Road Tilts with UCR and CSUN on Tap for Volleyball
Sept. 30, 2011
LISTEN IN: Both matches this weekend will have live audio broadcasts with play-by-play announcer Patrick Alog on the mic. Just go to fullertontitans.com and click the audio icon in the upper right-hand corner of the website and pick the event you want to listen to from your computer or smart phone.
WATCH THE MATCH: With a subscription you can catch most of the Big West Conference volleyball matches and all of them played in Titan Gym by Going to BigWest.tv.
SERVICE! The defending Big West champions look to continue their recent successes in conference and will traverse the Southern California freeways with a pair of road matches at UC Riverside (3-12, 0-1) and Cal State Northridge (7-6, 1-0) this weekend.
The Titans (7-7, 2-0) are coming off a 2-1 week that saw them lose on the road at San Diego State in five sets before a pair of huge early conference victories in Titan Gym against Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.
On Tuesday, the Titans were a set a way from their first-ever win at San Diego State, but fell to 0-18 all-time in San Diego when they were out-hit in the deciding frame .375 to .000. Bre Moreland was the star for the Titans, connecting for a match-high 16 kills and 10 digs in the 25-20, 14-25, 19-25, 25-18, 8-15 loss.
Fullerton opened its Big West slate with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-22) sweep of Cal Poly behind a double-double (15 kills, 13 digs) from Kayla Neto. Jennifer Edmond also added nine kills and a team-high five blocks to help the Titans beat the Mustangs for the fifth time in a row after a 3-43 previous history with them.
On Saturday, Neto again was the center of the Titan offense with 16 kills but also anchored the defense with a career-high 30 digs as the Titans outlasted the Gauchos in five sets, 15-25, 25-12, 25-13, 24-26, 15-10.
Defense was key for the Titans in their victory over UCSB, a team that had beaten No. 21 and Big West favorite Long Beach State the night before. Gabrielle Dewberry was all over the floor in the last few sets as Fullerton beat the Gauchos for the fifth time in the last six meetings. Dewberry had 21 digs and Moreland had 17 kills and 22 digs to give the Titans 16 league victories in their last 18 tries dating to last season.
VERSUS UC RIVERSIDE: Cal State Fullerton holds an all-time mark of 19-4 against the Highlanders on the volleyball court dating back to their first meeting in 1984. Fullerton has favored better at home (11-1) than on the road (8-3) but has pretty much dominated the all-time series - no matter where it was played - since 2002 going 16-1 with the loss coming in Titan Gym. Since UCR joined the Big West Conference in 2001, Fullerton has a 17-3 advantage in league play. The Titans are currently riding a 12-match winning streak with the Highlanders.
VERSUS CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: The Titans are winners of three in a row and five of the last six against Cal State Northridge going back to the 2008 season. Fullerton has posted an all-time mark of 11-21 against Northridge dating back to the schools' first meeting in 1980. Since the Matadors joined the Big West in 2001, the Titans are 7-14 in league play and have posted an all-time record of 3-12 when playing in Northridge. The Titans have won in each of their last three visits to The Matadome.
NETO BANDITO: Over the Titans' first 14 matches of the year, junior Kayla Neto (Clarksburg, Calif.) has compiled double-digits in kills and digs eight times including her current string of six matches in a row. Last week, Neto posted double-doubles against San Diego State, Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara. The night following Santa Barbara's victory over No. 21 Long Beach State, Neto led all players with 18 kills and scooped up a career high 30 digs to lead the Titans to victory over the Gauchos. In all, she tallied 12, 15 and 18 kills in the three matches and averaged 3.46 kills, 4.23 digs and 3.92 points per set for the week. She also added four aces and three blocks while helping the Titans to a perfect 2-0 start in Big West Conference play.
DOUBLE DOWN: Bre Moreland has accumulated eight matches with double-figures in both kills and digs, tying for the team high with Kayla Neto. She has scored double-doubles in five of her last six matches and set career-highs in digs (Sept. 24 vs. UC Santa Barbara, 22) and kills (Sept. 16 vs. BYU, 18).
DRE DAY: Titan setter Andrea Ragan (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) continues to climb towards former Titan Julie Geissert's school record of 3,907 career assists set from 2004-07. Ragan sits just 129 sets away from tying and 130 from setting the new school record with 3,778 career assists. So far this year she has passed Stephanie Schrieve (3,388 assists from 1988-91) and Kim Levey (3,621 from 1999-02) and sits in the No. 2 all-time position at Cal State Fullerton. Ragan will also likely become the first Titan setter to amass 4,000 assists in the coming weeks. If she finishes this year with around 1,200 assists she will be sitting a bit outside of the Big West Conference's all-time Top 10.
ZIMMERMAN NEARING WINNING RECORD: Tenth-year Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman (141-144) is just three games below .500 for her career and sits just a mere four wins away from becoming the Titans' first coach to achieve a winning record more than nine matches in. She is already the winningest coach in school history, but could become the first coach to hold a winning record since both Fran Cummings (1980-1988) and Jim Huffman (1989-91) were 5-4 in their first seasons of skippering the Titans. Zimmerman is just nine wins away from victory No. 150 in her career. Zimmerman's three predecessors (Cummings, Huffman and Mary Ellen Murchison) totaled 185 combined wins.
30 IS SOMETHING: Junior outside hitter Kayla Neto became the first Titan since Cami Croteau (2007-10) to record 30 digs in a single match when she scooped up 30 UC Santa Barbara attempts last Saturday (Sept. 24) in Titan Gym. Croteau had a school record 38 digs last November at Cal State Northridge. Neto's career-high 30 digs went along with a match-high 18 kills as the Titans outlasted UCSB, 3-2.
CONFERENCE WINS: Before last year's break out season that saw the Titans go 14-2 in the Big West, the Titans had never won more than nine in a single season. Currently, the Titans are 2-0 in 2011 and have won 10 league matches in a row and16 of their last 18.
AROUND THE BIG WEST: Kayla Neto ranks second in kills per set, averaging 4.00 per frame. She ranks third in the conference behind UC Daivs' Alison Whitson and Pacific's Samantha Misa with 212 total kills... Neto also ranks eighth in the Big West with 0.23 service aces per set. She has 12 total aces and is tied with Riverside's Amanda Vialpando... Andrea Ragan ranks third in the league in both total assists (555) and assists per set (10.47). Ragan is currently setting around one assist less per set than her career average of 11.30... Amanda Yamate is scooping up 4.22 digs per set and ranking fifth in the league despite not having played in the last two Titan matches.
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.
AWAY WE GO: The Titans are just 1-3 in true road games this season and just 4-6 in matches away from Titan Gym.