Cal Poly Volleyball bounced back from last week’s loss against UC Santa Barbara with an away sweep (25-16, 25-13, 25-20) over the UC Riverside Highlanders Thursday, Oct. 24. Junior outside hitter Maia Dvoracek continued to exercise her dominance on the court with 16 kills while sophomore setter Avalon DeNecochea had a match-high 31 assists.
The win was the second time this season Cal Poly (14-6, 7-1 Big West) has beaten UC Riverside (5-14, 1-7 Big West) after playing the Highlanders at home earlier in conference play. The Mustangs remain tied for first-place in the Big West Conference standings with rival UC Santa Barbara.
In the first set, the Highlanders started off ahead 5-2. However, Cal Poly responded with a 5-2 run of their own and tied the match at 7-7. The two teams continued to trade points until Cal Poly broke away with 15 kills and finished out the set 25-16.
Both teams had major rallies in the second set, but not before the Mustangs pulled ahead for a 10-3 advantage. The Mustangs did not allow the Highlanders to threaten a comeback and remained ahead by at least seven points for the rest of the set. Cal Poly ended the second set with a 25-13 win. The Mustangs had 15 kills, more than double that of UC Riverside’s seven kills.
The Mustangs started off the third set in close contention with the Highlanders. Early rallies stretched on as both sides defended potential kills. However, after Cal Poly was up 4-3, UC Riverside failed to take the lead for the rest of the set. Cal Poly completed their sweep with a 25-20 victory. Both teams totaled 12 kills in the final set, but Cal Poly registered two service aces and a higher hitting percentage than UC Riverside in route to the victory.
The Mustangs totaled 42 kills compared to UC Riverside, who had 29 kills in the match. Cal Poly dominated the statistics in hitting percentage and led UC Riverside .367 to .169. In addition to leading in total attacks, assists, digs, and blocks, Cal Poly also totaled seven service aces against the Highlanders.
The Mustangs will be head north to take on UC Davis on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.