THE WEEK AHEAD:
The Titans return home this weekend to begin the second half of Big West Conference action when they host the Rainbow Wahine on Saturday night at Titan Gym.
FOLLOW THE TITANS:
Fans can keep up with the latest in Titans athletics by following us on Facebook (FullertonTitans), Twitter (@FullertonTitans), Instagram (@FullertonTitans), and YouTube.com (YouTube.com/csfathletics). In addition, the volleyball team has established its own official Twitter page (@FullertonVB).
CATCH ALL THE ACTION
Streaming Video: Saturday night's match between the Titans and the Rainbow Wahine will be broadcast on ESPN3. Links are available at FullertonTitans.com
Audio Webcast: An audio webcast will be available for the Titans match against the Rainbow Wahine.
Live Stats: Live in-game stats will be available for the Titans match against Hawai'i. Links can be found at FullertonTitans.com
Tickets for all Titans home games can be purchased online at fullertontitans.com, or at the Cal State Fullerton Athletics Ticket Office, located in the Titan House on campus off of Gymnasium Drive on the northeast side of Titan Gym. Game day sales and will call tickets will open an hour prior to the scheduled time at the specific venue. All Cal State Fullerton students with a school ID get free admission.
The Titans will hold the second and final autograph session of the season following the Nov. 15 match against UC Riverside at Titan Gym.
SATURDAY VS. HAWAII (TITAN GYM), 7 P.M.
Cal State Fullerton (7-14, 1-7) vs. Hawai'i (14-5, 6-2)
Series Record: Hawai'i leads 32-0
Big West Record: Hawai'i leads 26-0
First Meeting: Won, Oct. 22, 1980; 15-8, 15-6, 15-10
Last Meeting: Lost, Oct. 3, 2014; 25-18, 25-19, 25-15
Current Streak: Lost 32
Last 10 Meetings: 0-10
•The Rainbow Wahine come into Saturday night's contest winners of two straight after beating Cal Poly in three sets followed by a four-set win over UC Santa Barbara at the Stan Sheriff Center.
•Hawai'i has won eight of its last 10 matches but are riding a two-game road losing streak, suffering a pair of defeats at CSUN and Long Beach State on Oct. 10 and 11.
•Freshman outside hitter Kalei Greeley and senior libero Sarah Mendoza were named the Big West Conference Women's Volleyball Freshman and Defensive Players of the Week respectively. Both players were key in the Rainbow Wahine's pair of victories last week. Greeley had a pair of double-figure kill performances and narrowly missed a double-double in both matches, posting 11 kills and nine digs while hitting .308 (11-3-26) against Cal Poly. She had 10 kills and eight digs to go along with one block assist against the Gauchos. Mendoza's defensive honor was helped by her stellar night against UCSB where she recorded a career-high 25 digs, equaling the highest single-match mark since Liz Ka'aihue's 31 digs in 2007. Mendoza ranks fourth in the Big West with 4.15 digs per set, and she has recorded 20 or more digs in five matches this season.
•The Rainbow Wahine lead the Big West Conference with a 3.02 blocks per set average, a mark which also ranks ninth in the nation. Olivia Magill leads the team and the conference with a 1.47 blocks per set average, ranking her 11th in the nation. Kalei Adolpho is second on the squad and fourth in the conference with a 1.17 blocks per set average.
•Hawai'i currently sits in second place in the Big West Conference with a 6-2 record after the first round of conference play, two games behind first-place and unbeaten Long Beach State.
•The Rainbow Wahine are ranked in the top-50 in the nation in three categories: Blocks per set (9th, 3.02), Aces per set (13th, 1.68), Opponents Hitting Percentage (42nd, .164).
PREVIOUS MEETING - HAWAI'I 3, CAL STATE FULLERTON 0:
On Oct. 3, the Titans opened the Big West Conference schedule with a loss to the Rainbow Wahine at the Stan Sheriff Center. Holland Crenshaw led the way offensively for the Titans with seven kills and freshman Katelyn Nielsen added five kills. Niki Withers tallied four kills and Mackenzie Olsen dished out 19 assists. On the defensive end, McKenna Painton had six digs to lead the tem while Katie Roux added five with Rachel Brown and Withers tallying four apiece. The Titans jumped out to a quick 7-1 advantage in the first set to put the hosts on their heels early. Crenshaw hammered down two of her kills in that opening run while Withers and Nielsen each added one with a pair of attacking errors by the Rainbow Wahine peppered in between. But the Rainbow Wahine, ranked No. 24 at the time, came out of a timeout an proceeded to score 14 of the next 18 points to take a 15-11 lead and would go on to win the set and the match.
