Titans Take on #24 Santa Clara in Season Opener

Titans Take on #24 Santa Clara in Season Opener

Aug. 22, 2007

Fullerton, Calif. - SERVICE! The Titans were 11-0 in tournament play in 2006, winning three tournament titles (Four Points Titan Classic, Comcast Logo Invitational, and the Holiday Inn Fullerton Classic) in a season for the first time in the history of the program and start this season at Boise State's Bronco Invitational Friday afternoon. A new-look Titan squad will step on the court looking to out-perform one of the school's best team's of a year ago. In their way on opening weekend will be No. 24 Santa Clara, UTSA and host Boise State.

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VERSUS BOISE STATE: The Titans are 3-7 all-time versus the Broncos edging them in their last meeting back in 2000 in five games, 12-15, 15-10, 12-15, 15-12 and 15-12. The 2000 meeting was also played at Bronco Gym, the site of this year's invitational.

VERSUS \# 24 SANTA CLARA: Fullerton sports a winning record of 9-7 against the "other "Broncos", sweeping them their last meeting back in 1996 at the UC Irvine Tournament 15-12, 15-13, 15-13. Santa Clara is coming into the tournament ranked No. 24 in the nation by the AVCA in their Preseason Poll.

VERSUS UTSA: The Titans and Roadrunners will be meeting for the first time in both team's final matches on Saturday evening.

THE ZIMMERMAN FILE: Entering her sixth full season as the Titans' head volleyball coach, Carolyn Zimmerman continues to make strides in building a viable contender in the historically tough Big West Conference.

In just five years, Zimmerman has steered the Titans from just five total wins in 2002 to back-to-back 14-win seasons in 2004 and 2005, and the school's best all-time single-season winning percentage of .586 (17-12 record) in 2006. She has directed the Titans to 45 wins over the past three seasons, a first for any squad in three consecutive years and guided the `06 Titans to become just the second team to record 17 wins in a season. Zimmerman's 2006 Titans also gave the school its first winning season in nine years or since the 1996 team posted a 16-13 record. Her `06 squad also tied the school record for most conference wins with six, sharing the record with the 1996 and 2004 squads.

Zimmerman produced yet another school record in 2006 - four all-conference players - including Brittany Moore, her second first-team player in as many years. Moore joined honorable mentions Vanessa Vella and Amanda Pfielschiefter and All-Freshman Deven Bukoski on the year-end list of honorees.

The 2006 quartet joins the likes of others honored by the league office under Zimmerman's tutelage. Vella was her initial, first-team selection in 2005, joining Kim Levey (2002), Tiffany Dolven (2004), and Lauren Goins (three-time winner from 2002-04) as honorable mentions, and Moore (all-league freshman, 2005) with post-season honors under Zimmerman's watch.


&\#149; An overall 2006 17-12 (.586) season record gave the Titan volleyball program its best winning percentage in history. They became just the second Titans' team to have posted 17-or-more wins. The only other to do it was the 1981 squad (18-17) coached by Fran Cummings.

&\#149; The 2006 squad compiled a seven-match winning streak from Sept. 8 to Sept. 21, the best-ever streak in the program's history The winning streak was snapped by Cal State Northridge on Sept. 23 as the Matadors downed the Titans, 3-1 in Northridge, Calif.

&\#149; The 2006 Titans recorded 14 straight winning games from Sept. 8 to Sept. 16 over a span of five matches to set a new school record. The old record was held by the 1996 squad, which posted 12 wins in a row from Oct. 9 to Oct. 14 over a span of four matches.

&\#149; For the first time in the history of the program in 2006, the Titans grabbed two Big West Conference Player of the Week honors in one season. Brittany Moore (Sept. 4) and Breanna Trudeau (Nov. 6) became the Titans' sixth and seventh all-time honorees. Moore's selection was the first since 2004 when former hitter Lauren Goins earned the honor.

&\#149; The Titans ended a 25-year, 52-match losing streak to UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 4, 2006 with a 23-30, 30-25, 30-22, 19-30, 15-10 victory at Titan Gym.

&\#149; With a 14-win season in 2005, and a 17-win season in 2006, the Titans have now seen the best two back-to-back years, in terms of victories, in the history of the program. The old record was set in 1980-81 when Fran Cumming's teams posted 29 wins. The `06 season also caps the best three-consecutive seasons the program has seen. Since 2004, the Titans have tallied a 45-41 record and a .523 winning percentage, beating out Mary Ellen Murchison's 1995-97 squads who went 40-50 (.444).

