Cal Poly Volleyball defeated UC Irvine in five sets for the team's fourth win in a row. Credit: Maura Shernisky

In Cal Poly Volleyball’s previous game against Cal State Fullerton, the Mustangs went to five sets. The following day, on Saturday, Oct. 28 against the seventh-place team in the Big West, UC Irvine, the Mustangs went to their second consecutive five-set match as the team took down the Anteaters. 

The Mustangs (15-9, 9-3) extended their win streak to four, but have now played nine five-set match of the season at UC Irvine (7-16, 5-7).

The Anteaters had more kills on the day than the Mustangs with a 62-49 advantage and also committed four fewer errors. The Mustangs got kills on 19.7% of their hitting attempts compared to the Anteaters’ 33.3% hitting percentage.

Three Mustangs finished with double-digit kills including redshirt junior Tommi Stockham (17 kills), who was a dig away from a double-double. Redshirt sophomore Annabelle Thalken and redshirt sophomore Lizzy Markovska added 10 kills each.

Cal Poly came out strong, winning the first set by a score of 25-22. The set would start back and forth, but redshirt sophomore Emme Bullis set up hitters and allowed the team to go an 8-1 run to secure the first win.

UC Irvine would fight in the second set, but the Mustangs would pull away late in the set and win the set 25-21 and take a 2-0 match lead.

In the third and fourth sets, the Mustangs would fall apart losing the third set by a score of 25-12 and the fourth set 25-9.

In those sets, UC Irvine would jump out to big leads early, and the Mustangs couldn’t rally back to take the game.

UC Irvine would pick up where they left off in the fifth set, coming out strong and taking a 5-1 lead. The Mustangs would make a comeback thanks to a 7-2 run and the set would be tied at 14 a piece. After a kill by Thalken and a service error, the Mustangs would win a close match.

The Mustangs’ next game is a matchup against the No. 1 team in the Big West, UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, Oct. 31 before having to travel to Hawaii to take on the Rainbow Warriors.