Titans place second in Lone Star Showdown

The Cal State Fullerton women’s volleyball team traveled halfway across the country this weekend to compete in the Lone Star Showdown hosted by Texas Tech.

The two-day tournament had the Titans battling the Nevada Wolf Pack, the Montana Grizzlies and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The tournament started up Friday morning at 10 a.m. and concluded Saturday afternoon. The ladies in blue and orange launched the weekend with a clean sweep against Nevada, which extended their win streak to six games.

Later that day, CSUF’s win streak was snapped by Montana in a sweep of the Titans. Fullerton finished the tournament strong by sweeping host Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon. Nevada had a slow start this season opening with a four game losing streak, most notably to UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis.

Their leading scorer was Tessa Lea’ea who has a 2.70 kills per set average. Fullerton opened the weekend strong with a 3-0 win streak vs Nevada. The Titans entered the tournament in fine form with a five game win streak. Sophomore middle blocker/right setter Holland Crenshaw, performed well and tied her career high of 10 kills in a match. Senior middle blocker/right setter Leah Best added to the score with nine kills. In addition, Titans senior right setter Alyse Hensley scored nine kills and 13 digs.

Senior outside hitter Bre Moreland nailed eight kills and 11 digs, and freshman outside hitter Paige Reed rescued with 14 digs. Breaking records on Friday, junior setter Julie Consani reached 1,273 career assists, now ranking ninth in the history of the Cal State Fullerton program.

Montana started this season with a victory but has since then lost five straight. Kayla Rearbara was the player to watch for with an average of 3.08 kills per set coming into Friday’s match. In its game with Montana the Titans lost 0-3. The loss came with Hensley sinking 10 kills and Moreland with 12 in the match. Reed and Moreland led the defense with 15 digs each.

The duo were named to the all-tournament team and the Titans have had at least one player make the all-tournament team in all three tournaments they have participated in this season. Fullerton seemed to perform better during the last set with a score of 26-24. Montana’s Brooke Bray led her team with 11 kills and Megan Murphy helped defensively with 21 digs.

Texas Tech started off the season with a loss in the first game but won the next five. The Red Raiders stumbled into the tournament losers of four straight games. In the final day, Fullerton faced Texas Tech. Fullerton finished strong with a 3-0 sweep. Saturday afternoon Hensley striked with 11 kills and 13 digs, also landing her fifth double-double of the season, coupled with Moreland adding nine kills and defensively leading the team with 17 digs.

The Titans lit up the stat sheet with senior outside hitter Abbie Miraldi hammering five service aces and adding 10 digs. Consani aggressively attacked with the rate of .202 which lead to her third double-double and also helped with 31 assists and 14 digs. On the final day of the tournament, Consani jumped another spot to eighth in Fullerton’s all-time history with her 1,343 career assist.

The Titans’ best hitting percentage was .212 in the match against Nevada. Crenshaw had three blocks in the loss to Montana. The Titans have started this season strong, almost tying 2010’s eight game win streak. Montana ended the tournament with a 2-1 record but got the tiebreak over Fullerton taking the tournament championship because of Friday’s match versus the Titans. Six of Cal State Fullerton’s seven wins have been sweeps. Texas Tech and Nevada both ended the Lone Star Showdown with a 1-2 record.

Fullerton is on the road again Friday at 7 p.m. for another showdown with USC, currently ranked No. 1 in the nation.

For all updates and information about CSUF women’s volleyball and all Titan athletics, visit FullertonTitans.com.

About Patton Tran