In a double elimination tournament in Honolulu, the Cal Poly beach volleyball team split a pair of matchups Friday and Saturday, finishing their historic season with a loss in the semifinals.
In the first matchup of the day, No. 4 Cal Poly fell to No. 6 Long Beach State 2-3 in a game that was decided by two points. After Long Beach State took a 2-1 lead, the Mustangs’ number two pair of sophomore Emily Sonny and junior Samantha Manley won their match in three sets 21-16, 20-22 and 15-8 to tie the match at two. The number one Mustang pair of sophomore Torrey Van Winden and freshman Tiadora Miric tied the game in the second set but lost in the third set 15-13 to give the 49ers the 3-2 win.
In the second matchup, Cal Poly made quick work of Cal State Northridge, winning 5-0. All five matches ended in two sets for the Mustangs.
In the first matchup Saturday, Cal Poly dominated the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners by winning all five matchups in straight sets. In this dominant victory, Sonny and Manley held their opponents to single digits in both sets.
In the semifinals, Cal Poly had a rematch against Long Beach State. Even though three out of the five matchups went to three sets, the 49ers dominated the Mustangs and won 4-1, knocking the Mustangs out of the tournament. The only win for the Mustangs came from their number three pair with junior Adlee Van Winden and senior Taylor Nelson winning 21-18, 20-22, 15-10.
Even though Cal Poly was ranked number four in the nation with a 27-7 record, the Mustangs were not selected to participate in the 2018 National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship. No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Pepperdine and No.3 Hawai’i were the three teams selected from the West for the tournament while No. 5 Southern California earned an at-large bid.
Though the season did not end how the Mustangs wanted it to, they broke nearly every school record in their sport this season and recorded the highest regular-season win total (25) in the team’s history.
Four of the Mustangs’ five losses this season came at the hands of the four playoff teams from the West Coast.