The Cal Poly women’s volleyball team entered the season with a youthful squad anchored by seniors, Dominique Olowolafe and Alison Mort. The team showed a strong front from the beginning, as the Mustangs kicked off the season with a 3-2 win over 18th ranked Arizona.

The Cal Poly women's volleyball team finished 22-7 (12-4 Big West) this season, finishing third in the Big West.

But after an injury to Olowolafe, it looked like the Mustangs’ season was derailed after the team dropped three in a row following their 2-0 start. Then the group rallied to beat BYU with the help of 11 aces and 18 kills from freshman Kristina Graven. That win started a run of 10 consecutive wins for the Mustangs including two victories over Pac-10 opponents.

With Olowolafe nursing her broken finger, Graven emerged as one of the team’s main offensive weapon as she racked up 172 kills during the Mustangs’ winning streak, including two games with more than 20 kills.

Head coach Jon Stevenson won his 100th match with the Mustangs against Cal State Bakersfield, as he became the third Cal Poly volleyball coach in program history to reach the century mark in wins.

However, on Oct. 1, Cal State Fullerton, the eventual champion of the Big West Conference, ended the Mustangs’ streak in Olowolafe’s return to the court. Yet, the team rebounded to sweep Long Beach State the next match.

The team split the season series with rival UC Santa Barbara, with each team winning on the opposing team’s home court in five games.

The Mustangs were in a 2-1 hole when Olowolafe gathered the team around her at mid-court before the fourth set and told them that they had nothing to lose. With the help of sophomore Jennifer Keddy, the Mustangs handled the Gauchos in the final two sets.

Keddy earned the Big West Player of the Week award in the Mustangs’ second to last week of play as the team earned two wins against Pacific and UC Davis.

Although the team did not make the NCAA Tournament, the Mustangs return in 2011 with two all-conference players, Graven and Keddy, to lead a charge for a postseason berth.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.