To open its November slate of games this season, the Cal Poly volleyball team traveled to UC Irvine Thursday night before going to Davis to take on the Aggies on Saturday night. The team won both to move to 15-8 overall and 8-4 in conference this season and remain third in the Big West.
At UC Irvine
The Mustangs controlled the game against UC Irvine (10-15, 5-6 Big West) and won 3-1. The Mustangs went on an early 5-0 run in the first set, maintaining a five point lead against the Anteaters and dominating their way to a win in the first set.
In the second set, the Mustangs were unable to continue the dominance seen in the first and ultimately dropped 25-19.
The third set was the most close-fought set of the match, including five lead changes and 12 ties. The last of the ties came at 20, but the Mustangs powered through with a 5-1 run to take the third set 25-21 and go up 2-1. The fourth set went to extras but the Mustangs were able to close out when needed and won the set 29-27.
Sophomore outside hitter Adlee Van Winden led the charge for the Mustangs with 20 kills in the game. Senior middle blocker Taylor Gruenewald and junior outside hitter Raeann Greisen also pitched in on the attack and registered 15 and 13 kills, respectively. Junior setter Taylor Nelson continued her productive season in recording 57 of the team’s 61 total assists to assert her status as the best in the Big West in assists per set.
At UC Davis
The Mustang volleyball team picked up its second win of the weekend with a 3-2 victory over UC Davis (12-13, 5-7) Saturday night.
In the first set, the Mustangs got off to a slow start, allowing the first two points and never gaining a lead. At 17-17 in the set, UC Davis rattled off a few points to take the lead and win the first set 25-20.
The Mustangs felt pressure to win in a second set that saw eight ties and three lead changes. The set was a back-and-forth affair but the Mustangs persevered to a very close 25-23 set victory.
With the set score tied 1-1, the Mustangs fell behind in the crucial third set after some sloppy play. The Aggies got the lead following a 12-12 tie and went on a 13-9 run to close the third and win the set 25-21.
In a do-or-die fourth set, the Mustangs went to work. They scored the first six points of the set and fought for a 25-21 victory that set the game score at 2-2.
Davis scored the first point of the decisive fifth set, but Cal Poly quickly took control of the match. After the Aggies went up 1-0, the Mustangs grabbed the lead they’d keep all the way to a 15-8 set victory and 3-2 match win. Four players registered double digit kills in the match for the Mustangs — Van Winden with a team-high 19, Gruenewald with 17, sophomore outside hitter Alexis Clewis with 14 and Greisen with 14. Nelson had another big night and registered 55 of the team’s 67 assists.
The Mustangs will be back in San Luis Obispo next weekend to take on both UC Riverside on November 11 and Cal State Fullerton on November 12 in Mott Gym.