Cal Poly volleyball won their second straight game to start off Big West play against Cal State Fullerton in five sets on Saturday, Sept. 25 inside Titan Gym.
Both the Mustangs (4-9, 2-0 Big West) and the Titans (4-5, 1-1 Big West) came into the match with a 1-0 conference record, but only Cal Poly was able to stay undefeated after a grueling five sets (25-19, 26-28, 23-25, 26-24, 15-10).
In the opening set, Cal Poly quickly gained control of the court by securing the first point. Although Fullerton tried to regain competitive momentum at 11-10, a 5-0 run by Cal Poly left the Titans trailing for the rest of the set. A kill by redshirt senior outside hitter Jamie Stivers clinched the set win for Cal Poly at 25-19.
The second set began with the Mustangs charging to a lead of 7-4, but a 5-0 run by Fullerton changed the fate of the set. In a continuous exchange of points that would eventually result in a tie at 25-25, the Titans secure the set at 26-28.
With one set apiece, Cal Poly and Fullerton played a competitive third set for the match advantage. There were seven ties throughout the set and, at 23-23, both teams used their timeouts in the last minutes of the set. After the timeouts, CSU Fullerton took the momentum and earned another set win (23-25) and took the 2-1 set advantage.
In a must-win fourth set for the Mustangs, the Titans got out to an early 7-3 lead. Then, a 5-1 run by Cal Poly tied it up at 8-8. More back and forth play resulted in the set being tied at 24. A kill by Stivers and a block by junior middle blocker Meredith Phillips and junior setter Avalon DeNecochea clinched the set for the Mustangs and sent the game to the fifth and final set.
In the deciding final set, Cal Poly started fast with a 5-1 run. Although the Titans would attempt to regain control of the game, the Mustangs won the race to 15 points and earned the 15-10 match victory.
Stiver led the Cal Poly offense with 19 kills, and was followed by Phillips and redshirt freshman outside hitter Tommi Stockham, who both had 15.
As a team, the Mustangs had 70 total kills and 39 total errors.
Cal Poly will look to stay atop the Big West as they take on UCSB in the blue-green rivalry matchup on Friday, Oct. 1 at 7:00PM inside Mott Athletics Center.