After a historic season, Cal Poly’s Beach Volleyball team were knocked out of the NCAA tournament in Gulf Shores, Alabama after losses to No. 3 Florida State Seminoles and No. 7 Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine on Friday, May 3.
The Mustangs (25-12) fell to the Seminoles (29-5) 3-0 in the first round of the NCAA tournament, moving them into the elimination side of the bracket. In a win-or-go-home match against the Rainbow Wahine (27-10) the Mustangs 3-0 loss eliminated them from the tournament.
Cal Poly’s first match against the Seminoles was the second time the Mustangs played the Seminoles this year as they lost 4-1 on Feb. 23.
The Seminoles took down Cal Poly’s No. 1 pairing of senior Crissy Jones and sophomore Tiadora Miric 21-12, 21-14, the No. 4 pairing of senior Samantha Manley and freshman Delaney Peranich 21-14, 21-12 and the No. 5 pairing of junior Brayden Gruenewald and freshman Vanessa Roscoe 21-17, 21-14 to win the match 3-0.
Following the loss, the Mustangs faced Hawai’i in an elimination game. Cal Poly already played Hawai’i three times earlier in the season, beating them for the first time in program history on March 31. The Mustangs also beat the Rainbow Wahine twice on the way to winning their first ever Big West Conference Championship.
At the NCAA Tournament, two of the individual matches (No. 1 and No. 5 pairings) were canceled. Both matches went into a third set before either game could be finished. The Rainbow Wahine won the other three matches. They won at the No. 3 position 21-15, 21-16. Then, they won at the No. 4 spot 21-17, 21-18 to go up 2-0. Finally, they clinched the match with a 21-19, 21-17 win at the No. 2 pairing.
This season, the Mustangs were led by the duo of Jones and Miric, who recorded a 22-7 overall record. Sophomore Macy Gordon and junior Emily Sonny went 16-3 as Cal Poly’s No. 2 pairing. The 2019 Mustangs became the first team in program history to win the Big West Championship and make the NCAA tournament. The Mustangs have posted back-to-back seasons with more than 25 wins, which is only the second time in program history in which that occurred. They also defeated 12 teams in the AVCA Top 20 poll, the most in a single season in program history. The Mustangs will graduate seniors Jones, Manley and Kassandra Wright.