Titans Home Openers Feature Pair of Utah Teams

Sept. 14, 2011

THIS WEEK IN CAL STATE FULLERTON VOLLEYBALL:
Fri., Sept. 16 vs. BYU, 7 p.m. (TItan Gym)
Sat., Sept. 17 vs. Utah State, 7 p.m. (Titan Gym)

Complete Set of Game Notes in PDF Format

FOLLOW: Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (Cal State Fullerton Athletics), Twitter (@FullertonTitans) and Vimeo.com (vimeo.com/fullertontitans).

LISTEN: Both matches this weekend, like most Titan volleyball matches, will be broadcast live on fullertontitans.com with play-by-play announcer Patrick Alog. Follow the link at the top of the the Titans' web site to get to the Stretch Internet interface and select the match you want to listen to. It's simple and free.

WATCH: This weekend's matches versus BYU and Utah State will be broadcast live and FREE on BigWest.tv. Go to BigWest.tv and follow the links. Normally, BigWest.tv is subscription based. So enjoy your free broadcasts while you can

CAL STATE FULLERTON (4-5): The Titans are home this weekend for the first time this season and will host BYU and Utah State in non-conference matches in Titan Gym on Friday and Saturday nights, respectively.

Fullerton is coming off a 1-2 weekend at the Montana Invitational in Missoula, Mont., where a win over the hosting Grizzlies was sandwiched by a pair of losses to Idaho and South Dakota.

Late five-point rallies by Idaho in the first and third sets of Friday's first match thwarted Fullerton's attempt to gain any momentum as the Titans fell, 22-25, 19-25, 25-23 in the opening match of the tournament. The team hit just .152 in the morning session and was led by Bre Moreland who landed 11 kills.

Twenty-one kills and four blocks from Kayla Neto and 10 kills and a career-high seven blocks from all-tournament team member, Leah Maurer, led the Titans to a 25-19, 20-25, 25-22, 25-21 win over the Grizzlies in the night cap.

On Saturday, tournament champion South Dakota served the Titans to death, landing 15 aces in the 20-25, 25-20, 25-13, 20-25, 16-14 duel. Overall, the Titans out-hit (.199 to .166), out-blocked (11.5 to 9.0), out-dug (80 to 64) and out-set (61 to 42) the Coyotes, and had the lead at 14-13 in the fifth and deciding set. But USD's final service ace sparked three consecutive winning points to win its third straight match. The Titans' attack was led by double-doubles from Neto (26 kills, 12 digs) and Moreland (13 kills, 17 digs).

VERSUS BYU: The Titans and Cougars have split two meetings (1-1) in their histories, both picking up a win at neutral sites in tournament play. This will be the first meeting between the two in either Fullerton or Provo. Fullerton was the victor in the first meeting (15-7, 15-5) in 1980 at the Collegiate Volleyball Tournament in San Diego. BYU got its revenge in 1985, beating Fullerton 15-3, 15-3, at the UCLA National Invitational.

VERSUS UTAH STATE: The Titans and the Aggies have a fairly long history of matches dating back to the 1982 season. The two teams, that spent 15 seasons in the Big West Conference together, have met 31 times with Utah State holding a 16-15 advantage in the all-time series. In Big West play, the Aggies compiled a 15-11 record against the Titans from 1990 to 2004. Fourteen of the Titans 15 wins came prior to 1998. From 1982 to 1998, the Titans dominated the series 14 to 5. Since 1998, Utah State is 11-1 against the Titans. Under current Titan Head Coach the Titans are 1-5 against the Aggies. At Titan Gym, Fullerton is 11-7.

IN THE AVCA POLL: None of the team's in this weekend's volleyball action at Titan Gym are ranked in the AVCA's Div. I Coaches Top 25. The Titans have already played UCLA (No. 11 at the time) which is currently ranked No. 6 and have two matches ahead with No. 24 Long Beach State and one with No. 11 Hawaii on the final day of the season.

VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS: The Titans have beaten nationally ranked opponents just two time in their history, with both wins coming in the last two seasons. The first time the Titans beat a Top 25 team was in 2009 (Sept. 19, 2009) when they defeated No. 7 UCLA in five sets at Titan Gym. Last year, the Titans downed No. 21 San Diego (Sept. 22, 2010) in a three-set sweep in Titan Gym.

BACK HOME IN FULLERTON: After nine matches away from Titan Gym, the Titans open their home slate this weekend against BYU and Utah State. A year a go, the Titans had an impressive home showing, going a 16-1 to set a school record for home victories. This is the first time since Carolyn Zimmerman's first season as head coach that the Titans have played so many games away from home to start the season. That year (2002) the Titans played the first 16 matches of the year on the road and didn't get to play their first match at home until October, three matches into conference play.

HOME OPENERS: Since 1980, the Titans are 20-11 in home openers and have a streak of eight consecutive home-opening wins dating back to 2002.

MAURER NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Leah Maurer was named to the Montana Invitational all-tournament teams after solid performances against Idaho, Montana and South Dakota in Missoula last weekend. In the three matches, Maurer collected 30 kills and hit a team-leading .301 while landing 2 aces, scooping five digs and tallying nine blocks. In the Titans' 3-1 win over Montana last Friday, the senior collected seven blocks (two solos and five assists), tying her carer high that was originally set on Sept. 2 at Arizona.

MORELAND STAYS CONSISTENT: Sophomore Bre Moreland had another great all-around weekend, scoring two more double-doubles to up her team-leading total up to four in just nine matches. On the weekend, Moreland totaled 31 kills, three aces, 36 digs and seven total blocks (second most on the team in the three matches). That performance comes on the heels of an all-tournament worthy performance two weekends ago in Arizona. In Tucson, she posted a well-rounded stat line of 26 kills, 36 digs, 5 service aces and four blocks. She opened that tournament with back-to-back double-double performances (both 10-kill, 13-dig) and finished just four kills shy of a third consecutive double-double outing on Saturday. In the Sept. 3 match vs. Presbyterian, Moreland set a career high with four service aces and a pair of solo blocks.

NETO IS KILLING IT: Junior Kayla Neto has reached the 20-kill mark three times so far in 2011 and is currently leading the Big West Conference in kills per set (4.06, 47th in the nation) and ranks 6th in total kills with 130 spikes. Neto has reached double figures in seven of the nine matches and has three double-doubles to her credit.

HITTING FOR AVERAGE: Leah Maurer (.304) and Jennifer Edmond (.262) are both in the Big West Conference Top 10 for hitting percentage, ranking 8th and 10th, respectively. Maurer has 78 kills (second most on the team) in 181 swings while committing just 23 errors. Edmond has 61 kills in 149 swings (22 errors).

BEING ACCURATE IS NETO: Junior Kayla Neto has posted back-to-back single-season attack percentages of .319 (2009) and .320 (2010) in he first two years in a Titan uniform, ranking her fourth and third, respectively, in the Titans' single-season record book. Only Katie Crawford (.328 in 2001) and Amanda Phielschiefter (pronounced PHIL-shifter, .322 in 2006) rank above her. Her career .319 mark heading into this season would by far set a new school record, but she has yet to reach the minimum in total attempts. Currently Alex Wolnisty's .271 career attack percentage leads the way. Wolnisty was a Titan from 2006-09. Neto is currently leading the team in kills but has taken a hit in her percentage this year as she has take a more active roll in the offensive scheme. Neto's career mark has dipped to its current spot at .288, which would place her atop the CSF career leader board. She is still around 150 career attempts away from qualifying for the Career Top 10 in attack percentage.