In the final two games of the season this weekend, the Cal Poly Women’s Volleyball team is looking to keep the Big West Conference trophy in Mott Athletics Center.
The Mustangs (23-2, 13-1 Big West) took off running from the start of the season, setting a Cal Poly record for best starting record, only to fall to Hawai’i after their 18th straight win. Statistically, the players have worked hard to beat their opponents in almost every category — including kills, attacks, aces and digs. Notable players of the season include junior opposite hitter Torrey Van Winden with an average of 5.12 kills per set and senior libero Katherine Brouker with an average of 4.59 digs per set.
“I think we have a very unique opportunity to make history and I think not a lot of players have that experience,” senior outside hitter Adlee Van Winden said. “I think it’s just a huge reward of hard work paying off.”
“I think we have a very unique opportunity to make history and I think not a lot of players have that experience”
Hard work was surely shown last week, as the Mustangs hit the road and came out victorious with 3-0 sweeps over UC Davis and UC Irvine in the Mustangs’ final away matches of the season. This triumph pushed Cal Poly even closer to the Big West Conference title with an overall record of 23-2 going into their final two matches of the season.
Torrey Van Winden was a force to be reckoned with during both the UC Davis and UC Irvine matches, setting a match high of 12 kills against UC Davis and 22 kills against UC Irvine. Adlee Van Winden followed suit with 8 kills and 10 blocks in both matches.
Katherine Brouker, who has consistently lead the team in digs and aces, set a team-high of 11 digs against the Aggies (16-11, 8-7).
The UC Irvine match proved to be more difficult for Cal Poly, as the Anteaters fought back against the Mustangs, down by one point when the scoreboard hit 24-23 at the end of the final set.
Torrey Van Winden came in swinging with her 22nd kill of the game, preventing the potential upset by the third place UC Irvine (16-12, 10-6).
As the away season comes to a close and the Mustangs face their final two games, including senior night at Mott Stadium, the players said they are feeling confident.
“I think we just need to do what we’ve always done,” Adlee Van Winden said. “We hold each other accountable, we lead together well, we play hard, keep our team on track, keep ourselves in track and we just have to keep doing these things.”
Holding similar confidence about the games ahead, Torrey Van Winden said the Mustangs’ loss to Hawai’i after their 18-match win streak will help the team going forward.
“The loss sucked, but at the end of that game it’s a blessing in disguise because we would so much rather have a loss in a conference game than another loss in the tournament when you don’t get another chance, you don’t get another time to redeem yourself,” Torrey Van Winden said.
“The loss sucked, but at the end of that game it’s a blessing in disguise”
After the wins on the road last week, the Mustangs remain in first place in the Big West Conference, and remain in the running for the Big West Conference title. However, the team’s sights this season have always been set on the NCAA tournament.
“This team has a lot of potential, and I don’t think our mindsets are ready to switch to off yet,” said Adlee Van Winden. “I think we have a lot of future for this team, and I think we have to keep going.”
The Cal Poly Women’s Volleyball team will be playing their final two matches at Mott Athletics Center on Friday, Nov. 16 versus UC Riverside (9-17, 4-10) and Saturday, Nov. 17 versus Cal State Fullerton (7-21, 0-14) for Senior Night.