Volleyball photo 11/14

Elizabeth Schuster sets up her teammates for a spike against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 12 at Titan Gym. (Jeseny Escobar)

Cal State Fullerton women’s volleyball took on UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge at Titan Gym this weekend to conclude their four-game homestead. The Titans lost to UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Nov. 12 at Titan Gym. Although the first two sets were close in score, 25-23 and 25-23, they did not win any sets and lost 0-3. However, the Titans bounced back and defeated the CSUN Matadors 3-1 on Saturday.

Fullerton is now 10-13 overall and 7-9 in the Big West conference, tied with UC Davis for sixth place in the conference standings.

Junior outside hitter Makena Ala'ilima-Daley and right side hitter Gabrielle Barcelos led the Titans in kills on Friday night as they each had eight. This season, Ala'ilima-Daley has a total of 124 kills and averages 2.70 kills per set and Barcelos has a total of 172 kills and averages 2.18 kills per set.

Sophomore setter Elizabeth Schuster also had an impressive game as she had a team-high of 33 assists and had a kill percentage of .600. Junior libero Neena Dimas followed as she led the team defensively with 14 digs.

This win advanced UCSB to a record of 17-10 overall and 13-2 in conference play, putting the school in second place in the Big West conference.

Middleblocker Deni Wilson led the Gauchos with a team-high of 15 kills and a .591 hitting percentage. She has a total of 228 kills and averages 2.24 kills per set.

In the first set, CSUF’s Haley Carmo had back-to-back kills and gave the Titans the lead, 21-20. Fullerton and Santa Barbara exchanged points but the Titans were not able to win the first set as the Gauchos came back in the end to score two straight points and won 25-23.

After a nail-biting set, a kill by Mak Ala'ilima-Daley gave Fullerton the first point in the second set. An attack error by CSUF’s Gabriella Barcelos and a kill by UCSB’s Rowan Ennis gave the Gauchos an advantage as they took the lead early in the second.

Late in the second set, a kill from freshman outside hitter Abrielle Bross gave Santa Barbara the lead, 25-20. Fullerton was able to cut their five-point trail to two points in the second set and lost 25-23.

CSUF women’s volleyball coach Nicole Polster explained that the loss against UCSB encouraged them to start strong at Saturday’s game.

“You got to go for the ball a little harder, hit a little bit harder, be more aggressive with everything,” Polster said.

Her plan led them to success as they finally earned a victory against the CSUN Matadors and ended their four-game losing streak.

The Titans lost the first set 25-23, but took over and won the last three sets 25-13, 25-22, and 25-22.

Elizabeth Schuster had a grand game as she had a team-high of 40 assists. She has a total of 798 assists overall and 537 assists in conference and has an average of 9.59 assists per set in conference. Makena Ala'ilima-Daley and Julia Crawford followed as they led the Titans with 13 kills each.

Early in the first set, CSUN managed to go on a 4-1 run and they maintained their lead until an ace gave Fullerton the lead, 14-13. Both teams played defensively as they kept exchanging points. A final kill by Lauryn Anderson gave Northridge the win of 25-23.

During the second set, the Titans forced the Matadors to call a time-out as they went on a 5-0 run and led 11-7. Late in the second set, Fullerton dominated as they scored another five points straight and won 25-13. This loss puts Northridge’s record at 5-21 overall and 4-12 in conference.

Coach Polster remains hopeful and says that despite the losses Fullerton faced this season, the season is not over. “There’s still a lot left to do, a lot of things to prove,” she said.

The Titans will face the UC Irvine Anteaters on Friday, Nov. 19 at Crawford Gym at 7 p.m.

Anthony Bautista contributed to this story.

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