The Cal Poly volleyball team swept its season series against UC Santa Barbara with a 3-1 win on the road Thursday. This win marks the first for the Mustangs (16-5, 8-2 Big West) in Santa Barbara since Nov. 6, 2010 and the first series sweep since the 2008 season.
This win came at an important time for the Mustangs after a close loss to Long Beach State this past weekend. A 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-19 road win like this is what the team needs to regain momentum heading in to the final month of the season.
Sophomore outside hitter Raeann Greisen had 14 kills, and fellow sophomore and middle blocker Savannah Niemen added another 12 to lead the attack for the Mustangs. Sophomore setter Taylor Nelson notched a game-high 42 assists on the night in addition to 15 digs, second only to senior Nicole Kessler’s 22.
The Mustangs started off strong with a 25-22 win in the first set before, like their last game against the Gauchos, they dropped a close second set 23-25. But they rebounded nicely in the third set, going on a 10-4 run to pull out a 21-15 set lead and regain control of the match. After the Gauchos (6-15, 2-9) went up 2-1 early in the fourth set, the Mustangs tied and never trailed for the rest of the game, winning on a kill by senior outside hitter Hannah Schleis.
With this victory, Cal Poly volleyball closes October with an 8-1 record in the month and a remarkable set record of 28-6. The Mustangs are currently tied for second in the Big West with Long Beach State, which makes the last six matches to close the season key to their postseason hopes.
The team gets a weeklong break in schedule before back-to-back home matches against UC Irvine (10-12, 4-6) next Friday and UC Davis (11-13, 6-4) next Saturday.