Fullerton Leads Title Race
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10 VB Release-Week 11
Race For The Title
Last week UC Santa Barbara sat atop of the Big West Conference, one week later following an 0-2 performance, the Gauchos find themselves in a three-way time for fourth place with a 7-4 conference record. Reaping the benefits of a pair of UCSB losses is Cal State Fullerton, who continued its home court dominance with a 2-0 performance and has sole possession of first place. Defending champion and the only league team to defeat the Titans this season is Long Beach State, who holds the second slot with a 7-3 mark. Cal Poly (8-4) sits third, while UC Davis, Pacific and UC Santa Barbara are knotted in fourth. With three weeks remaining, the conference championship is still up for grabs.
Titans Top Big West, Sets Record
Following a 2-0 performance against Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, the Titans improve to 19-5 overall and 8-2 in the Big West, giving them sole possession of first place. The team's 19th victory of the season set a new school record for most wins in a season and also boosted their school record to 13-1 in Titan Gym. Cal State Fullerton's two conference losses this season were against Long Beach State, who currently sits second in the Big West with a 7-3 mark.
Fullerton Sweeps Competition
League-leading Cal State Fullerton paces the Big West with most overall wins at 19. The Titans, winners of 15 of their last 17 matches, reached the double-digit quota in dominating fashion, sweeping all but two of their opponents (Cal Poly twice and UC Davis). On the flip side, Cal State Fullerton has only been swept by one of its opponents, then-ranked No. 23 Long Beach State.
Best In The Big West, Statistically Speaking
League-leading Cal State Fullerton owns the top spot in three statistical categories - kills, hitting percentage and assists. Ranking second in the conference is Erin Saddler, who's efforts have lifted the Titans to a conference-best 14.54 average. Having two Titans in the top 10 in hitting percentage, Kayla Neto (5th - .341) and Torrie Brown (10th - .277), helps Cal State Fullerton maintain the top spot in the Big West. Andrea Ragan's 11.85 assists per set spearheads the Titans offense and heavily contributes to the team's league-leading 13.61 average.
Long Beach State's Haleigh Hampton and Michelle Osunbor aid in the 49ers reign over the rest of the Big West with a 2.93 block average. Hampton averages a league-high 1.57 blocks per set, while Osunbor owns the fourth slot at 1.11.
Playing on the road is always tough, but for UC Irvine (0-9) and UC Riverside (0-12) it has been quite strenuous as both teams are winless on the road this season. UC Irvine plays its final two road contests of the 2010 season on Nov. 6 & 12. The Highlanders play three of its final seven contests away from the Student Recreation Center.
The Elusive W
UC Riverside, the lone team yet to tally a conference win, is 0-9 in conference play after posting a 0-2 record on the road last week. This week UC Riverside has three opportunities to notch a Big West victory. UC Riverside visits UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday before hosting Cal State Northridge and UC Irvine over the weekend.
Tigers Play Final Home Contests Of 2010
The Pacific Tigers, riding a five-match win streak, play their final three contests at the Alex G. Spanos Center this week. Their trio of contests begins on Tuesday, Nov. 2 when they entertain Sacramento State in a nonconference showdown. Pacific follows up its matchup with the Hornets with a pair of Big West contests against the top two teams in the league over the weekend. The 49ers visit the Tigers on Friday and the Titans get their turn against the Tigers on Saturday. Following the three-game homestand, Pacific closes out the 2010 regular season with a four-match road trip.
Home Court Advantage
Cal State Fullerton has proven it is a force to be reckoned with when battling on its home court, Titan Gym. The Titans are currently 13-1 when playing in front of their hometown fans. Their lone home loss came by way of Long Beach State.
Also taking full advantage of their hometown fans is Long Beach State. The 49ers currently hold a 10-2 mark when playing at The Walter Pyramid. Their two losses were a 3-1 defeat to then-ranked No. 25 San Diego and a 3-1 loss to conference foe Cal Poly.
Unfortunately for both teams, their schedules have them heading to northern California to battle Pacific and UC Davis. Both teams went 2-0 against their northern opponents earlier this year.
CSUN Posts Double-Digit Victories
With a 3-2 victory over UC Davis, the Matadors reached double figures in wins for the sixth time in nine seasons under Jeff Stork and first time since 2007. Cal State Northridge (10-16, 3-8 Big West), who has now won four of their last five matches at home, nailed down its 10th win this season with a 3-2 defeat over UC Davis on Oct. 30. Northridge averaged nearly 15 wins per season over Storks first three seasons (2002-04) which included 17 wins and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2004. The Matadors next opportunity for a victory is this weekend when they welcome Pacific and UC Davis to The Matadome.
Duo Reaches Coaching Milestone
After an impressive 3-0 performance at the UNLV Classic, Cal State Northridge head coach Jeff Stork captured his 100th career win. Over the past nine years at the helm of the Matadors squad, Stork has compiled a 105-151 mark.
A day after Storks accomplishment, Jon Stevenson captured his 100th victory as Cal Polys head coach with a 3-0 win over Cal State Bakersfield. In six seasons as the Mustangs leader, Stevenson has registered an overall record of 108-60.
Only 11 Big West Conference coaches have collected 100 or more overall wins during their time in the league. Three of the 11 coaches are still coaching in the Big West - Long Beach States Brian Gimmilaro (694), UC Santa Barbaras Kathy Gregory (619) and Cal State Fullertons Carolyn Zimmerman (125).
LBSU Tabbed Preseason Favorite
The Big West Conference head coaches selected Long Beach State to claim the 2010 womens volleyball title after receiving seven first-place votes and 79 total points. If the coaches prediction reigns true, the 49ers would capture their third straight championship, 11th overall. UC Irvine received one first-place vote and a total of 68 points to secure the second spot. UC Santa Barbara nabbed one first-place vote and 65 overall points to claim the third spot in the poll. Cal State Fullerton was selected fourth after picking up 47 points, followed by Cal Poly and UC Davis, who were tied for fifth with 45 points. Pacific secured seventh place with 28 points and Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside were knotted in the eighth spot with 14 points apiece.
The Big West is a California-only league and two schools have followed suit with their 2010 lineups. For the second straight year, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara each showcase rosters composed entirely of players from the Golden State.
Live On The Net
The Big West Conference and the CBS College Sports Network are partnering to bring you exclusive coverage of Big West sports, press conferences, interviews and features into your home via the Internet! Now in its sixth year, BigWest.TV covers every home and conference contest in womens volleyball as well as mens and womens basketball. Also covered are select contests in mens and womens soccer, baseball, softball, and Big West Conference Championships. A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 delivers exclusive cover age to you. If you cant make it to the gym or the field, you can still catch all the action on BigWest.TV!