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Gulbranson Set to Set at Moorpark

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Gretchen Gulbranson, starting setter for the Cal State Northridge women’s volleyball team last season, will play for Moorpark College this fall.

Although the 5-foot-6 Gulbranson had 947 assists for Northridge (12-17) as a freshman, the Thousand Oaks High graduate was expected to be a reserve this year behind senior transfer Kathleen Shannon.

Shannon recorded 687 assists and 113 digs for Illinois (18-13) last season. The Fighting Illini lost their first five matches but posted an 18-8 mark and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division I playoffs after Shannon moved into the starting lineup.

Dave Gulbranson, Gretchen’s father, said Monday that his daughter’s backup role was not the main reason she transferred.

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“Gretchen has been playing volleyball for a lot of years, and she’s gone to the bench before,” he said. “That’s not what bothered her. It was the way it was handled that upset her. . . . She decided it was best to move on.”

Lian Kang Lu, Northridge’s first-year coach, said he was disappointed by Gulbranson’s decision.

“I would (have liked) for her to stay with me and train her, but she didn’t want to do that,” Lu said. “I really like her. I (didn’t) want to lose her.”

Despite Gulbranson’s departure, the Matadors remain strong at setter because of the addition of Randi Winn, who transferred from Utah State last month.

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Winn, a junior from Glendora High, registered 1,968 assists and 337 digs during her two seasons at Utah State.

Northridge began preseason practice Monday and will open the season Sept. 2 against Fresno State in the Anteater Invitational at UC Irvine.


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