FULLERTON, Calif. - Sophomore McKenna Painton continued to shine offensively and setter Mackenzie Olsen set new season highs but it was not enough as Cal State Fullerton dropped a tight Big West Conference contest to UC Davis 3-2 (20-25, 25-20, 16-25, 25-21, 15-13) Friday night at Titan Gym.
The Titans (6-13, 0-6) suffered their seventh straight loss while the Aggies (9-9, 4-1) captured their fourth straight victory in conference play.
Painton was outstanding for the Titans, recording her third straight double-double with a career-high 19 kills to go along with 10 digs. She also recorded three service aces to set a new season high and tie her career-best mark that she set as a freshman. Olsen recorded her fourth double-double of the year while setting season highs with 54 assists and 13 digs.
Four Titans tallied double-figures in kills as Stephanie Buss, Holland Crenshaw and Niki Withers each added 12 kills. Buss led the team with a .529 hitting percentage while Crenshaw added three blocks and tied a season high with five digs.
For the Aggies, Kaylin Squyres had a fantastic night with 25 kills and 20 digs. Allie Wegener was the only other player to record double-digit kills with 10 while also adding 12 digs. Sophia Mar and Erika Connors combined to dish out 51 assists and Megan Lancaster led the team with 22 digs.
In the decisive fifth set, neither team could gain much breathing room as neither side was able to build a lead larger than two points. The Titans held a 3-2 lead early in the frame but the Aggies took the lead on a pair of errors by Fullerton. The teams were tied six times, but that lead change proved to be the only one of the set and the Aggies secured the match on Wegener's 10th kill of the night.
In the first set, the Titans held a 13-10 lead before UC Davis ran off five straight points out of a timeout to retake the lead. The Titans fell behind by four points before cutting it to 21-19, forcing the Aggies to take timeout. The visitors responded after the break, scoring four of the last five points in the frame to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Aggies hit .286 in the first while the Titans managed a .256 hitting percentage, getting four kills out of Withers and three apiece from Painton and Buss.
The Titans tied the match after taking the second set thanks to a stellar .407 hitting percentage, notching 16 kills with just five errors. They also held the Aggies to a .188 clip in the second frame. The teams were tied eight times, most of those coming early in the set. With the teams tied at 11, the Titans ran off three straight points to give themselves a cushion and would outscore the Aggies 10-4 to take a commanding lead that they would not surrender.
In the third set, the Titans struggled offensively as they committed eight attacking errors en route to a .042 hitting percentage while the Aggies were firing on all cylinders, hitting at a .522 clip in the frame. The Titans trailed by three at 18-15 but the Aggies pounded out seven of the next eight points to capture the game and take a two sets to one lead in the match.
The Titans came right back a fourth set that featured eight ties and three lead changes. Both teams were all over the floor defensively, combining for 52 digs in the fourth set alone. Paige Reed donned the libero jersey in the fourth and logged eight of her 17 digs in the fourth. The Titans held a slim 21-20 lead late and ran off four of five points to secure the set and send the match to a deciding fifth set.
Notes: The Titans tallied 62 kills on the night, the fourth time the team has tallied more than 60 in a match… Fullerton's 75 digs were the second most by the team this season, trailing only the 89 digs the team recorded on opening night against Bucknell… Olsen and Painton recorded double-doubles on the same night for the second time this season. It was also the third time this year that a pair of Titans recorded double-doubles on the same night.