Volleyball to play last home games

With less than two weeks and four games remaining until the end of regular season play, Cal State Fullerton women’s volleyball team looks to capitalize on their momentum from their previous win.

The Titans (14-13, 8-6) play their final two home games this Friday and Saturday against the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustangs and the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos.

CSUF is coming off of a week, where they split their last two matches; as they lost to Long Beach State last Thursday by a score of three-sets-to-one and they captured a victory against UC Irvine on Saturday with the same score of three-sets-to-one.

Cal Poly Mustangs (3-23 overall and 2-12 in conference) are coming into Friday’s game with a five game losing streak.  The last time the Mustangs won a match, was on Oct. 20, 2012, as they caught the Titans team that played the night earlier against UCSB to five sets.

The Mustangs barely edged out the Titans in a score of 15-13 in the fifth set.  That loss to the Mustangs also snapped the Titans’ five game winning streak at the time, which is the season best for CSUF.

Losing to the Mustangs left a bitter taste in both players and coaches mouths. However, the team is hopeful for the upcoming game.

“I know that’s a loss that has stuck with couple of our players for a long time.  And it’s something they haven’t been able to shake loose and it’s certainly something they used as motivation.  That’s always a good thing…. Hopefully there is a little payback going on, on Friday night,” said Titan Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman.

Titans look to start out fast and maintain the pace of the game.  Most importantly, they hope to play as a cohesive group.

“We need to play hard as a team together” said junior outside hitter Bre Moreland, “When we work individually, it makes it seem like it’s much harder to get a win.”

After the Cal Poly match, Titans will have to quickly shift their focus over to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, who are in a four game losing streak.

The first meeting between these two teams was evenly matched as the Titans barely pulled out the victory in the fifth set with a score of 15-12.  Kayla Neto got herself a career best 35 kills, which tied for the fourth best in CSUF single match history.

Having a regular season record of 13-16 and a conference record of 6-8, Gauchos are trying to salvage their season by winning their four remaining games to move above .500.

Even though the Gauchos have a losing record, Coach Zimmerman doesn’t plan to underestimate them. UCSB is led by Head Coach Kathy Gregory, who is in her 38th season as the team’s head coach, with 866 wins and only 395 loses.

Moreland believes that if the Titans play their game, then they should be just fine.

“It comes down to what we do on our side. We can do all the prepping for the other teams, that we want. But, when we take care of things on our side, that’s the biggest thing” said Moreland.

Saturday’s game will be the last time that the seniors on the team will play at home as their college career comes to a close next week.

“Saturday night is going to be a great night. We got five senior that are going to be celebrating their last play at Titan Gym. It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work and many, many years of great effort and a ton of accomplishment. So it’s going to be a happy night.  Night to really celebrate,” Zimmerman said.

Both games on Friday and Saturday will have a 7 p.m. start time at the Titan Gym.

For more information on these upcoming games and the volleyball team, visit FullertonTitans.com.

About Gurajpalpreet Sangha

Gurajpalpreet Sangha is a senior majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Radio-TV-Film. He aspires to be a sports and/or news reporter in a major market. As one of the multimedia editors, he wants to help create packages that are Factual, Fair, and mostly importantly entertaining. After graduation, he hopes to take over the world, one city at a time.