Volleyball weekend preview photo

From left to right: Elizabeth Schuster, Nicole Shuhandler and Julia Crawford line up against CSUN on Oct. 8. (Marisa Palmerin-Flores / Daily Titan)

Cal State Fullerton women’s volleyball will host their third conference home game on Friday against UC Irvine, and play will continue on Saturday when the Titans take on UC San Diego in their Rimac Arena. 

These weekend matchups will create an opportunity for the Titans to climb up from their seventh-place standing in the Big West Conference.

UC Irvine is currently fourth in the standings at 4-2 and UC San Diego is placed fifth at 3-3 in the Big West Conference. 

Currently, UC Irvine’s volleyball team has an overall record of 11-5. An inverse of Irvine's lack of defeats, UC San Diego is under .500, holding an overall record of 6-11.

Irvine sophomores Joy Umeh and Onye Ofoegbu are both dangerous on offense — with an average of over three kills per set each. UCI’s defense has been anchored by freshman libero Carly Richter, who is averaging over three digs per set and sophomore Caitlin Kikta, who is averaging over two digs per set. 

On Saturday, UC San Diego was led by Ava McInnes, Emily Mcdaniel and Sabire Karacova. McInnes leads the team with 178 kills. McDaniel and Karacova are not far behind her with 167 and 127 kills, respectively.

Fullerton’s record sits at 5-8 overall and 2-4 in conference play. On the season, the Titans have recorded 606 kills, with 278 from conference games. 

Sophomore outside hitter Julia Crawford leads the team in kills per set with an average of 3.47 and 170 on the season. Behind Crawford is junior outside hitter Makena Ala’ilima-Daley, with an average kills per set of 2.40. 

Ala’lima Daley and sophomore Gabrielle Barcelos led the team in a 3-1 win against Cal State Northridge on Oct. 8, their first victory over CSUN since November 2010. 

Fullerton still has time to add to their conference win total and move up the standings as they prepare for a push towards postseason play. 

The upcoming weekend slate of matches will prove to be an important test for the Titans. The match begins Friday at 7 p.m. at Titan Gym against UC Irvine, followed by a match at  UC San Diego on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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