SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Mackenzie Olsen dished out 31 assists and had 10 digs but the Titans fell to UC Santa Barbara 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 15-25, 15-25) Friday night at the Thunderdome.
Olsen recorded her sixth double-double of the season for the Titans (7-16, 1-9) and also added a solo block. Freshman Niki Withers led the offense with 12 kills and flirted with a double-double of her own, setting a new career high with eight digs. Holland Crenshaw added 11 kills and led the team with a .500 hitting percentage, committing just one error in 20 attempts.
For the Gauchos (11-11, 6-5), Ali Barbeau and Kristen Berlo led the way with 10 kills each while Jaylen Villanueva and Britton Taylor added nine apiece. Ali Santi and Hanna Nielson combined to dish out 39 assists and helped set the Gauchos to a .224 clip on the night.
After dropping the first set, the Titans responded by taking the second set thanks to five kills from Withers four from Crenshaw. The Titans hit .237 in the second set, their best mark of the match, while holding the Gauchos to a .118 clip in the frame. The Titans also had 18 digs in the second set, the most of any set in the match.
In the second, the teams were tied eight times and traded the lead on five occasions. With the score tied at 19 apiece, the Titans got two kills from Katelyn Nielsen and took advantage of three errors by the Gauchos to tie the match at a set apiece. Nielsen finished the night with eight kills and four digs.
But the Titans could not overcome 14 attacking errors in the final two sets including seven from Withers. The Gauchos capitalized in the third set, using a 14-3 scoring run to turn a 7-7 tie into a commanding 11-point cushion. In the fourth, the Gauchos hit .267 as a team and got four kills without an error from Barbeau to put away the match.
The Titans will now head to Cal Poly on Saturday night for the second match of their current three-game road trip, which concludes at UC Davis on Thursday night.
Notes: Fullerton had 48 digs as a team, led by Paige Reed with 15 on the night. She has now tallied 15-plus digs in five straight matches… The Titans are now 1-5 on the road this season and 4-7 in four-set matches… Stephanie Buss led the team with five blocks on Friday night. She is the team leader this season with 77 total blocks (nine solo) and a 0.90 blocks per set average… Buss also led the team with two service aces, setting a new career high.