Taylor Ittner, CSUN Men's Volleyball, Setter (Mechanical Engineering)
A two-time Big West All-Academic honoree, Taylor Ittner led the Matadors with 442 assists and ranked fifth in the Big West averaging 9.82 assists per set during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
Ittner heads into the 2021 season with 1,434 career assists in two seasons at CSUN which ranks seventh in the program's Rally Scoring era. This past season, Ittner posted a career-high 66 assists along with a career-high six blocks against Concordia-Irvine (Jan. 10).
"For me, I believe it is extremely important to focus on academics as a student-athlete," said Ittner. "A lot of the time we are told to 'take care' of our academics, this framing almost makes it seem like a chore that needs to be completed in order to let us play. Academics should really stay in the center spotlight and not get pushed to the side as much as they do."
A Big West All-Academic selection following his redshirt freshman season in 2019 as well as this past season, Ittner successfully manages a challenging major in Mechanical Engineering with a busy practice and match schedule.
"The balance isn't easy, lots of coffee and late nights," he said. "Since we are working with less time than the general student population, we have to maximize efficiency. Any given free time gets turned into something important."
Ittner, a native of Meadow Vista, Calif., had a highly decorated first season on the court in 2019. He started all 27 matches, appearing in 102 sets, and was named to the Big West Conference All-Freshman Team while also earning 2019 Off the Block Freshman All-America Team accolades. In addition, Ittner was named Big West Freshman of the Week three times (Apr. 15, Jan. 21, Jan. 14). He finished the season with a team-high 992 assists which ranked fourth in the Big West and 16th nationally.
Originally a Chemistry major, Ittner switched to Mechanical Engineering and hopes to forge a career in the field after graduating from CSUN.
"After I graduate I would like to go to grad school and from there hopefully find a job in some kind of energy production," he said. "Renewable power is a big passion of mine so I'd like to get a graduate degree in energy systems and move on from there."