Credit: Kayla Stuart | Mustang News

Cal Poly volleyball bounced back from their loss to CSUN with a win over Blue-Green rival UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Nov. 6 inside the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara.

The Mustangs (11-14, 9-5 Big West) downed the Gauchos (16-10, 12-2 Big West) in four sets 22-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-22. The win evened the season series between Cal Poly and UCSB after the Gauchos swept the Mustangs in their first meeting in early October.

In the opening set the Gauchos jumped out to an early 6-1 lead, but a Mustang run tied the set at 6-6, turning the set into a back-and-forth affair. After exchanging points to a 13-12 Cal Poly lead, UCSB went on an 8-1 run, grabbing a 20-14 advantage. An 8-2 Cal Poly swing tied the set at 22-22 before the Gauchos finished the set with three unanswered points, winning 22-25 and taking a 1-0 lead in the match.

In set two, the two squads continued the back-and-forth theme from set one, coming to a 15-15 stalemate. Cal Poly turned up the heat, going on a 5-1 run to snag a 20-16 lead. Exchanging points to the finish, the Mustangs won set two 25-20, evening the match at 1-1.

The Gauchos and Mustangs battled early in set three all the way to a 15-13 Cal Poly lead. The Mustangs would score seven unanswered points to storm out to a 22-13 lead and win the set 25-16, taking a 2-1 match lead.

In set four, the Mustangs and Gauchos grinded out points to a 19-18 UCSB lead late in the set. A 4-0 Cal Poly run pushed the Mustangs to a 22-19 lead. The late burst was too much for UCSB and the Mustangs won the set, 25-22, and the match, 3-1.

Redshirt freshman outside hitter Tommi Stockham recorded 20 kills to lead the Mustangs while junior middle blocker Meredith Phillips followed with 14.

Phillips and redshirt freshman middle blocker Kate Slack blocked six Gaucho hits each. 

Junior defensive specialist Lea Ungar led the defense with 11 digs while freshman libero Peyton Dueck had 10.

The Mustangs hit .228 compared to the Gauchos’ .097 in the match. Meanwhile, Cal Poly totaled 56 kills with 25 errors.

With the win, Cal Poly remains in sole possession of third place in the Big West standings, with UCSB dropping to second behind Hawaii. 

The Mustangs return home on Friday, Nov. 12 to take on the UC Davis Aggies inside the Mott Athletics Center at 7 p.m.

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