Credit: Owen Roberts | Mustang News, 2023

Cal Poly Beach Volleyball won three of its four matchups at the Arizona Invitational in Tucson, Arizona on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18.

The Mustangs (5-13) had come into the weekend on a four-game losing streak before facing off against Texas A&M – Corpus Christi (13-6, 5-0 Southland), Arizona Christian University (7-9, 5-4 GSAC), the University of Southern Mississippi (9-8) and the University of Arizona (10-3, 1-0 Pac-12).

Friday vs. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi

In the first matchup of the tournament, Cal Poly took down the Islanders 4-1.

The Mustangs’ No.1 pairing of freshman Izzy Martinez and sophomore Piper Ferch and the No. 2 duo of senior Jayelin Lombard and junior Piper Naess got the Mustangs off to a 2-0 lead. 

After dropping the No. 3 spot, the No. 5 pairing of senior Kalee Graff and freshman Margo Smith secured the win after a comeback set win. The duo dropped the first set 21-10 but responded with 21-19 and 15-6 victories. 

The No. 4 pairing of junior Julia Soeller and Emma Zuffelato also had a come-from-behind win, dropping a closely contested 21-19 first set before winning two consecutive sets.

Friday vs. Arizona Christian University

In game two of the Arizona Invitational, the Mustangs defeated Arizona Christian University, an NAIA program, 5-0. 

The Mustangs held Arizona Christian to 15 or fewer points in eight of the 10 sets played. 

Lombard and Ferch secured the first spot with a 21-7 and 21-5 rout. Soeller and Zuffelato also held their opponents to single digits with 21-7 and 21-8 wins. 

The duos of Peranich and Golik, Naess and freshmen Marina Warren and Graff and freshman Addie Bounds also won their spots. 

Saturday vs. University of Southern Mississippi

Cal Poly began the second day of the tournament with a 5-0 win over the Golden Eagles.

The veteran No. 3 pairing of senior Delaney Peranich and graduate student Brooke Golik got the team rolling with their win, 21-16, 21-8. The No. 4 duo of Graff and Warren continued the hot start with a 21-17, 21-19 win.

Cal Poly ultimately clinched the dual through the victory from the No. 5 pairing Soeller and Zuffelato, who won in straight sets 21-13, 21-15. Zuffelato had a great showing with her serve, including a stretch with five straight aces to close the set.

The No. 1 pair of Ferch and Martinez were also victorious, finishing their match in three sets. Not to be outdone, the No. 2 tandem of Lombard and Naess also secured a win for the Mustangs in three sets.

Saturday vs. No. 17 University of Arizona

The Mustangs were hit with their lone loss of the weekend against the Wildcats, falling 4-1 to round out the tournament.

Cal Poly used the same five pairings as the first match but swapped the four and the five pairing spots. Arizona started the match off strong, with wins at the No. 4 and No. 2 spots to take a 2-0 lead.

The Mustangs responded with a victory by the No. 3 duo of Peranich and Golik, with the team then trailing 2-1 after their straight-set victory. Peranich and Golik are now on a three-game winning streak.

That point would be Cal Poly’s lone victory in the match, however, as Arizona won the last two matches at the No. 1 and No. 5 spots to secure the 4-1 win.

The Mustangs will return home for their next matchups as they will host the Bigger West Invitational on Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26 at Swanson Beach Volleyball Complex.