Volleyball Picked to Finish Fourth

Aug. 11, 2011

Fullerton, Calif. - The defending Big West Conference champion Cal State Fullerton volleyball team has been picked to finish fourth in the conference according to a poll conducted with the nine league coaches.

The Titans received 52 of the 81 possible votes and finished behind Long Beach State (78 pts.), Cal Poly (72 pts.) and UC Santa Barbara (53 pts.) in the results released Thursday morning.

The Titans were also picked to finish fourth in 2010 and then proceeded to have the best season in the history of the program going 26-6 overall and 14-2 in the Big West en route to the school's first league title and appearance in the NCAA postseason. The only two losses of the year in conference play came at the hands of the 49ers. Before 2010, the Titans had never finished or been picked to finish higher than fifth place in league.

Long Beach and Cal Poly finished two games behind Fullerton in the standings, but tallied seven and two first place votes in the 2011 poll, respectively. Pacific (51 pts.), UC Davis (38 pts.), UC Irvine (30 pts.), Cal State Northridge (20 pts.) and UC Riverside (11 pts.) finished 5th through 9th to round out the preseason poll results.

All-Big West first teamers Kayla Neto (6-2, Jr., OH/MB, Clarksburg, Calif.) and Torrie Brown (5-11, Sr., OH, Diamond Bar, Calif.), as well as setter Andrea Ragan (5-6, Arroyo Grande, Calif.) and blocker Leah Maurer (6-5, Sr., Mission, Kan.) will headline the returning core of players on this year's roster.

Six newcomers will look to fill the void left by the departed Big West Player of the Year Erin Saddler, three-time All-Big West first-team libero Cami Croteau and four-year veteran Genie Francisco.

A trio of six-footers in Leah Best (6-6, Soph., RS-MB, Marietta, Ga., Western Carolina), Elle Moffatt (6-1, Fr., MB, Lodi, Calif., St. Mary's HS) and Kim Russell (6-0, Sr., OH, Anaheim Hills, Calif., Biola) will help the Titans offensively and at the net while they bolster their back-row defense and the setting position with newcomers Amanda Yamate (5-6, Fr., DS,Torrance, Calif., South Torrance HS), Julie Consani (5-11, Fr., S, Newport Beach, Calif., Calvary Chapel HS) and Dani Franks (5-9, Fr., S, Mission Viejo, Calif., Trabuco Canyon HS).

Fullerton is led by the reigning Big West Coach of the Year Carolyn Zimmerman (134-137, .494) who is kicking off her 10th season at the helm of the volleyball program.

The Titans will open the 2011 campaign on Aug. 26 at the Loyola Marymount Tournament in Westchester, Calif. They will face LMU on Friday night at 7 p.m. and then UCLA (Noon) and Quinnipiac (5 p.m.) on Saturday.

2011 BIG WEST CONFERENCE
VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL

1. Long Beach State (7) - 78 points
2. Cal Poly (2) - 72 points
3. UC Santa Barbara - 53 points
4. Cal State Fullerton - 52 points
5. Pacific - 51 points
6. UC Davis - 38 points
7. UC Irvine - 30 points
8. Cal State Northridge - 20 points
9. UC Riverside - 11 points

For the release sent out by the Big West Conference, click here.