Titans Ready to Open 30th Div. I Season vs. Lamar Friday

Aug. 22, 2009

Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton opens their 30th season at the Div. I level by welcoming Idaho (0-0), Lamar (0-0) and Appalachian State (0-0) to Titan Gym for the four-team Crowne Plaza Titan Classic from Aug. 28-29, in Fullerton.

COMPLETE CROWNE PLAZA TITAN CLASSIC SCHEDULE:
Friday, August 28, 2009
4:00 p.m. - (H) Idaho vs. (A) Appalachian State
7:00 p.m. - (H) Cal State Fullerton vs. (A) Lamar

Saturday, August 29, 2009
11:00 a.m. - (H) Lamar vs. (A) Idaho
1:30 p.m. - (H) Cal State Fullerton vs. (A) Appalachian State
5:00 p.m. - (H) Appalachian State vs. (A) Lamar
7:30 p.m. - (H) Cal State Fullerton vs. (A) Idaho

LISTEN UP! For those fans who can't make the trip to Titan Gym, live Internet audio will be available for this weekend's Crowne Plaza Titan Classic (Titan matches only) with veteran broadcaster Patrick Alog providing the play-by-play. Live streaming video will also be available (on a subscription basis) via the Big West TV platform (bigwest.tv).

A QUICK LOOK AT CSF: The 2009 Titans return 13 letter winners and six starters (5+libero) from last year's team that posted a 17-15 overall record and their first conference winning record in school history at 9-7.

Eighth-year Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman will look to Senior Alex Wolnisty (Sr. MB, Riverside, Calif.) and four returning All-Big West honorees, Cami Croteau (Jr. DS/L, Orange, Calif.), Erin Saddler (Jr., MB, Bellflower, Calif.), Jennifer Edmond (Soph., RS, Torrance, Calif.) and Andrea Ragan (Soph., S, Arroyo Grande, Calif.) to fill the void left by departed conference player of the year Brittany Moore. Fullerton finished the 2008 campaign with a 9-7 conference record (5th place), setting a school record for the most conference wins in a season, as well as posting its first-ever winning record in league play. The Titans are also coming off of their fifth consecutive season with 14-or-more victories and matched their second-best win totals with a 17-15 overall record in 2008.

A HEARTY SCHEDULE: The Titans will face six teams that are either in the AVCA Top 25 or receiving votes, accounting for eight matches on Fullerton's 2009 schedule. UCLA, coming in at No. 9 in the preseason poll, is the highest ranking team the Titans will face to begin the season. The Titans will also face Long Beach State, which comes in at No. 23 in the poll, twice during Big West Conference play. Other opponents Wisconsin, UC Irvine (two matches), Cal Poly (two matches) and Baylor are all receiving votes.

VERSUS LAMAR: Friday night's season opener will mark the third time the Lady Cardinals and Titans have met each other on the volleyball court. The all-time series is tied at 1-1. This is the first time either team has played at the other's home court. The last two meetings have come on neutral courts. In 2003, with then-second year Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman at the helm, the Titans notched a four-set win (31-29, 30-25, 26-30, 30-25) in a tournament at UNLV. In their first meeting in 1985, the Cardinals downed the Titans in four sets (15-10, 13-15, 15-3, 15-4) in a tournament at UCLA.

VERSUS APPALACHIAN STATE: Saturday afternoon's match will mark the first meeting between the Titans and Mountaineers.

VERSUS IDAHO: The Vandals have an all-time series advantage of 13-4 dating back to their first meeting with the Titans in 1983. The Titans' victory in the last meeting between the two in 2007, snapped a seven match losing streak that dated back to 2002. The Vandals played volleyball in the Big West Conference from 1996-2004 and posted a 12-2 record against the Titans in league play. Fullerton is 1-6 against Idaho under Head Coach Zimmerman dating back to 2002.

TITANS AND TOURNEYS: In seven seasons under Coach Zimmerman's guidance, Fullerton teams have posted seven pre-season tournament championships, (two in 2004, one in 2005, a school-record three in 2006 and one in 2007) and six second-place finishes (two in 2003, one in 2005, one in 2007, and two in 2008) en route to a 50-32 non-conference record since 2002.

JUST FOR STARTERS: The Titans are 16-13 all time in season openers and 4-3 in season openers in the Zimmerman era (since 2002).

CROTEAU TO CHALLENGE DIG RECORD: Junior libero Cami Croteau (Orange, Calif.) will embark on a mission to break the Cal State Fullerton career dig mark set by her predecessor Vanessa Vella back in 2006. In her three years in a Titan uniform, Vella posted 1,598 career digs in 316 career sets. Croteau, in her first two seasons, broke into the 1000-dig club and sits just 591 digs away from the top spot with 1,007 digs already to her credit. Croteau has collected 502 and 505 digs in her first two seasons, respectively, good for third and fourth all-time in the Titans' single-season record book behind Vella's 581 and 538.

WOLNISTY CHASES BLOCKING RECORD: Senior Alex Wolnisty (Riverside, Calif.) sits 68 block assists away from tying the Cal State Fullerton block assist mark of 294 block assists set last year by Brittany Moore. Wolnisty has had as few as 53 block assists her freshman year and as many as 96 as a sophomore and currently has 226 block assists to begin the 2009 season. The middle is also just 93 total blocks away from tying the all-time blocking mark set by Stephanie Scofield from 1988-1991. Scofield posted 363 total blocks in her four-year career over 442 sets. Wolnisty enters 2009 with 270 total blocks needing to pass just Alyssa Opeka (304 from 2002-05), Tammy Miller (325, 1986-89), Brittany Moore (360, 2005-08) and Scofield for the record.

LOOKING FOR WIN NO. 100: Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman sits just 10 wins away from career victory No. 100. Zimmerman is already the winningest coach in the 29-year Cal State Fullerton volleyball history and has amassed a 90-119 overall record (most in victories) and a .430 winnings percentage (school record).

PRESEASON POLL: The 2009 Cal State Fullerton volleyball team was picked to finished sixth in the Big West according to the nine conference coaches in the annual preseason poll released on July 28.

Long Beach State was favored by the conference coaches to successfully defend its 2008 Big West championship with four first place votes and were followed by UC Irvine (3 first place votes) and Cal Poly (2 first place votes) to round out the top three.

Pacific (54 pts), UC Santa Barbara (48 pts) Cal State Fullerton (36 pts), Cal State Northridge, 26 pts), UC Davis (16 pts) and UC Riverside (15 pts) round out the rest of the poll.