Cal St. Fullerton Upsets No. 7 UCLA In Five Sets
Sept. 19, 2009
Courtesy of Cal State Fullerton
Fullerton, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton (8-3) stunned No. 7 UCLA (9-2) upsetting them in five sets, 3-2 (25-23, 15-25, 25-20, 18-25, 16-14) behind 20 kills by junior Erin Saddler, 17 by sophomore Torrie Brown and 14 by freshman Kayla Neto Friday night in the Embassy Suites Fullerton Classic at Titan Gym.
The win was the first victory for Cal State Fullerton over a ranked team in their program's history and the first over UCLA in 14 matches dating back to 1980. The win also snapped the Bruins' seven-match winning streak.
Saddler, who also tallied 11 digs, two aces and two block assists, picked up her fifth double-double and also scored a match-high 23.0 total points. Neto and Brown both set career-highs in kills and also picked up shares of two blocks apiece. Neto had three aces to lead all players.
Jonny Hart, who was 0-for-11 in attack attempts before the last rally, blasted the final point in the center of the Bruin defense for the game-winner, enticing a hearty portion of the 535 in attendance to celebrate with the Titans on the court.
"I am very proud of the way the girls took care of that," said eighth-year Titan Head Coach Carolyn Zimmerman.
"Saddler went back and served as if it was point one of the game and got [UCLA] out of system. I think the good news is we had two hitters ready to attack that ball and fortunately there were no nets and Hart's shot went down inside five feet," Zimmerman said of the final rally.
Fullerton jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the 15-point decisive fifth set, but then surrendered six straight UCLA points with Bojana Todorovic at the service line. After a timeout and the mid-set courtside switch, the Titans rallied back to tie the match at 8-8 with a kill from Alex Wolnisty. The Bruins kept the set tied or in the lead by one point until 14-14 when a Gil attack error gave the Titans the 15-14 lead, setting up Saddler's final serve.
The Titans hit just .200 as a team but found ways to connect for points when they counted. Fullerton made 31 attack errors and 17 service errors compared to the Bruins' 17 and 4.
The Titans' had four players with double-digits in digs, keeping the Bruin offense at bay while giving the Titan offense more opportunities to swing. Cami Croteau led all players with 24 digs on the night. Croteau, Saddler, Andrea Ragan (10), Ashley Collier (14) combined for 59 of the team's 71 total digs.
Ragan picked up her second double-double of the year recording 10 digs and a match-high 59 assists.
UCLA was led offensively and defensively by Amanda Gil who had 11 kills (.400) and nine total blocks (two solos). She was the only Bruin in double figures in kills but was flanked by Kaitlin Sather (9 kills) and Dicey McGraw (8 kills) on the offensive side.
"That win is the kind of win that if we take care of who we need to take care of, and pick up another big win or two, the Titans could have a chance of going to the tournament," said Zimmerman.
The Titans will face Fordham Saturday night at 7 p.m. in their only other match of the Fullerton Classic. Fordham lost in three sets to Long Beach State Friday afternoon.