Lauren Rabaino

The final scoreboards for Cal Poly football and women’s volleyball regular seasons offer a breath of rest as the seasons change and basketball commences.

The 55-7 victory against Iona College Nov. 17 for Cal Poly football (7-4, 2-2 Great West) left a satisfying last taste for the 2007 season.

“It was a good year. We flirted with greatness,” head coach Rich Ellerson said. “We were on the cusp of greatness but we weren’t (quite there).”

Though the Mustangs showed improvement throughout the season, Ellerson saw particular growth from his fifth-year seniors.

Twelve players were fifth-year redshirts who participated in the past five seasons, which have held at least seven wins per season since 2003.

“Those guys played their best football in the last year of their career here . it really says a lot about their character.”

Though the Mustangs started the 2007 season with two losses against Texas State and Idaho, they suffered just two more in the following nine games.

The Mustangs look forward to training during the off-season that will lead into next year’s season. Ellerson said they will base their future practices on what the players have learned from the 2007 season.

“Now the hard work starts,” Ellerson said. “You still have to coach, still have to lift weights, still have to train, still have to practice, you have to be a little bit lucky and a little bit smart. Already you can start getting a little bit excited, as fast as that season was over you can start looking forward to playing the next one.”

Cal Poly women’s volleyball (21-7, 15-1 Big West) secured its second consecutive Big West Conference Championship this past weekend. The Mustangs are now qualified for the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

Junior opposite Kylie Atherstone has been offered involvement in the training program of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team.

“I got an invitation to try out for (what I think is) a training team because obviously the 2008 Olympics are coming up,” Atherstone said. “So they want to make sure they got some talent to possibly train against the Olympic team or potentially be on the Olympic team, which would be the Cinderella story. I’ll be going to those tryouts (in January).”

Atherstone has only received one e-mail concerning this opportunity and has yet to learn further details.

Mustang women’s basketball, on the other hand, has started with a 2-1, 0-0 Big West record. They’re scheduled to play at UCLA at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“UCLA’s had a tradition of excellence in every team sport you can imagine and individual sports as well. Our team knows all about that,” head coach Faith Mimnaugh said.

Mimnaugh expressed hope in disrupting the younger Bruins in UCLA’s backcourt with the more experienced Mustangs.

“They’re very athletic, they’re very good, and we’ve obviously got our hands full hitting them on the road.”

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