THE WEEK AHEAD:
The Titans begin a three-game road swing this weekend as they head up the coast for a pair of road matches against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly.
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: Both matches this week will have a live video feed, which can be accessed through the links available at FullertonTitans.com
Audio Webcast: An audio webcast will be available for the Titans match against the Mustangs courtesy of Cal Poly. The link can be found on FullertonTitans.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats for both matches this weekend will be available through the links 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.
FRIDAY AT UC SANTA BARBARA (THUNDERDOME), 7 P.M.
Cal State Fullerton (7-15, 1-8) at UC Santa Barbara (10-11, 5-5)
Series Record: UCSB leads 60-8
Big West Record: UCSB leads 45-8
First Meeting: Lost, Oct. 1, 1982; 1-15, 6-15, 12-15
Last Meeting: Lost, Oct. 11, 2014; 23-25, 20-25, 25-17, 16-25
Current Streak: Lost 4
Last 10 Meetings: 4-6
UC SANTA BARBARA NOTES:
•The Gauchos are coming off the ninth Big West Conference title in the program's history after finishing 2013 with a 13-3 conference record. So far this season, UC Santa Barbara is in the bottom half of the conference, sitting in sixth place with a 5-5 record, 4.5 games back of first-place Long Beach State.
•Ali Barbeau comes into the match leading the Gauchos with a 2.56 kills per set average, having hammered down 192 kills in 75 sets played. In conference play, Barbeau has carried the offense with 107 kills and a 2.82 per set average in 38 games played, hitting .217, 30 points better than her overall season clip.
•Ali Spindt has anchored the UC Santa Barbara defense in 2014, leading the squad with 313 digs overall. Her 4.41 digs per set average ranks second in the conference and has her just outside the top-100 in the nation at 103rd. In conference play, Spindt has upped her per-set average to 4.49, tallying 157 digs in 35 sets played against Big West competition.
•The Gauchos are 9-9 in matches that go four sets or fewer this season and are 1-2 in five-set matches.
PREVIOUS MEETING - UC SANTA BARBARA 3, CAL STATE FULLERTON 1:
On Oct. 11, the Titans got solid efforts from McKenna Painton, Niki Withers and Holland Crenshaw but it was not enough as Fullerton suffered its sixth consecutive loss, falling to the Gauchos in four sets. Painton recorded her second career double-double in as many nights, tallying 14 kills and 11 digs. Withers added 16 kills to lead the team and Crenshaw had 10 with a team-best .409 hitting percentage. As a team, the Titans tallied 58 digs and had three players record double figures, led by Rachel Brown's 17 and Devin Ulmer's 15.
FULLERTON'S HISTORY FACING THE GAUCHOS:
The Titans have lost four straight meetings against UC Santa Barbara but their fortunes against the Gauchos have been on the upswing in recent history. The Titans defeated UCSB in five sets on Nov. 4, 2006 for the program's first victory over the Gauchos after dropping the first 52 meetings. The Titans would win eight of 12 meetings before dropping the last four.
SATURDAY AT CAL POLY (MOTT ATHLETICS CENTER), 7 P.M.
Cal State Fullerton (7-15, 1-8) at Cal Poly (8-12, 3-7)
Series Record: Cal Poly leads 47-10
Big West Record: Cal Poly leads 37-10
First Meeting: Lost, Sept. 17, 1981; 4-15, 5-15
Last Meeting: Lost, Oct. 10, 2014; 22-25, 16-25, 25-22, 21-25
Current Streak: Lost 1
Last 10 Meetings: 6-4
CAL POLY NOTES:
•The Mustangs have dropped five of their last six matches going into this weekend's matches against UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton.
•Cal Poly is coming off a four-game road trip, losing three of the four contests. The Mustangs' only road win came against UC Riverside, which sits in last place in the Big West. Cal Poly is 3-5 on the road this season while boasting a 5-4 record at home.
•Nicole Kessler has recorded 346 digs this season and has averaged 4.38 per set, ranking her third in the Big West Conference.
PREVIOUS MEETING - CAL POLY 3, CAL STATE FULLERTON 1:
On Oct. 10, sophomore McKenna Painton made her collegiate offensive debut as she played outside hitter for the first time with the Titans, tallying 15 kills and 15 digs but the Mustangs managed to walk out with a 3-1 victory. Mackenzie Olsen also recorded a double-double for the Titans dishing out 44 assists and 10 digs, marking the second time this season that two Titans had a double-double in the same match.
FULLERTON'S HISTORY FACING THE MUSTANGS:
Cal Poly dominated Fullerton early on in the history of the series, but the Titans have turned the tables in recent years. Since 2009, the Titans are 7-4 against Cal Poly including a five-match winning streak that spanned from 2009 to 2011. Last season, the Titans split a pair of matches with Cal Poly as each team won on the other's home court.
SPOTLIGHT ON THE FRESHMEN:
Saturday night's matchup against Cal Poly will feature two of the top freshmen in the Big West Conference. Fullerton's Niki Withers leads the team with 298 overall kills this season and a 3.63 per set average. She has tallied double-digit kills in 19 of the 22 matches the team has played this season. Withers has also been named the Big West Conference Freshman Player of the Week on three occasions this year. For the Mustangs, Raeann Greisen leads the squad with 260 kills and a 3.29 per set average in 79 sets played. Greisen earned the BWC Player of the Week award in week three, a week that saw the Mustangs sweep all three conference awards.
THE NEED FOR EFFICIENCY:
This season the Titans are undefeated when they have a higher hitting percentage than their opponent while all of their losses have come when they have hit at a lower clip than the opponent. On Saturday, the Titans will play a Mustangs team that is ranked eighth in the Big West in hitting percentage (.181), one spot below Fullerton.
OLSEN'S HELPERS TAKE A DIP:
Setter Mackenzie Olsen dished out 25 assists in Saturday night's loss to Hawai'i. The Orange, Calif. native also fell four digs shy of recording her sixth double-double of the season. In the five matches prior to the loss against Hawai'i, Olsen had recorded three double-doubles and averaged 10.62 assists and 2.05 digs per set in that stretch.
KURZ DROPS 11 ON HAWAI'I:
Megan Kurz recorded 11 kills in Saturday night's loss to Hawai'i, the sixth time this season she has tallied double figures in kills. It was the first time Kurz reached double figures since she had 10 in a five-set loss to Wake Forest on Sept. 13 at the College of Charleston Classic.
REED CAN STILL DIG IT:
Sophomore Paige Reed recorded 17 digs in the Titans loss to Hawai'i on Saturday night. It was her fourth straight match with 17-plus digs. She set a new season high with 18 against UC Irvine on the road. It was also the eighth 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 few 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 90th in the nation. She also ranks third in the Big West with 298 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 786 total assists has her ranked third in the Big West.
• Holland Crenshaw leads the team with a .309 hitting percentage, which ranks seventh in the conference. Crenshaw has tallied 223 kills with 60 errors in 528 attempts this year.
In her 13th season at Cal State Fullerton, Carolyn Zimmerman currently possesses an all-time record of 180-201 (.472). The sixth head coach in Fullerton's 37-year history; she is the winningest (.472) head coach in CSF volleyball program history.