led all players with 23 digs on the night, while Saddler (and Stephanie Sommer scooped 13 digs apiece. Saddler's double-digit dig mark ensured her fourth consecutive double-double. Not found in the box score were some fine defensive saves by Sommer in the back row Thursday night.
Titan Freshman Kayla Neto amd Montana's Thibeault each put up six block assists to lead the floor at the net. Titan setter Andrea Ragan, not only set 61 assists, but added four block assists to lend a hand to Neto's season-best effort.
Serving was the Achilles heel for both squads. The two teams combined for 25 service errors. Fullerton had just five aces (including two by Sommer) to their 13 service errors. Montana had three aces to 12 errors.
The Titans head to Corvallis, Oregon, this weekend for a holiday weekend tournament at Oregon State. The Titans will take on the Beavers, Seattle and Wisconsin at the Active Ankle Challenge on Sunday and Monday.