Cal Poly’s spring volleyball win over Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara certainly didn’t seem like your typical off-season exhibition.
An estimated 500 fans – the Cal Poly band included – packed Mott Gym in a show of support for Carol Daniel, a former Mustang great who was struck by a hit-and-run driver on April 8 at Dana Point, Calif.
The event, which was followed by a fund-raising dinner at Giuseppe’s in Pismo Beach, raised more than $3,400 toward Daniel’s mounting medical expenses.
“I think it will mean a lot to Carol (Daniel) when she finds out what took place in her name,” Cal Poly coach Jon Stevenson said.
Daniel, 41, was jogging with three friends along the Coast Highway when a driver veered and hit Daniel and Stacy Neria, 34.
William Todd Bradshaw was scheduled for arraignment on Friday in connection with the incident.
“We talked about it a lot when it first happened,” Cal Poly junior setter Chelsea Hayes said. “The main thing Jon told us is to appreciate what you’ve got and if you can’t then look at what Carol’s going through.”
About a week after Daniel was hospitalized, Stevenson and a former teammate of Daniel’s, Claudia Trudeau, began fund-raising plans.
Stevenson set his sights on a spring finale against UC Santa Barbara. Prior to the accident, UCSB coach Kathy Gregory was ready to cancel the match, Stevenson said.
However, Gregory quickly changed her mind following the accident.
Despite many empty seats, Stevenson considered the event a success and thanked alumni, friends and family for helping a former player in need.
Kelly Van Winden, a two-year teammate of Daniel’s, was shocked at the attendance.
“When we played here you could barely find a seat,” she said.
Van Winden played alongside Daniel, Trudeau and several other alumni who attended the event on the two best volleyball teams in Cal Poly history. The 1984 and 1985 squads were both ranked No. 1 in the country and were the hot ticket in town, often filling Mott Gym to capacity, the former outside hitter said.
Fans and fund-raiser aside, Cal Poly dispatched an under-manned UCSB in five matches – 28-30, 40-24, 33-35, 30-20, 15-9.
The Gauchos had to suit up several seniors from the 2005 roster to compensate for several players who transferred this off season, Stevenson said.
Alicia Waller, a freshman transfer from San Diego State University, led Cal Poly offensively with 19 kills on a .192 hitting percentage. Sarah Riviere and Kylie Atherstone each had 13 kills while Jaclyn Houston chipped in with 10.
Kristin Jackson had a match-high 32 digs.
The game concluded Cal Poly’s spring schedule. The Mustangs will wait until the fall for the beginning of the 2006 season.