Three Mustang teams kick into action Aug. 25, marking the beginning of the volleyball and soccer seasons.

Cal Poly’s women’s soccer team will open its season by hosting San Diego State in a free game starting at 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Cal Poly Sports Complex. The men’s soccer season begins with an away game against New Hampshire at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 25, while the volleyball team will be traveling to Las Vegas to battle UNLV in its first game at 7 p.m. Aug. 27.

“There’s always a little bit of uncertainty that comes with the first game, but it’s a good time to see what we’re capable of,” said Cal Poly women’s soccer head coach Alex Crozier, who is entering his 14th year at the helm. “I think it’ll be a great opportunity for people to come out and see some really great soccer.”

The women’s soccer team also has home games Aug. 27 and Sept. 1, when it will face Pepperdine and San Jose State, respectively.

The Mustangs were 10-5-4 overall last season, but just 2-4-1 in the Big West, their first losing record since joining the conference.

The men’s soccer team, coming off a 6-14 season in which it went 1-9 in the Big West, won’t have home-field advantage until it plays Navy on Sept. 8.

The volleyball team doesn’t have a home match until it plays UC Davis on Sept. 19, due to what head coach Jon Stevenson called “the most difficult nonconference schedule in the United States.”

Despite his team’s tough schedule, Stevenson has high hopes. He aims to surpass last year’s 19-6 record.

Cal Poly was third with a 10-4 Big West Conference record last season but was excluded from the NCAA Tournament.

“This year, we’re going to go out and find the competition,” Stevenson said. “All we want to do is make the school proud, and I think we really will this year. With our hard schedule, we’re learning to compete at the highest level. I mean, we’re competing against some quality teams here.”

When asked to expand upon that thought, Stevenson clarified: “Well, the first weekend is always tough, and it’s a scary idea playing all these great teams, but it’s like The Wizard of Oz – when they think it’s this huge scary wizard and it turns out to be completely different. Just some guy behind a curtain. This is kind of like that.”

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