Credit: Kayla Stuart | Mustang News, 2021

Cal Poly volleyball collected a trio of sweeps in the Northern Colorado Classic on Friday, Sept. 16 and Saturday, Sept. 17 inside the Bank of Colorado Arena.

The Mustangs (3-7) took down Santa Clara and Northern Colorado on Friday before defeating Tarleton State to wrap up the weekend on Saturday en route to their first wins of the season.

Friday vs. Santa Clara

The Mustangs gained their first win of the season against Santa Clara by way of a 3-0 sweep (26-24, 25-21, 25-21) in their first match on Friday.

In the first set, the Mustangs got ahead fast. After the score was tied 4-4, Cal Poly went on a 9-1 run to bring it 13-5 in favor of the Mustangs. 

However, Santa Clara answered with an 11-3 run and eventually tied it at 16-16. The Broncos kept it rolling, taking a 20-18 advantage at one point. Cal Poly continued to rally, scoring four straight points before the Broncos added three more to make it 23-22 with Santa Clara ahead.

To secure the set one victory, the Mustangs scored three straight points and took the set 26-24.

Cal Poly went into the next set with some momentum, scoring the first four points. This was then answered by an 8-1 run by the Broncos giving them the lead. It was a set of runs, as Cal Poly battled back with an 8-2 stretch later in the set to recapture the lead at 17-14

Keeping the momentum, the Mustangs had the largest lead of the set at 24-17 before they were able to close it out by a score of 25-21.

The third set was another close one, as each team went on runs that led to the score being tied at 7-7, 13-13 and 18-18. After going up 23-20, Cal Poly finished the sweep with two straight points and a set-three victory at 25-21.

As a team, the Mustangs boasted a hitting percentage of .323 compared to the .152 of the Broncos. Senior right-side hitter Maia Dvoracek and redshirt sophomore outside Tommi Stockham led the squad in kills with 15 and 13, respectively.

Friday vs. Northern Colorado

Cal Poly advanced its record in the Northern Colorado Classic to 2-0 after a sweep against the University of Northern Colorado (25-22, 25-23, 25-20). 

The Mustangs came out strong in the first set, leading up until the score was tied at 15-15. The Bears took a 19-18 lead, but Cal Poly returned fire and took a commanding 24-20 advantage. After an error from Northern Colorado on the attack, Cal Poly closed the set at 25-22.

There was no clear advantage early on in the second set until it was tied at 12-12 when the Bears went on a 3-1 run in order to take a 15-13 lead. Later in the set, Cal Poly went on a 5-2 run of their own to gain the lead at 21-20. The Mustangs then finished off the set with three consecutive points and the 25-23 win.

Northern Colorado came out strong in the third set and used a pair of scoring runs to jump out to a 13-9 lead. However, the Mustangs answered right back and tied it up at 16-16 before pulling away at 22-18 and finally tallying the 25-20 set-three victory. 

The defense was a major factor in the clean sweep, as the Mustangs held Northern Colorado to a .156 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, on the offensive side, Dvoracek, finished the night with 14 kills while senior middle blocker Meredith Phillips had seven kills of her own to go with five blocks.

Saturday vs. Tarleton State

Cal Poly capped off a great weekend with their third sweep in a row (25-18, 27-25, 25-15), this one against Tarleton State on Saturday. 

The Mustangs came out and dominated the first set from the opening point, as they got out to an early 6-0 lead. The Texans never got closer to within three points of Cal Poly for the entirety of the set before the Mustangs secured the 25-18 victory.

The second set was a different story, as it was a back-and-forth affair. After it was tied at 6-6, a Cal Poly run gave them a four-point lead at 11-7. However, Tarleton State came back and tied it all up at 13-13 thanks to a 6-2 streak. The evenly-matched set continued until the Texans held a 24-22 lead, one point away from a set victory.

Despite this, the Mustangs kept fighting and with three straight points, they found themselves ahead 25-24. After Tarleton State got a point back, a kill and a block from Stockham gave Cal Poly the 2-0 lead with a 27-25 set-two win.

After falling behind 9-7 in the third set, the Mustangs caught fire to finish off their perfect weekend. A 7-1 run and an 8-2 run set up a dominant 25-15 win in set three, finished off by an attack error by the Texans.

In the final matchup of the weekend, Cal Poly recorded a hitting percentage of .340 while holding Tarleton State to .092 on the day, both season-best marks. 

These three victories will give the Mustangs needed momentum as they head into Big West play, beginning on Friday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. against Long Beach State at Mott Athletics Center.