With wins over CSUN and Long Beach State on Friday and Saturday, the No. 12 Women’s Volleyball team recorded the program’s best start in school history. This places their record at 19-1 for the season and 9-0 in Big West Conference play.
Friday vs. CSUN
The Mustangs tied the 1985 volleyball team for the best start in school history after defeating the Matadors (6-14, 2-6 Big West) in three straight sets (29-27, 25-14, 25-17) in Northridge on Friday, Oct. 19, extending their winning streak to 17 matches in the process.
The Mustangs and Matadors traded off points early in the first set, with Cal Poly taking an early lead at 11-8. Errors allowed the Matadors to go on an 8-2 run and to eventually take the lead at 16-13.
While the Matadors increased their lead to five points at 19-14, the Mustangs rallied back to tie the set at 22-22. Eventually, the Mustangs took a 24-23 lead and a set point off a kill from senior outside hitter Adlee Van Winden, but the Matadors quickly fired back to tie the score. Attack and service errors from the Matadors prevented them from taking the set, leading to junior outside hitter Torrey Van Winden sealing a 29-27 set win with a kill.
The Mustangs went on an 8-2 run after the Matadors began the set up 2-0. With no looking back, the Mustangs’ lead in the second set grew to 13 points at 21-8. The Matadors went on a 6-3 run, but the comeback was stopped short by Torrey Van Winden’s kill off an assist from freshman setter Avalon DeNecochea. The Mustangs won the set 25-14.
Cal Poly completed the sweep at 25-17 in the third set. With the score tied at 11-11, the Mustangs took 14 of the next 20 points to defeat the Matadors with two aces served in the process by freshman defensive specialist Taylor Rose and Torrey Van Winden.
Torrey Van Winden had a match-high of 20 kills and a hitting percentage of .576. Senior libero Katherine Brouker recorded 18 digs throughout the match and DeNecochea had a match-high of 38 assists.
Saturday vs. Long Beach State
The Mustangs defeated Long Beach State (13-10, 5-5 Big West) in four sets (25-19, 20-25, 25-16, 25-16) to earn their 18th win in a row and surpass the 1985 Cal Poly volleyball team for the best start in program history.
The Van Winden sisters both earned double-doubles in the match, with Torrey Van Winden recording 18 kills and a match-high 14 digs. Adlee Van Winden had a match-high of 20 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore blocker Madilyn Mercer tied her career-high in blocks with seven, matching Long Beach State’s entire block output that match.
The Mustangs rallied back in the first set to take the lead at 10-5. However, a 5-1 run by the 49ers cut the Mustangs lead to one. Adlee Van Winden’s eight kills and .757 hitting percentage during the set gave the Mustangs the chance to pull ahead and eventually win the set 25-19.
The 49ers got revenge in the second set by taking their own 10-5 lead. While the Mustangs scored four unanswered points to bring the match within one, they did not take the lead at any point in the set, eventually losing 25-20. The is only the second set the Mustangs have lost in conference play this season.
Despite the shaky second set, the Mustangs rebounded in the third set. Cal Poly went on a 9-1 run, with three straight points coming off of Long Beach State errors. Two consecutive kills from Adlee Van Winden gave the Mustangs an 18-5 lead later on. Catch-up efforts by the 49ers were futile, as another pair of back-to-back kills from Adlee Van Winden gave the Mustangs the third set by a final score of 25-16.
The Mustangs were able to set up the fourth set similarly to the third, going on a 10-3 run. Kills by Mercer and junior outside hitter Jessica McRoskey helped the Mustangs expand their lead to 10 points at 22-12. A block from Adlee Van Winden and freshman middle blocker Meredith Phillips gave the Mustangs the set at 25-16 and the victory at 3-1.
The two wins against the Matadors and the 49ers extends their Big West Conference winning streak to 25 wins, dating back to last season. The team is now 6-1 on the road, with their only road loss coming at the hands of No. 6 Pittsburgh.
The Mustangs look to extend their winning streak to 19 on the road as they travel to play Hawaii on Friday, Oct. 26 at 10 p.m. Their next home match will be on Tuesday, Oct. 30 as they take on UC Irvine in Mott Athletics Center at 7 p.m.