The Mustangs defeated rival UC Santa Barbara in four sets (26-28, 25-15, 25-16, 25-15) Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Thunderdome, extending their streak to 12 matches. The team still remains undefeated in Big West Conference play.
The No. 24 Mustangs (17-2, 7-0) started the first set with a lead of 6-1, but the Gauchos (3-15, 2-4) pushed their points to take the lead 18-16. The Mustangs tied at 22 and went back and forth trading points, but a couple of kills and solid blocks by the Gauchos would lead them to win the set 28-26.
The Mustangs began the second set with a 7-5 deficit, but that didn’t stop them. Two back-to-back aces by senior middle blocker Savannah Nieman started the team on an 11-point run to take the lead 16-7. The Gauchos got within six points of Cal Poly, but the Mustangs took the set 25-15.
Cal Poly stepped up their game with a 12-4 lead at the start of the third set. The Mustangs regrouped in a timeout when the Gauchos earned three straight points to decrease the gap 11-16. Cal Poly responded with a couple of kills from sophomore outside hitter Torrey Van Winden and junior outside hitter Adlee Van Winden to go up 21-12. A Gaucho attack error gave the Mustangs their winning point to take the third set 25-16.
The Mustangs were aggressive at the attack line in the fourth set, hitting .400. They started with a 5-1 lead and even though the Gauchos got as close as 13-10, they could not keep up. The Mustangs took the game 25-15 to win the match 3-1.
The Van Winden sisters dominated the court with a combined 39 kills, tallying 21 and 18 respectively. Adlee also recorded a team-high seven blocks.
Senior setter Taylor Nelson ended up with a double-double with 47 assists and 10 digs, while junior libero Katherine Brouker led the team with 17 digs.
The Mustangs return home this weekend to take on Cal State Northridge, Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.