Cal Poly volleyball was on the road again for a pair of games against Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State on Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29.
On Friday, the Mustangs (12-10, 9-3 Big West) swept Cal State Fullerton (12-8, 6-6 Big West) and then fell to Long Beach State (14-9, 9-3 Big West) in five sets on Saturday. Cal Poly now is tied for third in the conference.
Friday vs. Fullerton
The Mustangs got their eighth sweep of the season in a 3-0 win (25-15, 25-23, 25-22) over Cal State Fullerton to open up the weekend.
Cal Poly started down 4-2, but turned it on and led for the remainder of the set in a commanding victory. At 4-2, the Mustangs scored four in a row with two aces by senior opposite hitter Maia Dvoracek.
The team ended the night with 12 aces, and Dvoracek had five of them.
At 8-7, the Mustangs scored seven straight points with kills from three different players to put the team up 15-7. They let Fullerton score a single point before scoring three more points to take a 10-point lead at 18-8.
The team ended the 25-15 set win on a kill from redshirt sophomore outside hitter Tommi Stockham.
In set two, the Mustangs got out to a 9-5 thanks in part to senior middle blocker Meredith Phillips standing out.
She ended the night with eight kills and two blocks, which gave her 400 career blocks. Phillips is just the seventh player to surpass the 400-block mark for the Mustangs.
Fullerton made the set close at 18-16, but the Mustangs went on a run to take a 24-20 lead – one point away from victory.
A block, a kill and an attacking error made the set 24-23 but the Mustangs were unphased and secured a set victory on a Fullerton attacking error.
Set three was back and forth. After falling behind 11-10, Cal Poly scored four straight points, including back-to-back-to-back kills from Dvoracek.
Fullerton scored once then Cal Poly scored four more to take an 18-12 lead, helping them secure a 25-19 win and the 3-0 sweep.
Stockham ended the night with a double-double.
Saturday vs. Long Beach State
In their second matchup of the weekend, the Mustangs had a chance at a comeback after getting down 2-1 but fell short in a 3-2 loss (25-19, 22-25, 25-16, 16-25, 15-13) to the Beach.
Set one was a battle throughout, as neither team got a big lead throughout. Late in the set, Long Beach scored five points in a row to take a 21-17 lead and begin to pull away.
The Beach then scored four of the last six points to take a 25-19 set-one victory.
In set two, the Mustangs came out with 5-1, 7-3 and 11-5 leads. Cal Poly then pulled out to a nine-point lead at 19-10 before letting Long Beach right back into the set, allowing them to score nine of the next ten points to make it 20-19 in favor of the Mustangs.
Redshirt freshman outside hitter Lizzy Markovska had kills for the 23rd, 24th and set-winning 25th point to lead the Mustangs to a 25-22 set-two victory.
Long Beach State answered back by controlling the third set all throughout, as a 9-3 run capped off a 25-16 set win.
Down 2-1, Cal Poly needed to win out to complete the comeback.
The Mustangs clawed back in set four and had a lead as great as nine in their 25-16 victory.
In a tiebreaking fifth set, the teams were knotted up at 3-3, 5-5 and 8-8. Dvoracek then had back-to-back kills to take a 10-8 lead.
Dvoracek ended the night with 17 kills and two blocks. The only person with more kills was Stockham at 19.
Cal Poly couldn’t capitalize on the Dvoracek kills as the set was tied again at 10-10. Shortly after, with the Mustangs up 13-12, three consecutive errors by Cal Poly gave Long Beach the 15-13 win.
This matchup saw a season-high 18 service errors and just one ace throughout the five sets.
The Mustangs return home for a pair of crucial matches as they try to climb back up the standings on Friday, Nov. 4 and Saturday, Nov. 5. CSU Northridge will visit Mott Athletics Center on Friday while UC Santa Barbara will visit on Saturday.