THE WEEK AHEAD:
The Titans are on the road for the final two games of the 2014 regular season as they face CSUN on Wednesday followed by the season finale at No. 16 Long Beach State.
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: Titans fans can catch a live video stream of both matches this week. The links can be found on FullertonTitans.com.
Audio Webcast: An audio webcast will be available for the Titans match at Long Beach State courtesy of the 49ers. Links can be found at FullertonTitans.com.
Live Stats: Live in-game stats for both matches 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.
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 25 AT CSUN (THE MATADOME), 5 P.M.
Cal State Fullerton (8-19, 2-12) at CSUN (18-8, 9-5)
Series Record: CSUN leads 28-11
Big West Record: CSUN leads 21-7
First Meeting: Lost, Nov. 16, 1980; 11-15, 12-15, 9-15
Last Meeting: Lost, Sept. 26, 2014; 23-25, 17-25, 20-25
Current Streak: Lost 7
Last 10 Meetings: 3-7
•The Matadors have won four consecutive matches, each coming by way of the sweep. It's the team's third winning streak of four or more games this season, the last coming from Sept. 11-19 when the Matadors won four straight road games including a victory over then-No. 19 San Diego at the USD Invitational.
•CSUN defeated UC Davis on the road in its last match to get within a half game of third place in the Big West Conference standings. In the match, senior Casey Hinger led all players with 14 kills and hit .346 on the night to go along with 14 digs to give Hinger her eighth double-double of the season.
•During its current four-match winning streak, CSUN has posted a collective .355 hitting percentage. The Matadors posted a .311 hitting percentage in the win over UC Davis thanks to 41 assists from setter Steffi Miller.
•CSUN's final two matches of the season will take place at home, where they have posted a 4-2 record. The Matadors finished the season with a 14-6 record away from the Matadome (8-5 on the road; 6-1 at neutral sites).
•The Matadors currently lead the Big West Conference with a collective .266 hitting percentage, 14.04 kills per set average and 13.05 assists per set average. Those marks also each rank 20th, 25th, and 29th in the nation respectively.
•Setter Steffi Miller is averaging 10.33 assists per set this season, which ranks her third in the conference and 93rd in the nation. In addition, Sam Kaul has posted a .377 hitting percentage this season which ranks second in the Big West and 36th in the country.
PREVIOUS MEETING - CSUN 3, CAL STATE FULLERTON 0:
On Sept. 26, the Titans got double-digit kills from Niki Withers and Holland Crenshaw but it was not enough as the Matadors hit a collective .319 for the match with 42 assists from Steffi Miller. In the opening frame, the Titans jumped out in front to an 8-5 advantage. The Matadors responded with four straight points to take the lead and the teams proceeded to trade points until the game was tied at 11. The Matadors would gain an 18-14 advantage following an attacking error by the Titans but the hosts battled back and eventually tied the score again at 21. But the Matadors scored three straight points to take a 24-21 lead and the Titans could not fight off all of those set points, falling 25-23. The Matadors took control in the second set, hitting .438 in the frame with just two errors and they never looked back.
SATURDAY, NOV. 29 AT NO. 16 LONG BEACH STATE (WALTER PYRAMID), 7 P.M.
Cal State Fullerton (8-19, 2-12) at Long Beach State (24-4, 14-0)
Series Record: Long Beach State leads 65-5
Big West Record: Long Beach State leads 64-5
First Meeting: Lost, Oct. 10, 1980; 4-15, 5-15, 12-15
Last Meeting: Lost, Sept. 27, 2014; 14-25, 15-25, 15-25
Current Streak: Lost 4
Last 10 Meetings: 1-9
LONG BEACH STATE NOTES:
•Long Beach State clinched its 13th Big West Conference championship with a 3-0 victory at UC Riverside on Saturday night. The 49ers are currently undefeated in conference play, winning 14 consecutive matches.
