Volleyball hosts Big West foes

Alex Calish/ for the Daily Titan

Winners of two straight games, the Cal State Fullerton women’s volleyball team looks to get back on track from a slow 2-3 conference start.

They will have to continue to win as they play host to rivals UC Irvine and Long Beach State.

With UCI coming in with a 3-3 record in conference, and Long Beach coming in with a 4-2 record, winning both games could help the Titans jump up in the standings as only the top five teams go on to the NCAA tournament.

Home court advantage could be big for CSUF this weekend as they look to add to their opponent’s recent struggles. The Anteaters are coming off losing three out of their last four matches, while the 49ers’ only two losses in conference have both been on the road.

The Titans have done fairly well against UCI, winning their last four matches against the Anteaters. The last time UCI beat CSUF was back in 2009.

For CSUF to continue their recent winning streak against Irvine, the Titan offense will continue to rely on Kayla Neto, whose 64 kills over the past three games have helped the Titans go 2-1 on their recent three-game road trip to UC Davis, University of the Pacific and UC Riverside.

Bre Moreland will be a key factor this weekend, as she brings her team-leading 10 double-doubles into play. While Neto and Moreland will look to the lead the Titan offense, the defense faces a tough challenge with Long Beach State.

Leah Best and freshman Holland Crenshaw will look to slow down a 49er offense that is coming into this week’s action with four players having more than 100 kills on the season.

Long Beach averages over 13 kills a set, led by Alma Serna whose attacking clip is second in conference at .346.

The Titans have a huge monkey to get off their back against the 49ers. Cal State Fullerton has dropped their last 59 matches against Long Beach. Maybe luck will change this time around as CSUF’s last win against their rivals was Oct. 19, 1982, nearly 30 years ago.

After this weekend, the Titans will be back on the road next weekend, as they will head to UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, before returning home to take on UC Davis on Oct. 26.

“Going 2-0 this weekend would put us at the top-half of the conference. We are playing to win! We are competitors and want to win,” said Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman.

On a side note, Neto will need just 20 kills to pass Megan Sabo for fourth on the all-time kills list for the school. Neto currently has 1,359 kills as a Titan.

Neto is also in the top ten in Titan team history in service aces, solo blocks, block assists, and total blocks.

There will be promotions for both games this weekend. Thursday night, all high school volleyball teams are admitted for free. Saturday, all fans in attendance that wear orange shirts will receive a “Beat the Beach” sign. Both games will be 7 p.m. at Titan Gym.

For more information on this weekend’s upcoming games and the volleyball team, visit FullertonTitans.com.

About Andy Waller