Sept. 24, 2011
Fullerton, Calif. - Kayla Neto had 18 kills - including four in the deciding set - and scooped up a career high 30 digs to lead Cal State Fullerton to a key 3-2 Big West Conference victory over visiting UC Santa Barbara Saturday night in Titan Gym.
The Titans even their overall record at 7-7 on the year and jump out to an early 2-0 mark in conference action. The Gauchos, coming off a Friday night victory over No. 21 Long Beach State, fall to 8-6, 1-1. Fullerton has won each of the last three meetings with Santa Barbara and five of the last six contests dating back to 2008.
A valiant defensive effort from the Titans outweighed a slightly anemic offense to lift them to the 15-25, 25-12, 25-13, 24-26, 15-10 victory. They hit just .139 as a team but had 111 team digs that included four players in double-digits. Neto became the first Titans since Cami Croteau to record 30 digs in a match. Croteau had a school record 38 digs last November at Cal State Northridge. Setter Andrea Ragan had 14 digs, Bre Moreland added 22 and Gabriel Dewberry, who was all over the floor the final two sets, scooped up 21 Gaucho attack efforts.
Morleand had 17 kills in support of Neto's game-high 18. Leah Best hit .278 to lead the Titan hitters in average while tallying nine kills in 18 swings.
Offensively for the Gauchos, three players had 10-or-more kills including team leader Stacey Schmidt who accumulated 11 in the loss. She hit .259 to lead the team that hit just .070, collectively.
Chelsea Lowe also dug up a storm for Santa Barbara, collecting a match high 33 digs from the back row.
Fullerton was out-blocked 13.0 to 9.0 on the night with Best (four assists) and Leah Maurer (two solos and two assists) nabbing four blocks apiece. Lily Lopez blocked a match-high six shots to go along with 10 kills and a pair of digs for UCSB.
Ragan had a 50-asssit night to go with her 14 digs and also had a team high two service aces. She was also at the service line for a 7-0 run to end set No. 2.
Fullerton has two Big West road matches next week as it travels to UC Riverside and Cal State Northridge on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both matches will begin at 7 p.m.