NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton got off to a sluggish start and never recovered as CSUN scored a 3-0 (11-25, 12-25, 21-25) victory over the Titans in a Big West Conference match Wednesday night at the Matadome in Northridge, Calif.
The Titans (8-20, 2-13) tallied just 24 kills as a team, their lowest offensive output of the season while the host Matadors (19-8, 10-5) blasted down 46 kills while hitting at a .380 clip to score their fifth consecutive victory and eighth straight win over Fullerton.
For the Titans, Niki Withers led the way with 10 kills to go along with a pair of digs and one service ace, the third of her career. Holland Crenshaw added five kills and a team-high four blocks while Megan Kurz pitched in with four kills and one block. Mackenzie Olsen dished out 20 assists along with five digs and Paige Reed led the defense with nine digs.
The Matadors were led by Cieana Stinson's 14 kills on 28 attempts, committing just two errors for a .428 hitting percentage. Casey Hinger and Natalie Allen added nine kills apiece and Steffi Miller dished out 38 assists.
The Titans jumped out to a quick lead on the Matadors in the opening set, capitalizing on a few errors by the home team and getting kills from Withers and Kurz to take a 6-3 lead in the first. But the Matadors stormed back with an 18-3 scoring run to take command and then closed out the frame on a kill from Sam Kaul, who finished with six on the night. It was a rough opener for the Titans as they managed just three kills although they did get four blocks at the net, led by Olsen and Crenshaw with two apiece.
In the second set, the Titans did not fare much better as the Matadors hit .441 in the frame, hammering down 18 kills. Fullerton briefly led 3-2 in the second after a kill from Crenshaw but the Matadors put together another run, scoring eight of the next 10 points to build a five-point cushion and they never looked back.
The Titans will close out the 2014 regular season on Saturday night as they travel to the Walter Pyramid to take on Long Beach State, which clinched the Big West Conference title with a win over UC Riverside on Saturday.
Notes: Withers has now tallied double-digit kills in 11 straight matches and 25 of the team's 28 contests this season… Reed's streak of nine straight matches with double-digit digs was snapped on Wednesday… The Titans record against CSUN falls to 11-29 all-time and 3-16 on the road… This is the fourth straight season the Titans have been swept in the season series against the Matadors. The Titans last victory against CSUN came in 2010 when they swept the Matadors that year en route to the Big West Conference title.