Cal Poly volleyball hosted their first home match at Motts Athletics Center since 2019 on Wednesday, Sept. 1, and, in a five-set battle against Texas A&M, the Mustangs not only lost the game (19-25, 29-27, 24-26, 25-20, 15-11), but their home winning streak that began in 2016 came to an end.
Coming into the match, Cal Poly (1-3) and Texas A&M (2-2) had equal records, leaving fans to expect a tough matchup on the volleyball court.
The Mustangs seemed determined to extend their home winning streak of 32 matches to 33 by keeping a lead in the first and third sets, but they ultimately fell short of an overall victory.
In the first set, the Aggies earned the first match point with a kill, but Cal Poly went on a 6-0 run to earn an early 6-1 lead. Cal Poly held their lead as redshirt senior outside hitter Jamie Stivers recorded five kills to raise the set to 17-23.
Despite an attempt by Texas A&M to take the game with two more points, a kill by redshirt freshman outside hitter Tommi Stockham ended the set at 19-25, giving the Mustangs the 1-0 set lead.
Mott Magic failed to carry over into the second set, as Texas A&M and Cal Poly played a back and forth game, where the lead never exceeded above three points.
The Mustangs and the Aggies had an equal opportunity to capture a win when both teams were tied at 26 points. However, Cal Poly could only secure one point before Texas A&M scored three consecutive points to take the second set, tying it up.
Early in the third set, it seemed that Cal Poly would trail behind Texas A&M, who took an early 8-5 lead. Eventually, the Mustangs tied the game at 14-14, and both teams consecutively traded points until coming to a tie at 24-24.
With a kill by junior middle blocker Meredith Phillips and a block assist by Stivers, the Mustangs won the set 24-26.
Moving into the fourth set, Cal Poly started well with an early 4-0 lead, but that didn’t last long, as Texas A&M again quickly came back to tie the set.
Once the Aggies were winning 8-7, the Mustangs struggled to regain their previous lead and lost the set 25-20, leading to a fifth and final set.
In the final set, the race to 15 points would be the defining factor of whether or not Cal Poly would continue to hold the longest active home winning streak for Division I volleyball.
The teams traded points until they reached a 7-7 tie. From there, the Aggies defeated the Mustangs with an 8-4 run to complete a 15-11 win for the match victory.
Cal Poly had a total of 53 kills and 31 errors, all while hitting .142 in the match. Phillips, Stockham and Stivers led the team in kills with 14, 12 and 11, respectively.
The Mustangs will head back on the road for the Utah Classic Tournament to compete against Utah and Utah Valley on Friday, Sept. 3, and San Diego on Saturday, Sept. 4.