Volleyball to Face Its Toughest Opponent Saturday

Oct. 7, 2011

THIS WEEK IN TITAN VOLLEYBALL:
Sat., Oct. 8 at Long Beach State (The Pyramid), 7 p.m.
AUDIO / BIG WEST.TV / GAME TRACKER

LISTEN IN: This weekend's match will have a live audio broadcast 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: A light week is on tap for volleyball in terms of volume, playing just one match this week on Saturday. Its opponent, however, is not to be taken lightly. Fullerton (8-8, 3-1) will head to the Pyramid in Long Beach to take on Long Beach State (9-6, 3-2), a long-time nemesis that has won each of the last 57 meetings between the two schools dating back to 1983.

Going into the match with the 49ers, the defending Big West champion Titans are still hanging on to first place heading into the third week of conference action. They are tied with UC Santa Barbara at 3-1, a half of a game ahead of Cal State Northridge (2-1). Long Beach has already lost two of its four conference matches and is tied for third with UC Davis and Cal Poly.

Last week, the Titans split their weekend by beating UC Riverside in five sets and by dropping a match at Cal State Northridge in three straight sets. On Friday night, Bre Moreland notched her ninth double-double of the year with 17-kills and 12 digs and also added four blocks at the net to lead the Titans to a 25-22, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-9 win at UCR's Student Recreation Center. Kayla Neto also added her match-high 19 kills to push Fullerton over the .500 mark for the first time in 2011.

The Titans saw their season best three-match winning streak on Saturday at The Matadome, 30-32, 21-25, 18-25. Leah Maurer (11 kills, .375 attack percentage) and Leah Best (8 kills, .538) were the standouts in the loss.

VERSUS LONG BEACH STATE: The Titans and 49ers have met 63 times since 1980. Long Beach State has dominated the all-time series, winning 59 of the 63 meetings. All four of the Titans' victories came in the first six meetings from 1980-82. Since 1982, the Titans have dropped 57 consecutive matches. All four wins came while the Titans and 49ers were playing in the WCAA. In Big West Conference action, Fullerton is 0-46. The Titans' last road win against the 49ers came on Sept. 2, 1982. They have never won at the Walter Pyramid. Last year, Cal State Fullerton went 14-2 in Big West play, losing their only two league matches to the 49ers.

AROUND THE BIG WEST: Leah Maurer has moved into the Top 10 in hitting percentage, ranking 9th with a .273 mark... Kayla Neto ranks third in kills per set, averaging 3.93 per frame. She also ranks third in the conference behind UC Daivs' Alison Whitson and Pacific's Samantha Misa with 240 total kills... Neto also ranks ninth in the Big West with 0.21 service aces per set and has 13 total aces... Andrea Ragan ranks third in the league in both total assists (641) and assists per set (10.51). 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 four Titan matches.

DRE DAY DRAWING NEAR: 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 43 sets away from tying and 44 from setting the new school record with 3,864 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.

DOUBLE DOWN: Bre Moreland has accumulated nine matches with double-figures in both kills and digs, tying for the team high with Kayla Neto. She has scored double-doubles in six of her last eight matches and set career-highs in digs (Sept. 24 vs. UC Santa Barbara, 22) and kills (Sept. 16 vs. BYU, 18).

NETO BANDITO: Over the Titans' first 16 matches of the year, junior Kayla Neto (Clarksburg, Calif.) has compiled double-digits in kills and digs nine times. She has tallied double-doubles in seven of her last eight matches, with last Saturday's match snapping her string of seven consecutive games with 10-or-more kills and digs. Last Friday, Neto had a match-high 19 kills at UC Riverside to help lead the Titans to a five-set win. Neto has now moved into the Cal State Fullerton career Top 10 with 885 career kills and has knocked Alyssa Opeka (868 kills from 2002-05) from the list. In the dig department, Neto has more than doubled her career totals this year alone and leads the team with 186 digs.

ZIMMERMAN NEARING WINNING RECORD: Tenth-year Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman (142-145) 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 to their career. 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 eight 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 3-1 in 2011 and have won 11 of their last 12 league matches and 17 of their last 20.

AWAY WE GO: The Titans are just 2-4 in true road games this season and just 5-7 in matches away from Titan Gym.

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.