RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton snapped a seven-game losing streak Saturday night thanks to McKenna Painton's fourth straight double-double and solid nights from Niki Withers and Mackenzie Olsen, leading the Titans to a 3-1 (25-20, 29-27, 23-25, 25-22) Big West Conference win over UC Riverside at the SRC Center in Riverside, Calif.
The Titans (7-13, 1-5) put a halt to their longest losing streak since 2003 thanks to a .331 hitting percentage and double-digit kill performances from three players. The Highlanders (2-16, 0-6) suffered their 11th consecutive loss.
Painton recorded her fourth straight double-double since being moved from the libero position and into the offensive rotation, tallying 18 kills and 11 digs. Withers had one of her better showings of the season as she hammered down 14 kills with just five errors and hitting at a .290 clip. Freshman Katelyn Nielsen added 10 kills with a .364 hitting percentage and Olsen dished out 51 assists to go along with seven digs.
For the Highlanders, Bri Holmes led all players with 21 kills and Alex Gresham added 12 kills. Amanda Press had 51 assists and Maddie Hubbell led the team with 11 digs.
The Titans ran away with the first set, trailing only once in the early portion of the game before building a seven-point lead late and riding that to the victory. The Titans outhit the Highlanders .344 to .324 in the opening frame.
In the second set, the Titans trailed for much of the set and fell behind 18-13 at one point before mounting their stand. Fullerton scored seven of the next nine points to tie the score at 20 and both teams went back-and-forth the rest of the way until an attack error by Holmes and a kill from Withers secured the set for the Titans and gave them a 2-0 lead in the match.
After dropping the third set, the Titans managed to hold off the Highlanders, securing the match on a service error by Haili Hoeft.
The Titans will travel to UC Irvine for their next match on Friday at 7 p.m.
Notes: In two matches this week, Olsen has recorded 105 assists… Holland Crenshaw had six kills, five blocks (one solo) and two aces for the Titans in the victory… The match featured 32 ties and 16 lead changes with 24 of those ties coming in the second and third sets combined… The Titans hit .344 or better in the three sets they won… Fullerton had double-digit digs as a team in all four sets and finished the night with 47.