Cal Poly Volleyball secures fifth straight win against UC Riverside on Saturday, Oct. 7. Credit: Maura Shernisky

Cal Poly won their fifth straight game Saturday afternoon after sweeping UC Riverside 3-0 on the road. 

The Mustangs move to second place in the Big West through six conference matches and hold a 5-1 conference record with an 11-7 record overall. 

Leading the team with 14 kills, redshirt junior outside hitter Tommi Stockham also collected a double-double with 13 digs. 

A four-point run consisting of kills by redshirt junior middle blocker Kate Slack and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Lizzy Markovska put the Mustangs at a 5-2 advantage that they kept for the rest of the first set and ultimately won 25-9.

The second set remained close until a six-point run from Cal Poly grew an 8-5 lead to a 14-5 lead. The Highlanders went on a 6-2 run near the end of the set, but the Mustangs were too far ahead and took the set 25-16. 

UC Riverside chipped away at a 12-6 Cal Poly lead in the third and tied it at 15. The Highlanders had Cal Poly at set point 24-23, but a service error, a ball handling error and a block by the Mustang defense gave Cal Poly the set and the win 26-24. 

Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Annabelle Thalken and redshirt freshman middle blocker Tess Massingale both managed four blocks to lead the defense. 

Although the Mustangs have had late success, next week will be the toughest challenge yet in their conference schedule. Cal Poly plays the first-place UC Santa Barbara away on Thursday, Oct. 12, who are 6-0. 

On Saturday, Oct. 14, they host a game against the historically dominant Hawaii, who led the Big West with a 19-1 record last year.