FULLERTON'S HISTORY FACING THE RAINBOW WAHINE:
Last season, the Rainbow Wahine scored a pair of sweeps over the Titans. In both matches, Hawai'i entered the match ranked in the AVCA top-25. In the first meeting, the Rainbow Wahine were ranked No. 6 in the nation and set a pair of rally scoring records. Hawai'i scored 21 consecutive points in the second frame to set a new program record and libero Ali Longo won 20 straight points off her serve. In the second meeting, the Titans got double-digit kills from seniors Bre Moreland and Alyse Hensley on senior night but it was not enough. The Titans came closest to notching their first victory against Hawai'i in 2012 at Titan Gym when Fullerton rallied from an 0-2 deficit to tie the match at two sets apiece and force a fifth set for the first and only time in the series' history, but the Rainbow Wahine pulled out a 15-12 win in the decider.
SET IT UP:
Saturday night's matchup will feature two of the top setters in the Big West Conference. Fullerton's Mackenzie Olsen comes into the match averaging 9.76 assists per set, which ranks fifth in the conference. She had dished out 40-plus assists in four consecutive matches prior to the Titans four-set loss at UC Irvine on Friday night. In the last five matches, Olsen has dished out 223 assists and posted a 10.62 assists per set average. For the Rainbow Wahine, Tayler Higgins is ranked third in the conference with a 10.55 assists per set average. She dished out 29 helpers in the team's victory over the Titans on Oct. 3.
For the first time since Hawai'i rejoined to Big West Conference in 2012, the Titans will square off against a Rainbow Wahine squad that is not ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) top-25 poll. The Rainbow Wahine received votes and accumulated 19 points overall in this week's poll but did not crack the top-25. Hawai'i was ranked No. 24 in the nation the last time the two teams met on Oct. 3.
MAKE IT A DOUBLE:
Mackenzie Olsen tallied 36 assists to go along with 10 digs on Friday night at UC Irvine, recording her fifth double-double of the season. It was Olsen's third double-double in her last five matches. In that five-match stretch, Olsen is averaging 2.05 digs per set and 43 of her 132 digs this season have come in the last five contests.
WITHERS' OFFENSE RE-EMERGES:
After a brief three-match stretch where she was unable to crack double-digits, freshman Niki Withers has found her offense again in the last four matches. She tallied a team-high 17 kills in Friday night's four-set loss at UC Irvine and marked the fourth straight match where the freshman recorded double-digit kills. Withers has recorded double figures in 18 of the team's 21 matches this season including 15 straight to start the season. In the last five matches, Withers has recorded 59 kills in 17 sets played, good for a 3.47 kills per set average.
REED CAN DIG IT:
Sophomore Paige Reed recorded 18 digs in the Titans four-set loss at UC Irvine on Friday night. It was a new season high for the Vallejo, Calif. native and the third consecutive match in which she recorded at least 17 digs in a match. It was also the seventh time this season the sophomore has recorded double-digit digs in a match, the trailing only McKenna Painton for the most on the team this year.
BIG WEST MARKS
The Titans have a couple of players near the top of the conference rankings:
• Freshman Niki Withers is currently ranked fourth in the conference with a 3.63 kills per set average, which also ranks 93rd in the nation. She also ranks third in the Big West with 287 total kills.
• Mackenzie Olsen has dished out 9.76 assists per set this season for the Titans, which ranks fifth in the Big West. Her 761 total assists has her ranked third in the Big West.
In her 13th season at Cal State Fullerton, Carolyn Zimmerman currently possesses an all-time record of 180-200 (.474). The sixth head coach in Fullerton's 37-year history; she is the winningest (.474) head coach in CSF volleyball program history.