Credit: Kayla Stuart | Mustang News

Cal Poly women’s volleyball bounced back from a loss and swept Long Beach State on Saturday, Oct. 30 inside Mott Athletics Center. 

After recording back-to-back losses, the Mustangs (10-13, 8-4 Big West) maintained their third place spot in the Big West standings after winning in three sets 25-13, 25-23, and 26-24. 

“This win was really important because we have four losses now and our goal is to win the Big West, so any win we get is important,” freshman outside hitter Amy Hiatt said.

The Mustangs came out firing in the first set, as, after the Mustangs and the Beach were tied at 3-3, Cal Poly went on an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 11-3. The run included two service aces from freshman outside hitter Tommi Stockham

It was all Mustangs for the rest of the set, as they had their biggest lead of the set and the night of 14 points when they led 24-10. Cal Poly held Long Beach to a .000 hitting percentage while hitting .522 on their way to a 25-13 victory and a 1-0 advantage in the match. 

“We talked about having more of an intent to have intense floor defense and make an effort on plays that maybe we would not have before,” head coach Caroline Walters said. “We won’t know what will happen unless we go after those balls.”

In the second set, Long Beach State took an early 7-3 lead before the Mustangs tied the game at 7-7. Then, Cal Poly took a 17-14 before the Beach went on a 6-3 run to tie the game at 20-20. 

With an even 22-22 score, the Mustangs scored consecutive points on a kill from junior middle blocker Meredith Phillips and a block from Stockham. The Mustangs won the set 25-23 and took a 2-0 advantage thanks to a Stockham kill. 

The third set was even tighter, as there were 19 ties and eight lead changes. Late in the set, Long Beach State had an opportunity to take their first set victory as they were ahead 24-23. However, the Mustangs fed Stockham and she tallied two straight kills to give the Mustangs the 25-24 lead. The Mustangs secured the final set with a 26-24 victory after a Long Beach attacking error. 

“We have been on the wrong side of a lot of close sets, especially early on in the season,” Walters said. “It shows me that they are learning lessons and becoming tougher.”

Cal Poly outhit Long Beach State .343 to .224 as Stockham recorded a game-high 14 kills. Hiatt and Phillips added 13 and 9 kills, respectively. 

“[Hiatt] is attacking the ball at angles that I have not seen in quite some time,” Walters said. “Denecochea and Phillips have been working on their connection and you saw it tonight.”

The Mustangs will be on the road for two consecutive games, starting with Cal State Northridge on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m inside the Matadome.

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