•The 49ers are ranked No. 16 in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association top-25 poll, their highest ranking of the season. Since losing its first two matches to open the season, Long Beach State has won 24 of 26 matches, dropping a match at home to Loyola Marymount on Sept. 11 and a five-setter to Oregon State at the Roadrunner Classic in Bakersfield, Calif. on Sept. 20.
•The 49ers are currently undefeated in conference play. With matches against UC Irvine and the Titans this week, the 49ers are looking to become the ninth team in Big West Conference history to finish conference-play undefeated and the first since Hawai'i ran the table in 2012. An unbeaten conference slate would also mark the fifth time the 49ers have accomplished the feat and first since 2001.
•Senior Chisom Okpala was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week after posting a .486 hitting percentage (24-6-37) and averaging 1.50 blocks per set in a pair of wins over UC Davis and UC Riverside. She posted 12 kills in both matches and hit .733 against UC Riverside. Okpala has hit at a .374 clip this season, which ranks third in the conference.
PREVIOUS MEETING - LONG BEACH STATE 3, CAL STATE FULLERTON 0:
On Sept. 27, the Titans struggled to get anything going offensively against the 49ers as they dropped a three-set match at Titan Gym. The Titans managed just a .148 hitting percentage while Long Beach State posted a .365 mark, committing just 9 errors in 85 attempts. Freshman Niki Withers led the Titans with eight kills and Holland Crenshaw added seven. Mackenzie Olsen dished out 27 assists and added four kills while McKenna Painton had nine digs to lead the defense. For the 49ers, Chisom Okpala led the way with 10 kills without committing an error in 11 attempts while Bre Mackie added eight kills. Jenelle Hudson posted 25 assists.
WITHERS SETS A NEW CAREER HIGH... AGAIN:
Freshman Niki Withers blasted a career-high 28 kills in Saturday night's match against UC Irvine. She averaged 7.00 kills per set in the match and hit .229, committing 12 errors on a career-high 70 attempts. It was Withers' sixth 20-plus kill performance of the season and third of 25-plus kills. Withers has now tallied double-digit kills in 10 straight matches and 24 of the team's 27 contests this season.
After earning the Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Week Award for her play against UC Davis and UC Riverside, sophomore Paige Reed continued to cover a lot of ground defensively as she posted a career-best 32 digs in Saturday night's match against UC Irvine. It was Reed's first 30-dig performance in her career and eclipsed her previous career-best by 10 digs. It was also a new team-high this season, surpassing McKenna Painton's 30-dig effort on opening night against Bucknell. Reed averaged 8.00 digs per set and also added three assists against the Anteaters. It was the ninth straight match Reed has scooped up double-digits on defense and the 13th overall. During the nine matches, Reed has posted 15 or more digs seven times and accumulated 160 digs overall in 34 sets, good for a 4.71 per set average.
ON THE DOUBLE:
Setter Mackenzie Olsen recorded her team-best eighth double-double of the season in Saturday night's match against UC Irvine at Titan Gym. Olsen dished out 49 assists, tied for the second most for the junior in a match this season. Olsen also scooped a season-high 16 digs, the seventh time she has recorded double-digit digs this year and first time she has posted 15 or more in a match.
BIG WEST MARKS
The Titans have a few players near the top of the conference rankings:
• Freshman Niki Withers is currently ranked third in the conference with a 3.95 kills per set average, which also ranks 56th in the nation. She also ranks second in the Big West with 395 total kills, a mark which ranks 97th in the country.
• Mackenzie Olsen has dished out 9.77 assists per set this season for the Titans, which ranks fifth in the Big West.
• Holland Crenshaw leads the team with a .317 hitting percentage, which ranks seventh in the conference. Crenshaw has tallied 269 kills with 70 errors in 627 attempts this year.
In her 13th season at Cal State Fullerton, Carolyn Zimmerman currently possesses an all-time record of 181-204 (.470). The sixth head coach in Fullerton's 37-year history; she is the winningest (.471) head coach in CSF volleyball program history.