&\#149; For just the third time in the history of the program, the 2006 Titans achieved the six-win plateau in Big West Conference play finishing 6-8, good for sixth place. Only the 2004 and 1996 teams reached six-win level. The 2006 squad however posted the best winning percentage with a .428 mark. 2004 was 6-12 (.333) while the 1996 team was 6-10 (.375).

Brittany Moore: The junior returns to the Titans touted as the team's most potent all-around player. Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman says she plans on relying on her to set the tone and utilizes her abilities in critical situations. Moore is a very versatile player and will be moved from the right side to the left as needed. Moore, is coming off a spring and summer that saw her try out for the US National Volleyball team in Colorado Springs, Col.

MORE ON MOORE: Brittany Moore might get a little help at the net this season with the emergence of sophomore Alex Wolnisty and newcommer Erin Saddler (a pair of 6-footers). Moore split her court time over the past two seasons as a blocker and a hitter, and climber the Fullerton blocking charts. Coming into 2007, the Orange, Calif. native ranks fourth all-time in Total blocks in a career with 224, just 139 blocks from the all-time leader Stephanie Scofield 363 from 1988-91). She has produces 104 and 120 blocks her freshman and sophomore years, respectively, and ranks in the CSF top 10 in blocks per game in both the career and single-season record books in just two years on the court.

CO-CAPTAINS: Junior Brittan Moore and Sophomore Alex Wolnisty, have been named this season's co-team captain. The duo will be taking over for departed senior Breanna Trudeau ini that capacity.

NOT A TYPO: Hawai'ian native Mounia Nihipali (OH, SR, Honolulu Hawai'i, Fresno State) has a middle name that rivals the lenghth of the alphabet, and actually beats it if you count punctuation! Kealohakeanuenueo'ku'upu'uwai is her middle name, (you might have to ask her to say it for you) and it is 26 letters long. Good luck to Mounia as she fills out applications! And we thought Nolan Bruyninckx's (Titan baseball player) name was tough.

WHAT IS SHE EXCITED ABOUT? Sixth Year Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman is very please to see that the 2007 squad is better off this year than last year's team was heading into opening weekend. Zimmerman attributes the feelings to a very strong freshman class Led by Cami Croteau (L, Orange Lutheran HS, Orange, Calif.), Erin Saddler (MB, Downey HS, Bellflower, Calif.), Genie Francisco (S, Wilson HS, Long Beach, Calif.) and Sarah Day (OH, Edison HS, Huntington Beach, Calif.) all vying for playing time in their rookie seasons.

TIGHTLY KNIT TRIO: Erin Saddler, Cami Croteau and Genie Francisco all come to Fullerton as freshman having played with each other before. The three volleyballers were a part of the Mizuno Long Beach 18 club team that earned the silver medal in the Junior Olympics in Minneapolis, Minnesota this past summer.

Deven Bukoski: Sophomore Deven Bukoski showed her versatility last season by leading the team in double-doubles, scoring ten-or-more kills and digs in 11 matches while leading all Big West Conference rookies in total points in 2006. For her efforts, the Kula, Hawaii-native earned a spot on the Big West All-Freshman team, becoming the 12th Titan to be named to the group.

BLOCKIN' IT: Sophomore Alex Wolnisty came on strong at the net for the Titans nabbing 52 total blocks (4.3 per match). Over the last dozen matches of last season, the Riverside-native trailed Titan block leader Brittany Moore by just two block assists. In her previous 12 matches played, she tallied just 12 blocks, averaging just one per match.

A HELPING HAND: Junior Julie Geissert surpassed the 2,600-assist mark on Nov. 4, 2006 vs. UC Santa Barbara, a feat only three other Titans have accomplished in their careers. The senior posted the fifth-best assist total in Titan history last season when she accumulated 1163 assists. Last year the Fresno native posted 60-or-more assists once, 50-or-more assists six times, 45-or-more 12 times and moved into third place all-time in assists at Cal State Fullerton. With an equally as productive season in 2007, the senior could take over the top spot held by Kim Levey (1999-2002) at 3,621 assists.

1. 3,621 - Kim Levey (99-02)
2. 3,388 - Stephanie Shrieve (88-91)
3. 2,668 - Julie Geissert (04-present)


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