Cal Poly Beach Volleyball (23-9) faced Hawai’i (17-10) in the Big West Championship match on Saturday, May 1 in Long Beach. Both squads are the only teams to have won a Big West title, with Hawai’i winning three straight from 2016-2018 and the Mustangs winning the most recent title in 2019.
The Mustangs needed to beat the Beach Bows twice to claim the Big West title. Cal Poly defeated Hawai’i (3-2) to force a winner-take-all final match for the Big West title.
Cal Poly’s title hopes came down to the No. 3 pairing of redshirt juniors Mariah Whalen and Tia Miric. The duo won set one, 21-13, dropped set two, 14-21, and bounced back to win set three, 15-11, securing a victory for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs and Beach Bows met for the third time of the day in a winner-take-all Big West title match. Cal Poly defeated Hawai’i 3-2 to become back-to-back Big West champions.
Cal Poly’s No. 3 pair of Whalen and Miric wasted no time getting the Mustangs on the board, sweeping the Beach Bows, 21-12 and 21-14. They are now 15-8 on the season and have won their last seven matches.
Shortly after, Ozee and Lombard grabbed a sweep of their own on court No. 2, 21-19 and 21-19. The duo improves to 22-9 when playing together.
The No. 4 pairing of Strah and Johansen clinched the Big West title for Cal Poly after they swept the Beach Bows, 21-17 and 21-17. They move to 11-8 as a pair.
Gordon and Sonny won set one at the No. 1 court, 21-14, but couldn’t hold on in sets two and three, falling 19-21 and 7-15. They are now 23-8 on the season.
The No. 5 duo of Roscoe and Ulrich won set one, 22-20, but fell in set two, 19-21, and set three, 15-17. They are 13-11 when paired together.
With a Big West title and a national ranking of No. 6, the Mustangs are nearly a lock to be one of the eight teams invited to the NCAA Championships in Gulf Shores, Alabama from May 7-9. The eight teams will be announced on Sunday, May 2.