Nov. 23, 2010
Irvine, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton outside hitter Erin Saddler and Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman headline the Big West's all-conference honors, earning player of the year, and coach of the year awards, respectively, as the Irvine-based league office released its annual list of postseason accolades Tuesday morning.
Saddler posted 468 kills and 4.37 kills per set during the regular season to rank second in the league and 17th in the nation, and was instrumental in leading the Titans to their first-ever Big West Conference championship. Her kills totals also rank her 6th all-time in the Cal State Fullerton single-season record book.
Saddler has tallied double digits in kills in 27 of the Titans' 31 matches thus far and has nine double-doubles (kills/digs) to her credit.
The Bellflower native has done it all for the Titans, putting up some solid defensive numbers as well. The senior has logged 50 total blocks (23 solos and 27 assists) and also scooped up 233 would-be kills from the back row heading into the postseason.
Saddler was a four-time Big West Player of the Week in 2010 and set a new school record for most weekly honors in a season by one individual and Titan team.
Zimmerman wins her first career coach of the year award after guiding the Titans to a record-breaking season that has seen them win their first league title, earn their first postseason appearance, and ascend into the national Top 25 (Nov. 22) for the first time in school history. The ninth-year head coach has skippered the Titans to a school record 26 overall victories and record 14 conference wins and has now coached two of the last three Big West Players of the Year in Saddler and Brittany Moore (2008).
Under her tutelage, the Titans currently rank first in most Big West statistical categories (hitting percentage, assists, kills, service aces and digs) and rank second in opponents' hitting percentage. The team also rank 6th nationally in kills per set (14.62), assists per set (13.67), 15th in digs per set (17.61) and 16th in wining percentage (.839).
Zimmerman, the all-time leader in Cal State Fullerton wins and winning percentage, is the first Titan head coach to receive the league's top honor.
In addition to the player/coach of the year awards, the Big West announced its all-conference teams on Tuesday. Seniors Saddler and Cami Croteau, junior Torrie Brown and sophomore Kayla Neto were all honored as first-team selections and became the first Titan class to have four first-teamers.
Croteau became the Big West's all-time dig leader in the final weekend of the regular season surpassing Kristin Jackson (Cal Poly) with a 21-dig performance against UC Irvine. The following night at Cal State Northridge, the libero scooped a school single-match record 38 digs and set the single-season record with her 583rd dig of the year. For the week, she dug up 59 attack attempts and was honored with her first career conference player of the week nod.
The Orange, Calif. native led the league in total digs and digs per set (5.45) and ranks 17th nationally.
Croteau joins former Titan standout Moore as the only two Titans to ever be named to the league's first team three times in their career.
Outside hitter Torrie Brown has been productive option for the Titans offensively as she has produced the second-most kills on the team with 345 kills, and ranks 6th in the Big West landing 3.25 kills per set. She has had 17 matches with 10-plus kills this year and set her career high last weekend against UC Irvine when she blasted 22 kills as the Titans clinched the league title.
In addition to her quantity, the hitter from Diamond Bar, Calif., has landed her shots with accuracy, hitting .275 on the year and ranking 10th in the Big West.
This is Brown's first All-Big West Conference honor.
The 2009 Big West Freshman of the Year Neto has not disappointed in her sophomore campaign, posting 327 kills, 21 aces, 77 blocks while hitting a whopping .327. Her attack percentage currently ranks second all-time in Cal State Fullerton single-season history and 5th among Big West players this season. The hitter/middle blocker from Clarksburg, Calif. also ranks 9th in the league in kills per set (3.06 cps) and 8th in total points per set (3.65 pps) and knotted 10-or-more kills on 18 occasions this year.
This is Neto's second career first team first-team honor.