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Women's basketball head coach Jeff Harada speaks to the team during a timeout at Titan Gym last season. (CSUF Athletics)

After finishing 4-18 coming back from their pandemic hiatus, Cal State Fullerton women's basketball will look to rebound from a disappointing season.

Women’s basketball had trended positively under head coach Jeff Harada, increasing the team’s win total every year prior to last season. Their first season back after COVID-19 cut their 2019-20 season short was the worst season the Titans had under Harada thus far.

This season will bring a new experience for Fullerton’s roster as six players from last season will not return for this season. Notable players not returning include forward Joy Krupa and guard/forward Amiee Book — both starters last season.

During her senior season, Krupa led the team in rebounds and played a prominent role in leading the Titans offensively with her ball handling and aggression. Krupa transferred to Academy of Art University for this season.

Book, who averaged 15 points per game and was the team’s leading scorer last season, transferred to Fresno State for her senior year.

Despite losing two key starters, junior guard Anniken Frey returns this season to help lead Fullerton. Frey’s first year in a Titan uniform resulted in leading the team in minutes and assists, while averaging nearly four assists per game. She also finished second in scoring, giving the Titans a much-needed spark last season as the team struggled to produce offense.

Sophomore Gabi Vidmar is another returning starter to look out for this season. The Australian-born guard earned Big West All-Freshman honors last season.

She gradually increased her role last season, eventually becoming a starter and playing meaningful minutes her freshman year. She also had a couple of 20-point games last season, showing signs of exploding on offense once she gets in rhythm.

With five freshmen and three transfers on the current roster, Fullerton’s road this season might be a bumpy one as the team will be looking to build chemistry as the season progresses.

Freshman guard Una Jovanovic is a player worth keeping an eye out for. Jovanovic previously attended Pinewood High School, averaging 13 points per game as a senior.

Another notable new face for the Titans is forward Nancy Panagiotopoulou-Andritsopoulou transferring from Illinois. The graduate transfer has two years of eligibility with the Titans and brings four years of experience playing in the Big 10 conference. As a stretch big who can run the floor and hit three-pointers, the Titans hope to see a big impact from the Greek athlete this season.

With the returning talent and with new additions, Fullerton is looking to improve their offense this time around. Last season, they ranked last in points per game with 54.2, the bottom three in overall field goal percentage at 38% and the bottom four in three-point percentage at 29 %.

Despite offensive struggles last season, Fullerton’s defense was a bright spot for the team. The Titans finished first in the Big West in rebounding defense and third in rebounding margin last season. However, there is still room for improvement as the team was in the middle of the pack for points allowed per game last season.

This season is full of opportunities for the women’s team. Fullerton ranked last in both turnover margin and assist to turnover ratio in the Big West last season. Hopefully, as the season plays out, the Titans can find a consistent ball handler and clean up their play offensively to make a push for the Big West title.

CSUF women’s basketball will open their season against Southern Utah University on Nov. 9 at Titan Gym.

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