Lizzy Markovska (pictured above) was named Tournament MVP at the Sacramento State Invitational. Credit: Kayla Stuart

Cal Poly Volleyball traveled to Sacramento to play in a three-game tournament to open up the 2023 season.

The Mustangs (2-1) faced off against Iowa State, University of Nevada Reno and Sacramento State at the Sacramento State Invitational and finished with a 2-1 record.

Redshirt sophomore Lizzy Markovska finished with a team-high 40 kills and averaged 3.64 kills per set. Markovska, a member of the All-Big West Freshmen team last season, was named Tournament MVP.

Redshirt Tommi Stockham had 35 kills in the tournament and five aces.

The Mustangs utilized a two-setter system with both redshirt sophomore Emme Bullis and freshman Samantha Callahan seeing time at the setter position.

Bullis assisted on 62 points while Callahan added 53 assists.

Service errors hurt Mustangs in 3-1 loss to Iowa State

On the first day of the tournament, the team dropped their match to the Hawkeyes three sets to one.

The Mustangs had stellar performances from libero Jolei Akima, who led the game with 20 digs, and Bullis, who had a game-leading 23 assists.

Stockham finished with a match-high 15 kills and added seven digs.

Jolei Akima (pictured above) was named to the All-Tournament team at the Sacramento State Invitational. Credit: Kayla Stuart

However, service errors proved to hurt the Mustangs as the team committed 15 service errors and allowed eight aces from the Hawkeyes.

After dropping the first set 25-16, the Mustangs secured an 11-7 lead in the second set, but the Hawkeyes took the lead back.

The Mustangs cut a four-point lead down to one with a score of 24-23, but the Hawkeyes finished the set off with a kill.

The Mustangs won the third set in a closely contested 27-25 win, but the Hawkeyes finished the match in the fourth set in a one-sided 25-12 affair.

Mustangs pick up first win against Nevada

After falling to Iowa State, the Mustangs won their first game of the season after defeating Nevada (1-2) in four sets.

The team won the match three sets to one and had control of the entire game with a strong offensive showing. The Mustangs finished with 13 more kills than the Wolfpack for a total of 51.

Markovska would finish the game with a career-high 17 kills to go along with eight digs and two blocks. Stockham would add on nine kills, 12 digs and three aces.

From the libero spot, Akima recorded a career-high 25 digs and added in two aces.

The Wolfpack took the first set 25-23. However, the Mustangs went on a 9-2 run to gain a 22-17 advantage in the second set. Freshmen Ella Scott got the game-winning point on an ace.

The third set came down to a 23-23 tie before Markovska got a kill and redshirt junior Amy Hiatt and redshirt sophomore Annabelle Thalken made a block.

The Mustangs came out strong in the fourth set and won by double-digits 25-13.

Markovska named Tournament MVP after win over Sacramento State

Lizzy Markovska (pictured above) leads the Mustangs in kills with 40 across the first three games of the season. Credit: Kayla Stuart

The third and final game of the tournament would come against the tournament hosts, the Sacramento State Hornets (2-1).

The Mustangs swept the Hornets in a three sets to none victory. Markovska and Stockham had 14 and 11 kills respectively to push the team to a win.

Redshirt junior middle blocker Kate Slack would have a great all-around game with six kills in 11 attempts and a game-leading seven blocks.

Akima, who was named to the All-Tournament Team had 10 digs and 55 across the weekend.

The Mustangs won the first set 25-21 after finishing on a 4-1 run. The Hornets took an 11-6 lead in the second set, but the Mustang scored four straight points.

Falling behind 22-20, the team went on a 5-1 run to secure the second set win.

In the final set, the Mustangs jumped out to an 11-4 lead and held on for the 25-16 series-clinching win.

The Mustangs’ next game is against Stephan F. Austin State University on Thursday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. at the start of the Stephen F. Austin Tournament in Texas.