The Cal Poly Mustangs (11-8, 5-2) would host the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (12-6, 5-2) on Saturday night in a battle of two of the three teams tied for second place in the Big West.
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors would win three sets to one at an almost sold-out Mott Athletic Center.
In the first set, both teams would go back and forth. At 8-8, the Rainbow Warriors would pull away and score six of the next seven points and take a 14-9 lead.
They would not let the Mustangs get close again and Hawaii would win the first set by a score of 25-18.
For the Mustangs, redshirt sophomore Lizzy Markovska and redshirt junior Tommi Stockham would each have five kills, and redshirt sophomore Emme Bullis would record 10 assists. Bullis would also record an ace in the first set.
In an absolutely electric second set, Bullis would continue her dominating efforts in the second set recording two blocks and 13 assists.
“I think Emme made very good decisions with who she was setting and executing the plan we went over in film,” said Coach Carolina Walters after the game.
The second set would start very similarly to the first set as it would be back and forth but Cal Poly would take a four-point lead at 10-6.
Hawaii would quickly diminish the lead after a service ace and two attack errors from Cal Poly. However, the Mustangs would be able to maintain a small lead until the Rainbow Warriors would tie it up at 17 a piece.
Cal Poly would pull ahead scoring three straight and would win the set 25 to 22.
For the Mustangs, it would be great defense and efficient attacking that would get them the win in the second set.
To start the third set, the Mustangs would jump out to a 10 to 8 lead before Hawaii would score five straight to grab the lead. Hawaii would continue to dominate on both sides of the ball and would lead 20-15.
Markovska would try to rally the Mustangs back, recording six kills in the third set, but her efforts would be unsuccessful. The Rainbow Warriors took the third set by a score of 25-21 and took a 2-1 lead in the game.
Although some great hitting in the second set, three service errors, two of which came within the final eight points of the set, would be the fall of the Mustangs.
In a must-win set four for the Mustangs, they would try and rely on their defense, which has been stellar the whole game. redshirt sophomore Annabelle Thalken and redshirt junior Amy Hiatt would combine on two blocks and Thalken would get an individual block.
The Mustangs and the Rainbow Warriors would exchange point for point and the Mustangs would take a 14-13 lead, but Hawaii would not back down scoring six straight.
Down 19-15, the Mustangs would have some work to do if they wanted to force a fifth and final set. Hawaii would not let that happen, going on another run and winning the set 25-16.
Bullis finished with 39 assists, 11 digs, two blocks, a kill and a service ace in an all-around great performance.
“I am thankful to be a part of such a great team,” Bullis said. “I’m out here working for my teammates, my teammates are doing the same for me.”
After a game full of errors for the Mustangs, they’ll look to clean it up against CSU Northridge on Thursday, Oct. 19.