CSF, LBSU Headed To Postseason
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10 VB Release-Week 15
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2010 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament Bracket
Stanford 1st & 2nd Rounds Tournament Central
USC 1st & 2nd Rounds Tournament Central
CSUF coach Carolyn Zimmerman, Erin Saddler & Cami Croteau look to the Titans' 1st NCAA appearance
LBSU coach Brian Gimmillaro previews the 49ers' 24th-straight trip to the NCAA Tourney
Big West Receives Two Nods To NCAA Tournament
The NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Committee announced the 64-team field for the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship and the Big West Conference received two bids. Cal State Fullerton makes its first-ever NCAA appearance after claiming the Big West title and earning the conference's automatic qualifier, while Long Beach State is an at-large selection.
Thirty-one conferences were awarded automatic qualification, and the remaining 33 slots were filled with at-large selections to complete the bracket. The top 16 teams were seeded nationally and placed within four regions. The teams tabbed as the top four seeds were No. 1 University of Florida; No. 2 University of Nebraska, Lincoln; No. 3 Stanford University; and No. 4 Pennsylvania State University.
Winning its first Big West Conference championship this season with a 14-2 mark, the Titans (26-5) drew Mountain West champion Colorado State (25-4) in first round action. The two teams take to the court in Palo Alto, Calif., Dec. 3 with the winner advancing to the second round to face the victor of host and third-seed Stanford (24-3) and Albany (22-8) the following night. The Titans and Rams have met on the volleyball court three times with Colorado State holding a 2-1 advantage.
The 49ers (25-7), playing in their 24th straight NCAA Tournament, open postseason play with a short jaunt to Los Angeles to face West Coast Conference champion San Diego (23-5) at The Galen Center Friday, Dec. 3 in first round action. Only three other teams have participated in 24 or more straight NCAA tournaments - Stanford, Nebraska and Penn State. Long Beach State suffered a 3-1 loss to the Toreros at The Walter Pyramid back on Sept. 10, but lead the overall series 10-6. The winner of the Long Beach State-San Diego match will face either sixth-seeded USC (25-4) or New Mexico (20-9) Saturday, Dec. 4 in second round action.
Both Big West teams are competing in the Dayton, Ohio Regional. This year's Regional sites also include Austin, Texas, Seattle, Wash., and University Park, Pa., with the finals taking place at in Kansas City, Mo., Dec. 16 &18.
Fullerton Wins Title
The Titans, who never finished higher than fifth prior to this season, posted a league-best 14-2 mark to earn the Big West Conference Championship and their first-ever NCAA postseason berth. Riding a nine-match win streak and winning 22 of their last 24 matches, the Titans posted a school-best 26 overall wins and they reached the double-digit quota in dominating fashion, sweeping their opponent in 20 of the victories.
Long Beach State fell short of capturing its third straight title and finished tied for second with Cal Poly at 12-4. The Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara finished fourth with a 10-6 mark, while Pacific rounded out the top five with a 9-7 record.
Cal State Fullerton joins the quartet of Cal Poly, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara and Pacific as current Big West members that have captured a conference title. Long Beach State leads the group with nine conference championships, followed by UC Santa Barbara and Pacific with five apiece. The Mustangs round out the field with three titles.
The Big 2-0
Cal State Fullerton cracked the 20-win mark for the first time in school history. The Titans, winners of 22 of their last 24, end the regular season with a 26-5 overall record. They also posted a school record 14 conference wins to claim their first-ever title.
Long Beach State (25-7) and Cal Poly (22-7) also joined the elite club in 2010. The 49ers posted their seventh-straight 20-win season and this year marks the first 20-win season for the Mustangs since 2007. It is also a vast improvement over last seasons Cal Poly squad that registered an overall mark of 9-20.
Croteau Shatters Big West Record
In the final week of the regular season, Cal State Fullerton libero Cami Croteau notched 59 digs to vault her to the top spot in career digs for the Big West Conference with 2,171. The senior from Orange, Calif., bested former Cal Poly standout Kristin Jackson's mark of 2,132 digs, which she held since 2007. Croteau still has at least one more match left of her career, as Cal State Fullerton prepares for their first appearance in the NCAA tournament.
Gimmillaro Captures No. 700
Long Beach State head coach Brian Gimmillaro collected his 700th career victory late in the 2010 season. With the 3-0 victory over UC Irvine, Gimmillaro became just the ninth Division I active head coach to reach 700 career wins. He also owns an .805 winning percentage, which ranks him in the Top 10 among active coaches. Gimmillaro, currently in his 26th year of coaching, accumulated all 703 wins at the helm of the Long Beach State squad.
Big West Champion Cal State Fullerton owns a majority of the top spots in the conference's statistics - kills (14.62), digs (17.61), service aces (1.28) and assists (13.67). Individually, the Titans are represented in the No. 1 slot in both assists and digs. Setter Andrea Ragan paces the league with an 11.91 set average and teammate Cami Croteau scoops 5.45 digs per set for the top ranking.
Long Beach State owns the top spot in both hitting percentage (.259) and blocks. Led by freshman Haleigh Hampton's 1.58 average, the 49ers average 2.94 blocks per set. Hampton also owns LBSUs best hitting percentage of .353, third best in the conference.
Junior Betsy Sedlak (UC Davis) has maintained the top spot in hitting percentage and has ranked among the best in the country with a .395 hitting percentage. Pacific's Svenja Engelhardt had been battling Fullerton's Erin Saddler for the bragging rights in the kills category. Engelhardt sits a 4.38 kills per set, while Saddler hangs on to second with a 4.37 average.
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 concluded the home portion of its schedule owning an impressive 16-1 record 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 were 13-2 when playing at The Walter Pyramid.
CSUN Posts Double-Digit Victories
The Matadors (13-18, 5-10 Big West) reached double figures in wins for the sixth time in nine seasons under Jeff Stork and first time since 2007. Northridge averaged nearly 15 wins per season over Stork's first three seasons (2002-04) which included 17 wins and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2004. The Matadors ended the season going 1-1 at The Matadome in the final weekend of competition.
The Elusive 'W'
UC Riverside concludes the 2010 volleyball season with an 0-16 Big West mark. This is the first time the Highlanders have gone winless in conference play since 2006 when they tallied a 0-14 record. UC Riverside did record two nonconference victories (Cal State Bakersfield and High Point) during the season.
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 108-154 mark.
A day after Storks accomplishment, Jon Stevenson captured his 100th victory as Cal Poly's head coach with a win over Cal State Bakersfield. In six seasons as the Mustangs' leader, Stevenson has registered an overall record of 112-60.
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 State's Brian Gimmillaro (703), UC Santa Barbara's Kathy Gregory (622) and Cal State Fullerton's Carolyn Zimmerman (134).
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 women's volleyball as well as men's and women's basketball. Also covered are select contests in men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball, and Big West Championships. A monthly subscription of $9.95 or an annual subscription of $79.95 delivers exclusive cover age to you. If you can't make it to the gym or the field, you can still catch all the action on BigWest.TV!