Cal Poly volleyball defeated the UC San Diego Tritons in five sets on Friday, Oct. 22 inside Mott Athletics Center.
The Mustangs (9-11, 7-2 Big West) exchanged set victories (25-15, 18-25, 25-21, 19-25, 15-12) with the Tritons (7-13, 4-5 Big West) en route to their five set win.
In set one, the two sides battled to a 6-5 Mustang lead. A 10-4 Cal Poly run pushed their lead to 16-9 and the Mustangs did not look back from there, winning the opening set 25-15.
Set two saw the Tritons jump out to an early 14-5 advantage. Then, a 5-0 Mustang run brought the match to a 14-10 Triton lead, but UCSD quickly responded with a 4-1 swing of their own, stretching the Triton lead to 18-11. Cal Poly could not keep pace, dropping the set 18-25 and evening the match at 1-1.
After the two squads settled in, set three was a back-and-forth affair, resulting in a 19-19 tie late in the set. Cal Poly was able to grab momentum, finishing the third set on a 6-2 run, winning 25-21.
Facing defeat, UCSD once again responded to a set loss roaring out of the gates, snagging a commanding 18-9 lead. The Mustangs responded with seven unanswered points, narrowing the Triton lead to 18-16. However, UCSD closed out the fourth set with a 7-3 run, defeating the Mustangs 19-25 to force a winner-take-all fifth set.
The back-and-forth theme of the match bled into the pivotal fifth set. UCSD held an early 10-8 advantage. Then, the Mustangs cranked up the heat, finishing the set on a 7-2 swing, winning the set 15-12 and winning the match 3-2.
Leading the way was redshirt freshman outside hitter Tommi Stockham with 19 kills to go along with 16 digs. Freshman libero Peyton Dueck served six of Cal Poly’s eight aces in addition to 19 digs defensively.
Despite Cal Poly hitting .182 compared to the Tritons’ .202, eight aces and 67 digs fueled the Mustangs to victory.
With the win, the Mustangs are in sole possession of third place in the Big West, trailing first-place UC Santa Barbara (9-1 Big West) and second-place Hawaii (8-1 Big West).
Cal Poly has a quick turn-around as they welcome the UC Irvine Anteaters to Mott Athletics Center on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m.