Cal Poly beach volleyball went 3-1 in their four matches over the weekend at the Stanford Invitational on Saturday, Apr. 2 and Sunday, Apr. 3 in Palo Alto, Ca.

The Mustangs (17-11) had dual matches on both days over the weekend with their only defeat coming to No. 8-ranked Stanford (13-6) on Saturday. The No. 11 Mustangs took down Santa Clara (6-13), Saint Mary’s (13-11) and UC Davis (9-14).

Saturday vs. Santa Clara

Cal Poly came into this weekend’s matches coming off a loss in their final matchup against Hawai’i from the previous weekend. The Mustangs made quick work of their first matchup against Santa Clara by a score of 5-0.

The first finish of the match came from the No. 2 spot, where freshman Piper Ferch and redshirt junior Jayelin Lombard closed out their opponent in two sets 21-18, 21-13. 

Redshirt junior Vanessa Roscoe and sophomore Sam Strah followed up that win with a two-set win of their own. However, this one was a bit more difficult, with the second set going to 30 points. They won their sets 21-12, 30-28. 

Sophomore Piper Naess and redshirt sophomore Josie Ulrich made quick work of their matchup in the No. 5 spot winning by a margin of 21-7, 21-10. 

In the No. 1 spot, freshman Ella Connor and redshirt senior Tia Miric closed out their opponent 21-14, 21-19. The Mustangs completed the sweep with a win in the No. 5 position by graduate Addison Hermstad and freshman Peyton Dueck, who defeated their opponent 21-6, 21-14. 

Saturday vs. Stanford

The Mustangs were right back in the sand for their second match of the day, this time to face off against the No. 8-ranked Stanford Cardinal. Cal Poly dropped the match 4-1 in their second meeting with the Cardinal on the year.

Cal Poly maintained their lineup from their match against Santa Clara. 

The first finish came at spot No. 2, where Ferch and Lombard fell just short, losing their matchups 14-21, 18-21. 

This was followed by Roscoe and Strah in the No. 4 position, who also fell in a close one. The duo dropped the first set 16-21 and won the second 21-16, setting up a third set to 15. In that third and final set, the Mustangs dropped a close one by a score of 13-15. 

Ulrich and Naess were the lone victors in this match at the No. 5 court, collecting a two-set win by a score of 21-16, 21-15. 

Much like the rest of the team, Connor and Miric fell just short of a victory in the No. 1 spot, falling by a score of 19-21, 17-21. 

The final finish came from the No. 3 spot, where Hermstad and Dueck had a three-set finish. The duo fell to their opponents Taylor Wilson and Emma Morris 22-20, 15-21, 13-15. 

Sunday vs. Saint Mary’s

The Mustangs’ first match on Sunday was against the Saint Mary’s Gaels, and Cal Poly was in control from start to finish to cruise to a 5-0 win. 

Much of the Mustang lineup was consistent with who played the previous day. 

Lombard and Ferch once again had the first finish of the match at the No. 2 spot, this time winning by a score of 21-17, 21-19. 

Roscoe and Strah closed out their opponents in the No. 4 spot in two sets, winning 21-16, 21-19. Miric and Connor occupied the No. 1 spot properly and closed out their opponent 21-15, 21-19. 

The No. 3 duo of Dueck and Hermstad had the widest margin of victory in this match, winning their sets 21-13, 21-7.

The sweep was completed by the No. 5 pairing of redshirt senior Mariah Whalen and redshirt junior Kalee Graff as they picked up the victory 21-18, 21-13. This was Whalen’s first action of 2022 after an injury left her out to start the year.

Sunday vs. UC Davis

The final match of the weekend came against UC Davis in a rematch of a meeting from the weekend before. Cal Poly was victorious in their last matchup, and nothing changed this time as the Mustangs won 4-1. 

As per usual, Lombard and Ferch got the ball rolling for the Mustangs with a 21-19, 21-13 victory as the No. 2 duo. 

The No. 4 pairing of Roscoe and Strah was the only Mustang duo to fall in this match, but they took the game to three sets before coming up just short 21-17, 16-21, 12-15. 

Naess and Ulrich got the Mustangs back in the victory column with an impressive 21-14, 21-9 win over their opponents in the No. 5 spot. 

Dueck and Hermstad tallied the clinching point for the Mustangs from the No. 3 spot with a 21-9, 21-19 win. 

The No. 1 pairing of Miric and Connor put a bow on the weekend for Cal Poly, winning a nailbiter 21-16, 22-24, 16-14. 

The Mustangs have a big tournament coming up, as they will face four teams currently ranked within the top five teams in the nation when they take on No. 3 USC, No. 4 Florida State, No. 1 UCLA and No. 5 Loyola Marymount. 

All of these matches will take place when Cal Poly returns home for the Center of Effort Challenge on Friday, Apr. 15 and Saturday, Apr. 16 at the Swanson Beach Volleyball Complex.

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