The Cal State Fullerton women’s volleyball team defeated the UC Irvine Anteaters on Thursday at Titan Gym. They were down 2-1 after the third set, but the Titans pulled off the comeback win in dramatic fashion.
Only trailing briefly early in the set, 5-6, the Titans rallied to build a 19-13 lead. The crowd erupted after an incredible diving save by Kaylynne Taeatafa which led to a monstrous kill by Bre Moreland. The Titans won the first set 25-19.
There was no shortage of drama and incredible plays in the second set as the Anteaters grabbed some momentum. All the rallies seemed to end with a point for the Anteaters as they dominated throughout the duration of the set. Kayla Neto started making her presence felt as they were down 16-22. Neto did all she could to tie the set at 25. After six set points by the Anteaters, Marisa Bubica ended the set, 28-30, with a kill between two Titan defenders.
The third set started with the Titans struggling as Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman started to become increasingly impatient with the sloppy play. After falling behind 10-17, Neto tried to get the team back on track leading another late rally.
A serving error by Neto gave the Anteaters the set 22-25. Over passing, low sets, and missing open kills slowed the Titans down in the third set. Momentum was clearly on the Anteaters side.
Down 13-19, the Titans stormed back by another rally led by Neto. After two kills and a service ace by Neto, the Titans were able to take the fourth set 26-24.
The fifth set went back and forth until a momentum changing solo block by Taeatafa, the Titans’ shortest player on the court. Up 11-10, Neto got the crowd roaring again after another two kills. Bre Moreland came up clutch with a service ace, and the Anteaters finished themselves off with another hitting error. Titans won the set 15-11, and the game 3-2.
Neto matched a career high with 27 kills in the win, while Leah Best tied a career high with 18 kills while attacking at a clip of .500.
Zimmerman was enthused with Neto’s play.
“She (Kayla Neto) has always been comfortable with pressure, and it is self-induced,” said Zimmerman. “We don’t have to tell her as coaches to do this, she already knows.”